Birds & Wildlife in Peril

Discussion in 'All About SoWal' started by DuneLaker, Feb 5, 2010.

  1. DuneLaker

    DuneLaker Beach Fanatic

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    Please keep an extra eye out for birds and wildlife in peril at this time. Any storm causes extra stress. Tonight on my post stormy walk on the beach, I encountered a bird in distress on the beach. I am especially concerned for all those I have observed in the last few days letting their beloved dogs roam free on the beach, unleashed. This bird does not need to be rushed by an inquisitive dog. There is also a blue heron that regularly feeds at the outfall at Eastern Lake. There is not a day that goes by that some dog, unleashed, rushes and disturbs this wild animal. Please be mindful. I'll post some pictures later.

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    Last edited: Feb 5, 2010
  2. tsutcli

    tsutcli Beach Fanatic

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    Thank you for posting this especially about the unleased dogs that are a danger to wildlife and people walking the beach. I was approached by two unleased dogs last week and thought one was going to attack. The other large breed dog kept jumping up on me. I pretended I was talking to the sheriff on my cell and the guy called his dogs and walked very quickly in the other direction. I now have doggie pepper spray on order.

    Now back to the subject at hand, the seabirds. I have rescued Loons for the past 10 years here so there is someone who looks out for these birds but I realize it's a long stretch of beach. These Loons are often beached due to the rough conditions in the Gulf and their bodies are literally too heavy for their legs to support so they are trapped on the beach. In the summer they bake in the sun and I don't always find them in time. So the best idea is to wrap them in a towel and take them to the closest dune lake because they can't be out of the water too long. Loons can only take off from or land in the water and their legs are completely helpless on land. They do bite of course, especially if they are stressed so make sure their head is covered too (but make sure they can breathe) or you can gently hold their beak closed. This often happens with no storm in the Gulf and even though they may look ill and confused on shore, they just need to get to a calm body of water. And yes, I had a friend call me a couple of years ago because some dog off the leash was attacking a beached Loon while the owner watched!
     
  3. DuneLaker

    DuneLaker Beach Fanatic

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    Tsutcli, Thank you so much for the advice. I've often wondered what might be done besides waiting to see if all they needed to do was rest. That is important to know that this particular bird might need assistance getting back to water. How to carry and cover was particularly instructional. The gulf is still up quite a bit and I've been out of pocket since I posted. Praying that the tide came up enough for him to get flight and over to nearby coastal dune lake. Maybe someone else saw your post and assisted in the meantime.
     
  4. ASH

    ASH Beach Fanatic

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    Loons bodies are designed for diving to catch food. Their legs are placed way back on their body to streamline them for swimming. They are not designed to walk on land at all.
     
  5. 2bohemians

    2bohemians Beach Fanatic

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    Ok, since this is a topic about birds & wildlife in peril, we are hoping someone can help us figure out what is going on with this wild bird in our yard. It was funny the first time we saw it a few days ago and now that it is continuing for days, it doesn't feel so funny anymore. Sure seems like this bird is under some type of stress.

    We mad a little movie of it but it's too big too download. We don't know the type bird but it may be a mockingbird. The first thing that happened was it was sitting on my side view mirror on the car, looking at itself, and pecking like crazy. This went on for quite some time. We had never seen a wild bird do this. Now here it is a few days later and it has moved to the other car. This morning it was on the top of the back windshield, pecking and flapping. It flies away but just keeps coming back and doing it over and over.

    Should we be doing something to help?
     
  6. sunspotbaby

    sunspotbaby SoWal Insider

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    I've experienced this too just recently. Every morning a chickadee is on the side window of one of our vehicles, looking at itself in the mirror, flies to the mirror, stares at self in the window reflection, back and forth. Sometimes he will go to the other vehicle and do the same thing...on the mirror, back to the door. It's weird. I think he's looking for a partner. :wub:
     
  7. DolphinDude

    DolphinDude Beach Comber

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    Should we be doing something to help?[/QUOTE]

    I have often seen birds fly at their reflections in windows (not to be confused with those that fly into a window) and also peck at mirrors.

    My $0.02 worth is that it is a territorial display (who knows whether the bird cares that it is a reflection vs. a real competitor) and not a problem unless they become totally neurotic and hurt themselves. Perhaps placing something over the mirror or a sticker on the mirror would stop the behavior.
     
  8. ASH

    ASH Beach Fanatic

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    You have Cardinals in your yard and they are looking to nest! They are extremely territorial and are chasing off their own reflection they see in either your mirror or on sunlit glass. The female will be a tan color with an orange beak and the male is bright red. They are beautiful birds to watch.

    There isn't much you can do about them other than move your car or cover up the glass/mirrors. I don't think the bird will hurt itself. It will more likely decide to put its nest further from your vehicle to get away from having to defend the position.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2010
  9. rolling dune

    rolling dune Beach Lover

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    I have experienced the "Crazy Bird" for years. He/She danced on my car for years. At one point his/her beak would bloody my car. They are known as rufus sided towhees and I just call them Crazy Birds. I built a garage to stop them from pecking on my white car. It worked. Cover you mirrors or put fake snakes from Walmart on your mirrors to deter until you can build a garage.
     
  10. Hop

    Hop Beach Fanatic

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  11. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    you are exactly right about the male cardinal! they are so territorial! we had a beautiful male hanging out on a high stairwell window on the front of our house. The nest was (still is I think) just beside the window. That crazy red bird fought himself on the window for about 2 months. we tried everything as far as covering the window from inside and out (which was difficult considering its location). the attacks slowed but he still went at it at least once per day for weeks and weeks.


    Here is my crazy red bird. We eventually got used to hearing him and would be happy he was still around. Haven't heard from him lately so now I'm worried about him.
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    Last edited: Feb 9, 2010
  12. NotDeadYet

    NotDeadYet Beach Fanatic

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    Someone actually called in to Car Talk recently with a similar question. Well, you know those guys, they gave a lot of wacky advice :roll: but in the end settled for covering up the mirrors.
    I've had cardinals coming around a lot lately. One year they nested really close to the porch. It was a treat to see the babies leave the nest. If I hadn't been lucky enough to be here, I would have missed it - took all of 30 minutes and they were out and gone. :wub:
     
  13. 2bohemians

    2bohemians Beach Fanatic

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    While we don't think this is a cardinal, it certainly sounds like what is happening. Thanks so much for clearing this up!
     
  14. 2bohemians

    2bohemians Beach Fanatic

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    Thanks for the tips!
     
  15. 2bohemians

    2bohemians Beach Fanatic

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    rufus sided towhees --- looked these up and this could be the bird.

    garage isn't an option .... perhaps a car cover is in our future!
     
  16. scooterbug44

    scooterbug44 SoWal Expert

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    The low-tech solution is to live on a dirt road - keeps the shiny reflective surfaces to a minimum. :D
     
  17. jd

    jd Beach Lover

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    Rufus Sided or Eastern Towhees are robin-sized birds, shiny black backs and wings and head with a bright white breast and rust color on the sides. When looking for food on the ground they will kick leaves and debris backward with both feet. They look like they are doing a funny dance!!! They have a long loud 2-note call and a twittering one that sound like "Drink your Teeeeeaaaaa!!!;-)
     
  18. rolling dune

    rolling dune Beach Lover

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    Crazy Bird

    jd...that is too funny regarding their call. In my mind they were screaming my exes name. Jeremy.
     
  19. jd

    jd Beach Lover

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    Oh my, rolling dune!!! Glad you didn't shoot the poor things!!!! LOL!!! :lol:
     

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