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The American Birding Podcast

08-24: Random Birds XI with Ted Floyd

Thu Jun 13 2024
birdingmigrationPine Siskinsrare bird sightingsBuffalo HeadsBarn SwallowsBlack Crowned Night HeronsYellow-breasted ChatHermit ThrushesRed-winged BlackbirdsTricolor Blackbirdsreproductive strategies

Description

The episode covers a range of bird species and their behaviors, including rare bird sightings, spring migration, Pine Siskins, Eurasian Siskins, Buffalo Heads, Barn Swallows, Black Crowned Night Herons, Yellow-breasted Chat, Hermit Thrushes, Red-winged Blackbirds, Tricolor Blackbirds, and blackbird reproductive strategies.

Insights

Insight 1

The Fledgling is an ABA publication created by young birders to share writing, photography, and birding tips.

Insight 2

A Steller's Sea Eagle has been present in Newfoundland for three years, possibly building a nest with unknown implications.

Insight 3

Rare bird sightings include a Eurasian Curlew in Newfoundland, a Black-tailed Gull in Michigan, and a Brown Booby in Indiana.

Insight 4

Spring migration experiences were shared by Ted Floyd and Nate Swick during the podcast.

Insight 5

The spring migration season is coming to an end as summer and breeding season begins.

Insight 6

Breeding bird surveys are being conducted in North Carolina and Virginia to track bird populations.

Insight 7

Pine Siskins, typically associated with high elevations, have been recorded breeding in North Carolina after big eruption years.

Insight 8

Pine Siskins have adapted to Christmas tree plantations as novel habitats in eastern regions.

Insight 9

There is a misconception about the name 'pine siskin' as it may not always inhabit pine trees.

Insight 10

Pine Siskins are eruptive species in the Southeast during winter, becoming a normal part of the birdscape over time.

Chapters

  1. The Fledgling and Rare Bird Sightings
  2. Spring Migration and Pine Siskins
  3. Pine Siskins and Eurasian Siskins
  4. Buffalo Heads and Barn Swallows
  5. Barn Swallows and Black Crowned Night Herons
  6. Black Crowned Night Herons and Yellow-breasted Chat
  7. Hermit Thrushes and Red-winged Blackbirds
  8. Tricolor Blackbirds and Blackbird Reproductive Strategies
Summary
Transcript

The Fledgling and Rare Bird Sightings

00:02 - 07:02

  • The Fledgling is an ABA publication created by young birders to share writing, photography, and birding tips.
  • A Steller's Sea Eagle has been present in Newfoundland for three years, possibly building a nest with unknown implications.
  • Rare bird sightings include a Eurasian Curlew in Newfoundland, a Black-tailed Gull in Michigan, and a Brown Booby in Indiana.
  • Spring migration experiences were shared by Ted Floyd and Nate Swick during the podcast.

Spring Migration and Pine Siskins

06:35 - 12:56

  • The spring migration season is coming to an end as summer and breeding season begins.
  • Breeding bird surveys are being conducted in North Carolina and Virginia to track bird populations.
  • Pine Siskins, typically associated with high elevations, have been recorded breeding in North Carolina after big eruption years.
  • Pine Siskins have adapted to Christmas tree plantations as novel habitats in eastern regions.
  • There is a misconception about the name 'pine siskin' as it may not always inhabit pine trees.

Pine Siskins and Eurasian Siskins

12:28 - 19:13

  • Pine Siskins are eruptive species in the Southeast during winter, becoming a normal part of the birdscape over time.
  • Pine Siskins exhibit color variations, with some being very green or bright yellow, while others are brown and streaky.
  • Eurasian Siskins have been recorded in locations like Newfoundland, Labrador, and Eastern Quebec, possibly due to escapes from captivity or introductions.
  • European songbirds like Eurasian Siskins have been introduced in various regions, including the Great Lakes area.
  • The scientific name of the Pine Siskin is noted as 'spinus spinus,' considered by some as having a great name among birds.
  • Buffalo Head ducks are winter residents and obligate cavity nesters that breed in Colorado.

Buffalo Heads and Barn Swallows

18:52 - 24:56

  • Buffalo heads are common winter birds in the southeast and frequently seen on ponds.
  • Buffalo heads are active in pair bonding and display funny dances and squeaks.
  • Buffalo heads are year-round species in certain areas but breed in woods, bogs, and mountains.
  • Buffalo heads have a distinctive appearance with a big head, short body, and bobbing behavior.
  • Buffalo heads have a unique flight pattern with slow rocking motions from side to side.
  • Barn swallows are cosmopolitan terrestrial birds with a global range.

Barn Swallows and Black Crowned Night Herons

24:27 - 31:07

  • The barn swallow is a cosmopolitan bird with separate species in the new and old worlds.
  • Barn swallows have distinct color variations and vocalizations, with sociable nesting habits near humans.
  • Recent breeding range expansions include Brazil, and genetic studies challenge traditional New World vs. Old World distinctions.
  • There is underappreciated sub-specific variation among barn swallows globally.
  • Widespread birds like barn swallows may actually consist of complexes of two or more species.
  • The term 'barn swallow' is relatively recent, with the original name being just 'swallow.'
  • The barn swallow's scientific name, Hirundo rustica, reflects its connection to farms or country areas.
  • There are multiple populations of barn swallows globally, possibly involving multiple species.
  • The black crowned night heron is a cosmopolitan bird found on six continents with four recognized subspecies.
  • Despite their similar names, black crowned night herons and yellow crowned night herons are not closely related.
  • There is debate over hyphenation in the names of birds like the black crowned night heron.

Black Crowned Night Herons and Yellow-breasted Chat

30:39 - 37:04

  • The Black Crown Night Heron is known for its nocturnal quack sound, which is widely recognized in different languages and regions.
  • There are multiple subspecies of the Black Crown Night Heron found across the world, with unique distributions in Eurasia, Africa, Australia, and the Americas.
  • The Black Crown Night Heron is a striking bird with a black ground, big red eye, and sharp patterns in its breeding plumage.
  • The juvenile plumage of the Black Crown Night Heron is streaky and takes time to transition into the adult plumage.
  • Black Crown Night Herons are more closely related to each other than to other night heron species like Yellow-crowned Night Herons.
  • Yellow-breasted chat is a unique bird with distinct characteristics that challenge traditional classifications.
  • Hermit thrushes exhibit significant variations in appearance and behavior based on their geographical location.
  • The hermit thrush is known for its beautiful and diverse song patterns, with each song being unique.
  • The call notes of the hermit thrush are likened to the sound of a water droplet in a winter forest.

Hermit Thrushes and Red-winged Blackbirds

36:35 - 42:53

  • Hermit thrushes are common in conifer forests of Colorado and have a secretive nature.
  • The name 'hermit thrush' is considered evocative and top tier among bird common names.
  • The scientific names of birds like 'cathartis' for Turkey vultures and 'catharus' for thrushes have cathartic influences.
  • Red-winged blackbirds are widespread and successful, nesting in various wetland habitats.
  • Female red-winged blackbirds can be easily mistaken for sparrows due to their different appearance from males.
  • Red-winged blackbirds have versatile nesting habits, thriving even in degraded wetlands.

Tricolor Blackbirds and Blackbird Reproductive Strategies

42:28 - 49:00

  • Tricolor blackbirds form staggering roosts in winter months.
  • There are multiple genuses of blackbirds with epaulets, including Agelaius and others.
  • The tricolor blackbird has no records in Colorado or North Carolina.
  • Red-winged blackbirds have between 20 and 24 named subspecies according to Birds of the World.
  • Bi-colored blackbirds in California show intermediary plumage aspects between tricolor and red-winged blackbirds.
  • Blackbird reproductive strategies can vary based on environmental conditions like abundance or scarcity.
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