Update on BirdCam

Update on the earlier BirdCam blog about the Cornell Red-Tailed Hawks — The first baby starting pipping on none other than Earth Day and finally hatched Monday, April 23rd during a heavy snowstorm. Although there was some worry that the snow would block the camera, the little chick was revealed by mom, Big Red, after some of the snow had melted that Monday. The second baby hawk hatched Tuesday. The hatchlings are pecking and playing around while waiting for egg #3 to hatch. The live stream is still set up for everyone to get the chance to see the nesting habits first hand and get another shot at watching egg #3 hatch live.

Here’s the YouTube clip of the eyas’s first appearance: http://www.youtube.com/watchv=CvtrccGgWrA&feature=youtu.be.

Flying into Spring!

I’ve been outside every chance I get lately to see what birds are starting to appreciate this near-spring weather as much as I am. In the last couple days I’ve seen Cedar Waxwings enjoying the maple seeds and Red-winged Blackbirds claim their territory. I also noticed last week that the Tree Swallows have moved back into our old general store. I know there’s still much more to come, so many things to love about spring time! I’m still awaiting the call of Baltimore Orioles since they usually arrive earlier. Hope they show up soon, that’s when I’ll know it’s finally Spring!

fairy-wren:

bluethroat
(photo by alejandro jimenez)

fairy-wren:

bluethroat

(photo by alejandro jimenez)

fairy-wren:

black hawk
(photo by tinyfishy)

fairy-wren:

black hawk

(photo by tinyfishy)

Weekend birding highlights in Radford, VA

Yesterday and today, April 14th and 15th was good birding along the New River in Radford.

I saw a pair of Blue-winged Teal resting on the shore of a small island Saturday, and near them was a Killdeer and a Spotted Sandpiper. Saturday I saw at least 55 Double-crested Cormorants and at least 35 on Sunday, about half of them both days were immature.

There were two Ospreys on Saturday and four on Sunday, with one on Sunday carrying a small fish as it flew by. It then turned back and flew towards another Osprey perched on a dead tree. It then made very slow, exaggerated flapping about 20 feet above the 2nd osprey and also screeched a lot. This behavior attracted a Red-tailed Hawk that flew out of the woods to challenge the Osprey. The Osprey retreated down river. A moment later a crow chased the Red-tail back into the woods.

One of my favorite birds is the Yellow-throated Warber. On Saturday I found nine at several locations in Radford. This is my highest count for them in Radford.

Saturday I heard my first of season House Wren and Sunday I heard my first of season Northern Parula.

Cliff Swallows have returned to Radford. They are already refurbishing their mud nests on Memorial Bridge in Bisset Park. For the past couple of years, their numbers have averaged more than seventy. It will be interesting to see how they fare this year. The nests on the bridge most close to land are often taken over by House Sparrows, but the Cliff Swallows seem better able to protect their nests over the river. We’ll see how that plays out this summer.

Posted by Clyde Kessler, Radford, VA

Local Hot-Spots

The New River Valley is home to numerous wildlife trails and nature parks that are flourished with birds of all kinds. Located in the New River Valley, Radford, Virginia has around 200 bird species spotted throughout the year, not so bad for a city that’s 9 square miles! Three hot-spot locations found specifically in Radford are Wildwood Park, Bissett Park and the New River itself. Wildwood Park is great because you can either follow the paved paths or choose my personal favorite, to hike the trails along the mountain. In this densely wooded area you are sure to spot a bird on your list. Bissett Park has a bit shorter run with all paved paths to walk, or a wide open field to throw down a blanket and watch for birds. That spot is perfect for a relaxed afternoon, but if you’re feeling adventurous I recommend going on a kayak or canoe and floating the New River. You can drift along and set your eyes on green heron and several other birds from this unique vantage point. Just be careful not to float the river too long or you’ll find you’ve relocated out of Virginia! 

Bird’s Eye View

Even if you are not a bird expert you can educate yourself further by picking up fundamental information first hand by utilizing bird cams. Or you can watch these bird cams just to enjoy the beauty of nature, either way they are entertaining to bird enthusiasts alike. There are several cameras already in place that you can find online through a simple Google search. One of my favorites right now is the Red-Tailed Hawk camera at Cornell University. This camera is situated in a light pole on the University’s athletic field and looks down on a nesting male and female live 24 hours a day as they incubate their clutch of three. The eggs are predicted to hatch around the 13th of April and the feed will keep on through it all. Here’s the link to the Red Tailed Hawk live feed at Cornell University:

http://www.allaboutbirds.org/page.aspx?pid=2422

Hello Tumblr!

There’s a world full of Radbirds out there! I created this blog in an attempt to familiarize people with the wonderful birds of Southwest Virginia, and to meet bloggers from other locations to share birding experiences. Radbird is a company in Radford, Virginia that takes people of all ages on nature hikes to observe birds and educate them on the many species. We hope this blog will share those trips with all who could not be there.