Dutch stamp to honor NL BirdLife partner

Vogelbescherming, the Dutch partner of BirdLife International, celebrates its 110th anniversary on Friday. To celebrate, the Dutch postal service (TNT) will issue a commemorative stamp to honor Vogelbescherming. The stamp, to be issued in May, joins stamps honoring other Dutch charity anniversaries like SOS-Kinderdorpen (60 years), Cordaid (95 years), De Zonnebloem (60 years), and KWF Kankerbestrijding (also 60 years – busy Dutch people in 1949).

I couldn’t find images of the upcoming stamps, but via their website I see there have been Vogelbescherming stamps issued in the past.


This page also has a nice collection of Dutch stamps featuring birds throughout the years (with some Austrian and Belgian stamps, too). Do you or does someone you know collect bird stamps?

Share the birds, share the love!
Posted in Netherlands | Leave a comment

National Geographic looking for woodpeckers in Wisconsin

This came across the Wisconsin Birding Network (listserv) today:

We are a National Geographic film crew working on a new animal documentary series, hoping to film woodpeckers for a day in Wisconsin soon! [in the next couple weeks.] We will be using a specialized hi-speed camera to capture woodpecker’s energetically pecking holes in trees or their drumming behavior. We need a dependable site with woodpeckers habituated and not shy.

Suggestions much appreciated. Please contact Ron Bowman [NGTV producer]: ron[at]newponypix[dot]com

Share the birds, share the love!
Posted in Wisconsin | Leave a comment

What the Junco can learn from the Finch

A small gang of Dark-eyed Juncos seem to be visiting our yard every day. They prefer to feed on the ground. The other day I observed one perched on the fence at the back of our yard, and he seemed to be looking at our hanging feeders. He made two sorties around them, appearing to pause by two of the feeders as if to land, but he continued flying and returned to his spot on the fence. I don’t know what was really going on, but when I told Arthur about this behavior I joked that our Juncos don’t know how to ‘use’ bird feeders and that’s why they are always eating on the ground. Yesterday when we were looking at the House Finches we saw this Junco perched on the fence behind them:

House Finches & Junco

My first thought was that the Junco was amazed to see how other birds actually eat right there on the feeder. What a concept! Check out how he’s straddling two fence posts just to keep upright in what must be an extreme state of shock – too cute!

Share the birds, share the love!
Posted in Funny, Yard Birds | 1 Comment

Birding brings back yard birds

We went out for a walk where we didn’t see too much and couldn’t take any decent photos, but when we came home we found two new yard birds, yippee!

We went to Rollins Savanna Forest Preserve this morning. There were Red-winged Blackbirds everywhere. A sure sign of spring! We also saw some Hooded Mergansers and Redheads on the water. And we spotted this lone white-tailed deer:

It has warmed up significantly since our last outing (about 20 degrees!), but the wind was still howling and the sky was overcast during our time at the savanna, so it was very bad for photos.

When we got home we were rewarded with not one but two new yard birds! A pair of House Finches visited one of the feeders. And later, a pair of Mourning Doves checked out our makeshift ground feeder.

House Finches

House Finches

Mourning Doves

Share the birds, share the love!
Posted in LCFPD, Yard Birds | Leave a comment

Nippy at Nippersink

Today we visited Nippersink Forest Preserve in Round Lake.

Nippersink is a 309 acre park with two lakes, woods, wetlands and marshes. Here’s a view we had from the main trail that circles the park.

Nippersink Forest Preserve

It was very cold with a biting wind. We couldn’t feel our faces for much of the walk.

Here Arthur’s smiling but you can hardly tell since he’s so bundled up.

Nippersink Forest Preserve

It's cold out there!

And that’s me, bundled up on the boardwalk.


The sun was shining brightly through the bare trees. In just a few weeks the trees will start to be green again.

Crisp sky at Nippersink

While walking, we saw few birds. A pair of crows called from across the park. Some juncos foraged in the foliage. And we saw a little brown furball busy at the water’s edge in one of the few places that wasn’t frozen over: a muskrat!

Muskrat at Nippersink

Muskrat at Nippersink

I took this little video when we were a safe distance away. You might want to turn down the audio as the wind was howling:

Share the birds, share the love!
Posted in Illinois, LCFPD | 1 Comment

My visitors came from *where* in February?!

I had some fun with January’s recap of strange searches that brought up Magnificentfrigatebird.com, so I thought I’d keep track again in February. Here are some of the more interesting search terms visitors used to find their way to this site last month.

  • are grackles legal to shoot in texas Gosh, I hope not! A couple of years ago we received a custom request to design a Great-tailed Grackle over at Birdorable. The request came from a fan of the birds who happened to live in Texas. She said the birds were persecuted there as pests so we made this design for Grackle supporters: Support Your Local Grackle.
  • rare bird born again blog They were probably searching for the blog of this band, but Born Again Birdwatcher’s blog is what first came to my mind.
  • postal service glassware Perfect for your next mail-themed dinner party.
  • dog looking through a scope Maybe they were looking for this?
  • buy kiwi bird pet us Please, don’t do this.
  • greeting card with spoon To wish you a very happy Spoon Day.
  • penguins in the netherlands Only at the zoos, methinks.
  • watermelon bird feeder Ooh, which birds like to eat watermelon?
  • ivory bib woodpecker So close.
  • pecker long & slut poster No comment.
  • Share the birds, share the love!
    Posted in Offbeat, Search Terms | Leave a comment

    Another welcome visitor

    Yesterday we had another visitor to our feeders – an Eastern Gray Squirrel.


    When I lived in the Netherlands, I missed seeing squirrels. The European Red Squirrel was not a common visitor to back yards and gardens in the urban areas of the Randstad where we lived.

    Squirrel / Eekhoorn

    from robelsas’ photostream

    On a couple of occasions we did spot squirrels while out on nature walks, but they were pretty far away. Looking back I am not even sure if they were Red Squirrels or Eastern Gray Squirrels, which as an invasive species are in fact wiping out their Red counterparts in the UK and other parts of Europe.

    squirrel (Eekhoorn)

    from jpockele’s photostream

    Now after living in a squirrel-rich area for a few months (I think the record in my parent’s back yard is upwards of 15 squirrels), I can’t believe I’m actually missing squirrels again!



    Share the birds, share the love!
    Posted in Yard Birds | 1 Comment

    North American Bird Phenology Program

    Do you know about the BPP (Bird Phenology Program)? They currently have a huge initiative to transcribe millions of records about bird migration. The processing of these records is a citizen science project run by the USGS in which anyone with access to a computer can participate.

    The North American Bird Phenology Program houses a unique and largely forgotten collection of six million Migration Observer Cards that illuminate migration patterns and population status of birds in North America. These handwritten cards contain almost all of what was known of bird status from the Second World War back to the later part of the 19th century. The bulk of the records are the result of a network of observers who recorded migration arrival dates in the spring and fall that, in its heyday, involved 3000 participants.

    Those handwritten cards are being transcribed into an online database by citizen scientist volunteers like you and me! You can become a participant and transcribe scanned cards into online records. If you live in the Baltimore-Washington area, you can also help with scanning the original records. Check out the BPP Website for more information.

    Share the birds, share the love!
    Posted in Citizen Science, North America | Leave a comment