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Bird Spotting From The Bike(13 posts)

Bird Spotting From The Bikehms
Nov 25, 2001 2:58 PM
Last week, I was riding with a friend in a rural area and he spotted two eagles flying ahead of us. Today, I was riding parallel to an elevated, urban expressway (the JFX in Baltimore), stopped to take off my jacket and saw a heron in a stream that runs under the expressway. I am not a bird watcher, but both bird sightings were very impressive. The sighting today was in a most unlikely place. Usually, my eyes are on the road rather than on the sky. Has anyone else had any interesting bird sightings from the bike?
am a birdwatcherterry brownell
Nov 25, 2001 3:56 PM
or at least I used to be before riding my bike began to consume all my birding time. species I've seen (mostly bird-biking here in Albuquerque along the river and around town) include Roadrunner, Inca Dove, Poorwill, Bald Eagle , Sandhill Crane, Belted Kingfisher, Rough-winged Hawk, Summer Tanager, Pinyon Jay, Red-tailed Hawk, Great Blue Heron, Green Heron, uncounted species of Duck, Northern Flicker, Black-headed and Blue Grosbeaks, Downy Woodpecker, American Kestrel, a whole mess of Sparrow species, Killdeer, and many others. While I don't bird like I used to, I do still keep a yearly species list - my favorite ticks these days are the ones with location listed as "biking."
my list:DAC
Nov 25, 2001 7:43 PM
Slate Grey Juncos
House Finches
Red-Winged Blackbirds
Baltimore Orioles
Purple Martins
and many more
I got Merlins, Kestrals, and Flying Pidgeons:Bi-psyclist
Nov 30, 2001 8:41 PM
Wild Turkeytarwheel
Nov 26, 2001 7:15 AM
A wild turkey (the real thing, not the liquor) crossed the road in front of my bike a few weeks ago in NC, and I saw a whole flock of them in a field in rural Ohio back in June.
Wild Turkey run-inmickey-mac
Nov 26, 2001 7:23 AM
I was descending a quiet winding road in Cambria, CA a few months back. Rounding a curve, I came upon about 20 wild turkeys standing in the middle of the road. They tried to scatter and take off, but these things are big and must expend considerable energy to take flight. I had to come close to a full stop. Seeing them take off in all directions was impressive and a bit scary. When they found tree branches, most of the branches bent under the turkeys' substantial weight.
Where is that shotgun when you need it?tarwheel
Nov 27, 2001 5:47 AM
I came upon a flock of wild turkeys while backpacking out in Arkansas years ago. They did the same thing, flying into a nearby tree and roosting. It was so strange looking, 20-30 huge birds sitting in this tree.

Another time while backpacking, my wife (then girlfriend) and I woke up around 5 a.m. to the sound of owls hooting. We looked out the door to our tent, and there were about a dozen owls roosting in a small tree about 20 feet away. They were hooting up a storm, like they were having a concert. It was incredible. We just laid there watching and listening to them for about 15 minutes. Then, all of the sudden they stopped hooting and flew away. It was really eerie.
City boy question: Do wild turkey make good eatin'? (nm)mickey-mac
Nov 27, 2001 11:19 AM
Supposedly ...tarwheel
Nov 28, 2001 6:46 AM
I've never eaten wild turkey, but I've heard that it istastier and jucier than farm-raised turkey, and it also has a lot more dark meat. I read an article in the NY Times or Wall Street Jrnl recently about how wild turkey is becoming the new thing for people who can afford it. Apparently some farms specialize in raising free-range wild turkeys -- wild in the sense that they look like wild turkeys and don't have all the sense bred out of them.
Birds of preyErik W
Nov 26, 2001 6:17 PM
I've seen a number of cool birds of prey here in the Boulder, CO area. These include, Bald Eagles, a Golden Eagle, Red Tailed Hawks (these beauties are everywhere), either Prairie Falcons or Perigrin Falcons ( not sure which one but both are in this area though they are semi-rare), a lot of Kestrels (a small falcon the size of a pigion), numerous other hawks that I can't identify though I've stared long enough to nearly ride off the road. We have a ton of Prairie dogs here so it's neet to watch the birds of pray trying for a meal.
watch the armpitsterry brownell
Nov 26, 2001 7:17 PM
actually the armpits are called the axillars and on the Prairie they're(very)obviously dark. Prairies can be pretty common around Boulder -when I worked at StorageTek I'd see one at least weekly on my commute up 75th street. Peregrines are pretty uniform underneath - light or dark depending on the subspecies. Prairies have those black pits that jump right out at you.
Thanks for the infoErik W
Nov 26, 2001 9:29 PM
I have seen several of these birds this summer and could tell they were falcons by the eye bands. They looked a brownish color so I figured they were most likely Prarie Falcons. The sightings were so quick I didn't have time to pick out more identifying features. The black axillars is a good tip. I was suprised when I moved out here five years ago how common Bald Eagles are. I've seen one regularly hanging out in a tree next to the Diagonal Highway between Boulder and Longmont.

I had an interesting experience with a Golden Eagle a couple of years ago. I was on a solo backpacking trip up in the high country. I was walking along with the sun behind my back. I looked ahead of me at my shadow. It looked like a large bird was attached to my head. I looked behind me and saw a Golden Eagle flying extremely slowly behind me. Every time I started to walk, whether I would speed up, slow down or stop, the eagles shadow was directly connected to the top of my shadows head. It was crazy. I am conviced that eagle was playing games with me just for the hell of it. When it finally flew off it buzzed me close enough that I could hear the sound of it gliding through the air above me. Erik
Wild Turkeys spottedStarliner
Dec 4, 2001 4:34 PM
Northern CA: I rounded a bend at the beginning of a climb to be surprised by a small flock of these gigantic birds crossing the road in front of me. They were wild turkeys, and I counted eleven of them.

I've seen coveys of quail scooting around many times before, and been surprised by a pheasant or two hiding in tall roadside grass, but this was my first time seeing wild turkeys.