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January 26
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Campus Birding by Albertonykus Campus Birding by Albertonykus
It's been about a year since I started using eBird to log my bird sightings, so might as well celebrate by featuring all the bird species I've recorded on campus in the past year. Forty-three species are a measly drop in the bucket for veteran birders, and none of these are particularly rare, but I'm willing to bet many people on campus have never seen most of them during their time here. A shame that nature in such proximity often goes unappreciated. (As a matter of fact, last fall a rarity for the region did show up on campus, a clay-colored sparrow, but, frustratingly, I had not had the time to go out and find it.)

It should go without saying that to see all of these species on just one tour around campus would be quite a feat and that this is by far not a complete list of birds that can be sighted here. (In fact, the day I finished this drawing I saw a new on-campus species for me, a hairy woodpecker.) My list is especially lacking in species that stick around only for the summer (due to summer vacation, naturally).

By the way, I strongly encourage everyone to use eBird (given that you see birds and can identify any of them to species level... so essentially everyone). It's a good way to contribute to scientific research, and keeping an organized digital record of your observations is fun.

For anyone curious about the actual species of birds depicted here, they are as follows: Canada goose, mallard, great blue heron, black vulture, turkey vulture, sharp-shinned hawk, bald eagle, red-shouldered hawk, red-tailed hawk, killdeer, ring-billed gull, rock pigeon, mourning dove, chimney swift, belted kingfisher, red-bellied woodpecker, yellow-bellied sapsucker, downy woodpecker, northern flicker, eastern phoebe, blue jay, American crow, fish crow, Carolina chickadee, tufted titmouse, white-breasted nuthatch, Carolina wren, eastern bluebird, American robin, gray catbird, northern mockingbird, European starling, cedar waxwing, field sparrow, song sparrow, white-throated sparrow, dark-eyed junco, northern cardinal, red-winged blackbird, common grackle, house finch, American goldfinch, and house sparrow.
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:iconcypselurus:
Cypselurus Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
That's awesome! :O I've never seen that many birds on my campus, usually only when heavy rainstorms bring them down onto the fields during migration. Then it just bristles with birds of many different kinds. But usually, fairly quiet. 

What college do you go to?
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:iconalbertonykus:
Albertonykus Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2014
Doubtless it differs from place to place! We have a fairly well-planted campus surrounded by some forested areas, so birds are quite common if one looks for them. I attend the University of Maryland.
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:iconcypselurus:
Cypselurus Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
We have a field and at most a few trees, with golf course on one edge and reedbeds in the other. The reedbeds are hard to see into though, and I don't usually count birds seen there as they don't count as 'in the campus' itself. However, I've started listing them recently, as well as the birds on the golf course seen in and out of the campus, as it boosts my local species list (which I just started) up. Reedbed birds include things like Buntings, Warblers, and Parrotbills, whilst Golf Course species that don't typically stray into the schoolyard include Little Grebe and Common Pheasant. 

Oh nice! :)
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:iconalbertonykus:
Albertonykus Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2014
Neat. Nice to know that there is some bird habitat around, even if not on your campus itself!
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:iconcypselurus:
Cypselurus Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It sure is! :)
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:icontigris115:
tigris115 Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2014
What college do you go to?
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:iconalbertonykus:
Albertonykus Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2014
This might give you an answer.
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:icondinobirdman:
DinoBirdMan Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2014  Student Artist
Birds of a Feathers are all in city park.
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:iconclassicalguy:
classicalguy Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2014  Student General Artist
One time I was on a family car-ride and as we drove I saw a flock of egrets flying.
The fact that one of those egrets was unlike the others (it appeared to be melanistic) made me wish I had my camera on me.
I should be more responsible with things like this, and this eBird sounds really nice.
Great image!
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:iconalbertonykus:
Albertonykus Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2014
I certainly know the feeling of not having a camera when you need one! Once I unexpectedly came across a dead (but seemingly intact) hermit thrush (a window strike victim I suspect), only to remember that I'd just happened to forget to bring my camera that one time. I decided to walk back quickly to get my camera, hoping the carcass wouldn't be cleaned up or taken away by a scavenger in the meantime. (It didn't, for what it's worth, and I ultimately did get photos of it.) Imagine the frustration if it had been a live animal that could have just departed any moment!

(It's almost as disappointing when an animal leaves just as you get your camera ready, but at least you can be secure in your knowledge that you had the chance to capture a photo.)
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