Birdwatching Dot Com
Birdwatching Dot Com Newsletter Autumn Birding
November 2006


We love the changing cast of bird characters that crowd around our feeders as the fall days shorten and the temperature drops. It's great to travel and see new birds, but if we can't travel, the birds come to us. Winter's coming? Bring it on!

in this issue
  • Tough Titmouse
  • The Secret Life of a Soft-hearted Tree
  • Dear Diane...
  • Do you really need waterproof?

  • The Secret Life of a Soft-hearted Tree
    Great Crested Flycatcher

    To the great crested flycatchers, the dying box elder was the best tree on the place. Like many birds, they nest in holes in trees.

    They can't dig their own holes. They re-use cavities that woodpeckers have created. Here's some insight on how a woodpecker chooses which tree to nest in. It gives a new slant on dead and dying trees.

    Dear Diane...

    Dear Diane: How do birds get water when it's freezing outside? My birdbath is a miniature ice skating rink. I just don't see how the birds survive. -- Minnie P., Minox ND

    Birds need water every day, even when all the water is frozen. They can get it from snow, but it takes a lot of energy to melt snow inside the bird's body. Birds will take open water when they can find it, and that's opportunity for the backyard bird watcher.

    Do you really need waterproof?
    Wet Binocular

    You might wonder whether you really need waterproof binoculars. Especially if you never go out birding in the rain. But there's more to waterproof optics than surviving a downpour.

    Here's are some other reasons you might want to consider investing in waterproof optics.


    The great crested flycatcher painting is copyright Debbie Kaspari.
    The tufted titmouse painting is copyright Diane Porter.

    Tough Titmouse
    Tufted Titmouse

    One morning last year, a certain titmouse began a quarrel with my living room window. It smacked into the glass.

    This was not the sad blunder of a bird mistaking a window for blue sky. After the collision, the titmouse did not fly away. It got up and dashed against the window again. And again and again. Day after day, all through the summer and fall and winter.

    Although this titmouse was unusual in continuing his battle for such a long time, his saga reveals something about the social behavior of tufted titmice.

    What was he thinking?...
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