New Backyard Birding Classes in Kennesaw, GA
Where: Smith-Gilbert Botanical Garden & Bird Sanctuary 2382 Pine Mountain Road, Kennesaw, GA 770.422.3384
When: On the 1st and 3rd Friday of each month, from 10:00 a.m. till 12:00 p.m.
Cost: $15.00 (includes admission to gardens) $8.00 (garden members)
Instructor: Pat Pepper, M.Ed. and Audubon Society Member
Materials Used: Binoculars (please bring your own if you have them), Spotting Scope, North American Field Guides (Sibley, Stokes, Kaufman & Peterson), Bird Songs (audio from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology), and digital bird pictures.
Class Content: This class is designed for anyone who enjoys watching birds, but would like to learn more about these fascinating creatures: their names, habitats, and food preferences. Lear what flowers and trees you can plant to attract specific birds. The study will mainly be on those birds most common to Georgia yards. First seeing their pictures and then trying to spot them at the Garden’s feeders, bird baths and other water features. The class will conclude with a walk through the gardens looking for birds who don’t usually visit feeders because they’re fruit or insect eaters. At the conclusion of the walk, there will be a Q&A session for more inquisitive minds!
The most effective way to foil squirrels and protect your feeders from their disruptive antics, is with a squirrel baffle. A quality baffle is a one-time investment that will save your birdseed and ultimately your money in the long run.
The best part about using a hanging squirrel baffle is the versatility. Some folks even use them as weather guards alone (like me) to protect feeders from the elements. Most will serve as weather guards throughout the changing seasons. Keeping snow in winter, rain, and direct sun in sweltering summer heat, from ever reaching and spoiling the bird food. This will also save money by keeping food fresher longer. Not to mention, squirrel baffles also protect feathered friends at your feeder while dining. Although this feeder hangs from a pole with a baffle in place, one is also used to protect the feeder. Check out that snow sitting on top!
Planning and proper placement are two key factors when setting up new baffles. One must always remember squirrels’ uncanny acrobatic and athletic abilities! The little furry critters can jump sideways almost 10 feet. So, the horizontal “launching point” must be taken into consideration. Don’t hang the feeder near anything they might be able to jump from sideways. Vertically speaking, be sure the bottom of the feeder is at least five feet from ground level.
All in all, a great investment for novice to advanced backyard birders. Sparing you much aggravation and headache should squirrels be a problem in the yard.
Today I was supposed to write about the term bird book. But instead I sit in the intensive care unit at Shore Memorial Hospital one block from the bay in South Jersey. I did notice some rather large sea gulls early this morning by the marina.
My mother is not doing so well, she’s had a heart attack, and when they went to move her to do the stent, they discovered pneumonia had set in along with a blood infection. So now it’s complicated as she’s on a ventilator to breathe easier. This person doesn’t look like my mother, who walked into the hospital just last week with all her faculties about her, of sound mind, now in an induced coma.
Nature at Bird Watchers’ Fingertips!
North American Guide to Birds app now available on iPhone and iPod Touch.
Woodstock, Vt. (Nov. 20, 2009) – The best-selling series of National Audubon Society bird field guide books have gone mobile, putting the most authoritative and comprehensive birding information at the fingertips of iPhone and iPod Touch users.
The Audubon Guide bird app provides a wealth of interactive information in a mobile package, giving bird lovers a fun and exciting experience that makes bird watching richer, more informed and instantly sharable. The bird app along with others in the Audubon Guides series is now available in the reference section of the apps store in iTunes.
“Mobile platforms allow field guides to be used to explore nature in fun and interactive ways that are not possible with printed books,” said Andrew Stewart, publisher of Green Mountain Digital, the electronic publishing company that created the Audubon Guide app series in alliance with the National Audubon Society. “Features like bird calls, GPS-location and the ability to share outings with family and friends are just a few finger taps away. These new apps transform field guides as we know them.”
From Chickadees to Condors, the Audubon Guide bird app covers more than 740 species of birds with information on appearance, habitat, behavior, diet, nesting, mating, migration, endangered status and more. Features include thousands of professional color photos, more than 2,200 bird sounds, and range maps for each species. Every species in the app is described with rich and detailed information updated from the book versions: all accessed wirelessly and in real time through elegant, interactive and intuitive search features. Search parameters include common and scientific names, family, shape, range, habitat, color, and size.
“This is a giant leap forward in connecting people with the nature that surrounds them,” said John Flicker, president of the National Audubon Society. “And it’s the first step in building a commitment to protecting the wonders this app will help a new generation discover and savor.”
The apps’ geo-location search features also allow users to find which bird species are located in any zip code, state or region. A universal dashboard enables navigation back and forth between species information, search functions, sightings, and more. When loaded onto a user’s iPhone, the apps work independently of cell phone connectivity.
Other innovative functions include the ability to create personalized life lists, post GPS-enabled bird sighting lists, and upload user-created photo albums.
The Audubon Guide bird app is supported by AudubonGuides.com, a free companion Web site that syncs with the app, providing a lifetime of automatic updates. The Web site features all of the comprehensive subject matter found on the app, as well as scientific news, user forums, articles and blog posts contributed by nationally recognized scientists and naturalists.
“The Web site really adds to the overall Audubon Guide user experience because it includes all of the information contained in the app as well as contributions by app users themselves,” said Stewart. “As people share their birding experiences on the site, we’ll see it becoming an increasingly useful tool in the research and cataloging of the natural world.”
The Audubon Guide bird app is now available in Apple’s iTunes store at the introductory price of $19.99. Three additional apps in the Audubon Guides series – Wildflowers, Trees and Mammals – are being offered at the introductory price of $9.99 each.
Birds, Wildflowers, Trees and Mammals will be followed in the next few months by mobile guides to Insects & Spiders, Butterflies, Fish, Reptiles & Amphibians, Seashells, Seashore Creatures, Mushrooms, Whales & Dolphins, and many other subjects. In this way, the Audubon Guide app series looks to deliver all of nature to consumers’ fingertips.
Whether bird watching in the wild or in your backyard, it’s human nature and simple curiosity to know the species you’re actually viewing. So many wild birds look alike, with the tiniest markings which differentiate the species. Wing bars, eye lines, beak length and color, and tail length are just a few common identifiers. It’s easy to mistake a black capped chickadee for a nuthatch, and the same for so many of the warblers.
Bird Field Guides can easily answer any question as to which species you might be seeing. Indexed and well organized, they’re full of great photos and pertinent information on just about every wild bird species out there. So whether on a field trip, or watching from the breakfast room window, it’s really handy to keep a field guide close by for that special or new bird that you may glimpse and marvel at its beauty.
These books make excellent and lasting gifts for any birding enthusiast too!