Any bird brains out there?

chs1971

Well-known member
Now the local cardinal is OCD. He'd go from nearby woodsy area, same branch, to my railing, to my mailbox, to the fence across the street, then somewhere. Everyday the same unless I'm on the porch. We had these tiny owls (forgot what they're called), didn't give a hoot. They'd sit three next to each other on the fence, with me the fourth a foot away. We'd sway. They had a path too, which also included the mailbox. Popular mailbox. But they'd sit on the mailbox even if I was on the stoop right next to it. Not just no fear. More like being sociable. Kind of like the baby bunny I'm looking up recipes for if he keeps digging into my grass. I run at him, he's supposed to run. He just looks at me. Thinks about it a bit. Looks again then goes on his own time.
Have you seen cardinals attack their reflection? They'll do that all summer once they get started.

Tiny owls? Here in Ohio?

Eastern Screech Owls go about 8 1/2" and they don't hoot. They wail, or "whinny." https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Eastern_Screech-Owl/

Any self respecting birder should be able to imitate a screech owl.
 
Last edited:

chs1971

Well-known member
You know, I'm really glad I asked if there were any bird brains out there. I have learned so much from these exchanges and now look a little closer at birds I see around our property.
Most birders "list" the birds they've seen, or heard.

Start a yard list. It can be fun.


Like most birders I enjoy sharing the hobby. I'm not trying to brag or one-up people, I'm just trying to answer questions and encourage people to enjoy part of nature.
 

eastisbest

Well-known member
Have you seen cardinals attack their reflection? They'll do that all summer once they get started.

Tiny owls? Here in Ohio?

Eastern Screech Owls go about 8 1/2" and they don't hoot. .
Naw that doesn't sound familiar. The name did start with "s." I'll have to ask my neighbor, once she starts talking to me again.
 

clarkgriswold

Well-known member
Most birders "list" the birds they've seen, or heard.

Start a yard list. It can be fun.


Like most birders I enjoy sharing the hobby. I'm not trying to brag or one-up people, I'm just trying to answer questions and encourage people to enjoy part of nature.
The Audubon app does that too. I just got it and I am starting to add sightings. The bald eagle as my first.

I have what I think is a barred owl in the woods behind our house. I've never seen him but I've heard him at night. I can also occasionally hear a second one in the distance.
 
Last edited:

eastisbest

Well-known member
saw wet, I just remembered. Had a big ol nest in a split of a black walnut next to the property. But the neighborhood girl wanted to impress the neighborhood boys by telling them about the friendly birds who then jumped all over the tree branch breaking it. Been about 8 years ago. Nest is still there. Good 3-4 feet of straw. Miss the birds.
 

chs1971

Well-known member
saw wet, I just remembered. Had a big ol nest in a split of a black walnut next to the property. But the neighborhood girl wanted to impress the neighborhood boys by telling them about the friendly birds who then jumped all over the tree branch breaking it. Been about 8 years ago. Nest is still there. Good 3-4 feet of straw. Miss the birds.
Northern Saw-whet Owls nest in lower Canada, the very northern US e.g., the Upper Peninsula, and mountains in the USA. Some come south for the winter, but not a lot and they can be difficult to find.

They will summer and nest in Ohio, but I think the only confirmed nest found with young birds was in Ashtabula County in 1931. In 1982 a young bird appeared in someone's yard in Bay Village.
 
Last edited:

chs1971

Well-known member
The Audubon app does that too. I just got it and I am starting to add sightings. The bald eagle as my first.

I have what I think is a barred owl in the woods behind our house. I've never seen him but I've heard him at night. I can also occasionally hear a second one in the distance.
If you've got a calling owl in the woods you can positively ID it. It's either a Barred, Great Horned, or Screech and their calls are not at all similar.
 

eastisbest

Well-known member
Northern Saw-whet Owls nest in lower Canada, the very northern US e.g., the Upper Peninsula, and mountains in the USA. Some come south for the winter, but not a lot and they can be difficult to find.

They will summer and nest in Ohio, but I think the only confirmed nest found with young birds was in Ashtabula County in 1931. In 1982 a young bird appeared in someone's yard in Bay Village.
They were saw whets. We googled at the time to compare photos. Very round faces, no noticable ears. The behavior the same. Low nest (4 feet off the ground), grapevines, sociable, the whole shebang.


Kind of makes sense they're canadian. I'm sure I heard one of them apologize.

I looked yesterday after I recalled the name. The pdf I found (but didn't bookmark) was more optimisitc on numbers in Ohio. Cute little buggers. I miss them. The kids, not so much. If we'd known they were so rare I guess we would have told someone. But maybe not. Didn't work out so well others knowing about them.
 

clarkgriswold

Well-known member
If you've got a calling owl in the woods you can positively ID it. It's either a Barred, Great Horned, or Screech and their calls are not at all similar.
I checked the calls a few months back and it is definitely a barred owl. Wish I could get eyes on him.
 

chs1971

Well-known member
I checked the calls a few months back and it is definitely a barred owl. Wish I could get eyes on him.
Barred owls can be active during the daytime and will respond to recorded calls. Play the call on your phone, or with some practice you should be able to imitate a barred owl, and the owl may fly in to check you out. I've done it more than once. A cloudy day is better than blinding sunlight. Barred owls are woodland birds and will stay in the woods.

Birding ethics can be controversial. Do not harass the bird by calling it repeatedly or for a prolonged period of time.

Pileated woodpeckers will respond to a barred owl call as well. They will likely fly past you and not at you.
 

chs1971

Well-known member
They were saw whets. We googled at the time to compare photos. Very round faces, no noticable ears. The behavior the same. Low nest (4 feet off the ground), grapevines, sociable, the whole shebang.


Kind of makes sense they're canadian. I'm sure I heard one of them apologize.

I looked yesterday after I recalled the name. The pdf I found (but didn't bookmark) was more optimisitc on numbers in Ohio. Cute little buggers. I miss them. The kids, not so much. If we'd known they were so rare I guess we would have told someone. But maybe not. Didn't work out so well others knowing about them.
Generally speaking, what was the location of these birds? Please tell me someone took a photo.
 

clarkgriswold

Well-known member
Barred owls can be active during the daytime and will respond to recorded calls. Play the call on your phone, or with some practice you should be able to imitate a barred owl, and the owl may fly in to check you out. I've done it more than once. A cloudy day is better than blinding sunlight. Barred owls are woodland birds and will stay in the woods.

Birding ethics can be controversial. Do not harass the bird by calling it repeatedly or for a prolonged period of time.

Pileated woodpeckers will respond to a barred owl call as well. They will likely fly past you and not at you.
Very cool. You are the bird man!

I haven't seen a pileated woodpecker this year. They have been around here in the past, just not recently.
 

eastisbest

Well-known member
Generally speaking, what was the location of these birds? Please tell me someone took a photo.
I don't know if anyone took a photo. That's not my thing generally so I didn't. As I said this was 7-8 years ago I think.... Maybe not that long but more than a few for sure. I'll ask my neighbor if I see her. As for location, not sure how I could describe it more accurately than I already have, let alone generally. What specifically do you need to know about "location?"

Edit: DOH!!! YOu want to know geographically where? Toledo. I don't think it's that unexpected. Not that far from Canada as the owl flies. Few miles really. But there was obviously a whole family of them, three we saw daily all about the same size. Heard them for a long time on my roof. It was my neighbor pointed out they were hanging out on my fence. First time I saw them, they were on the fence, I "snuck" up until it dawned on me, I didn't need to sneak. THey weren't threatened at all. We hung out.

Wish they'd stayed. Would have been great chick magnets.
 
Last edited:

chs1971

Well-known member
I don't know if anyone took a photo. That's not my thing generally so I didn't. As I said this was 7-8 years ago I think.... Maybe not that long but more than a few for sure. I'll ask my neighbor if I see her. As for location, not sure how I could describe it more accurately than I already have, let alone generally. What specifically do you need to know about "location?"

Edit: DOH!!! YOu want to know geographically where? Toledo. I don't think it's that unexpected. Not that far from Canada as the owl flies. Few miles really. But there was obviously a whole family of them, three we saw daily all about the same size. Heard them for a long time on my roof. It was my neighbor pointed out they were hanging out on my fence. First time I saw them, they were on the fence, I "snuck" up until it dawned on me, I didn't need to sneak. THey weren't threatened at all. We hung out.

Wish they'd stayed. Would have been great chick magnets.
Thank you. Don't give me your house address, but where in Toledo? And please let me know if your neighbor has photos or any additional information, like month and year.

Any bird might be in Ohio and no one ever see it, or the person who does see it doesn't know what it is or how rare or accidental it is. It is assumed that there are a lot more saw-whet owls in Ohio during the winter than are ever seen or heard and they may nest here every year and no one records it.

That being said, in July 1966 two juvenile owls were found in Toledo near Broadway and South Avenue. In May 1978 a pair of adult owls were found in a nest box in the Oak Openings. For some reason the box was removed and the nest failed. The last record of saw-whet owls nesting in Ohio was 1979 near Youngstown.

I know people who would be extremely interested in documenting nesting saw-whet owls.
 

chs1971

Well-known member
  • Reflections: Adding bright, reflective objects over the area where the birds are pecking can frighten them away. Metal pie plates, mylar strips, old CDs, or small mirrors hung from strings or fishing line over the pecking area are good options, but they must be free to swing in the breeze to be more unpredictable. Small metal pinwheels with reflective sections can be similarly effective.
  • Movement: Windsocks, streamers, or flags hung in the same area where the birds are pecking will help deter them with random movements and fluttering noises that can be frightening. Colorful objects are the best choice and may be more effective than simple windsocks. Wind chimes, especially reflective.
That's a female Downy woodpecker.
 

USA70PP

Well-known member
Our baby robins, 3rd clutch this season, departed the nest yesterday. It was interesting to watch momma Robin giving lessons/encouragement to her "babies" on how to fly.
 

eastisbest

Well-known member
How are you on snakes?

I'd put a tarp outside of an entrance because water was leaking in. Forgot it a few days, just stepped on it as I entered. Yesterday I stepped and instead of concrete it was... spongy. Thought I'd gotten a rat or chipmonk. Lifted the tarp, still alive (I hope) about 2-inch diameter, solid black. Curled up but I'd estimate 2-3 foot long.
 

ogealbhain

Well-known member
How are you on snakes?

I'd put a tarp outside of an entrance because water was leaking in. Forgot it a few days, just stepped on it as I entered. Yesterday I stepped and instead of concrete it was... spongy. Thought I'd gotten a rat or chipmonk. Lifted the tarp, still alive (I hope) about 2-inch diameter, solid black. Curled up but I'd estimate 2-3 foot long.
Pic?
 

irish_buffalo

Well-known member
How are you on snakes?

I'd put a tarp outside of an entrance because water was leaking in. Forgot it a few days, just stepped on it as I entered. Yesterday I stepped and instead of concrete it was... spongy. Thought I'd gotten a rat or chipmonk. Lifted the tarp, still alive (I hope) about 2-inch diameter, solid black. Curled up but I'd estimate 2-3 foot long.
Knowing the vicinity I'd say common water snake.
 
.
Top