Birdchick Podcast #20: Pranks, Pelicans & Penguins

Non Birding Bill and I are going to experiment with a longer podcast this week.  We are opening a show that is a paroday of The Love Boat at the Bryant Lake Bowl this week and chances are good we will not be able to keep up with doing three shows this week.  Let us know if you would like this to be shorter and more often or once a week and longer. You can follow me on Twitter @Birdchick (ask me bird questions) and you can follow NBB @bstiteler (do NOT ask him bird questions).  You can always email me sharon at birdchick dot com or connect with me via Facebook here.

Non Birding Bill's great horned owl butt he took holding his iPhone up to my Swarovski ELs:

Screen shot 2011-04-03 at 7.03.06 PM
Screen shot 2011-04-03 at 7.03.06 PM

Speaking of Swarovski Optik, have you seen Pete Dunne's review of their new 10x50 and 12x50 ELs.  He loves 'em!

Bird Blogs:

In today's podcast, we talk about some of my favorite online birding pranks for April 1, 2011 as well as one of my all time favorite bird pranks--that still gets traffic today.

This year's top pranks:

I think Non Birding Bill will love this: Discount Bird Calls

American Birding Association Checklist Changes

Earth, Wind and Water Blog announces plans for ESPN8 to host American Birding Big Day tv show (I totally fell for this one)

Win a Free birding trip to Thailand with David Sibley and ABA President Jeff Gordon at 10,000 Birds

A prank I aided in pulling with another blogger who wishes to remain anonymous (but if you buy me a single malt scotch at a Birds and Beers, I'll gladly verbally out this person) about the "rediscovery" of a Carolina Parakeet.

Bird News:

This unfortunately is  not a prank.  An Arkansas Delta flight hit a flock of birds.  They were not identifiable according to the news article, but I think many birders can see from the photos (WARNING GRAPHIC) that they are American white pelicans based on the upper bill, yellow skin in front of the bill and black wing tips.

We mentioned the oil spill threatening rockhopper penguins on an island chain located halfway between Africa and Argentina in the podcast a couple of weeks ago and in more hopeful news, there are at least 5000 penguins that have been gathered for rescue. The death toll so far appears to be 300 penguins but it sounds like state officials and local volunteers are working as hard as they can to help this breeding colony.  Here's a great video of one of the first people on the's sad to note that the penguins are not the only ones affected by the spill.  If you want to help, send money to International Bird Rescue Research Center.

Dacorah Live Bald Eagle Cam gets so much traffic with chick hatching that it crashes the siteHere are highlights of the hatching.  Early on  you can see the beaks "pipping" out of the eggs and by the end there's a floofy eaglet.  You can try and watch the live cam here...if it's not too overloaded with traffic.  It is nice to have on as background to your work day--it's excellent video quality and the sounds of surrounding birds is awesome.  Here's a screen shot from Sunday night and you can see quite the buffet: rabbit feet, crow and a fish:

Screen shot 2011-04-03 at 6.31.13 PM
Screen shot 2011-04-03 at 6.31.13 PM

Who knew bald eagles were fast enough to catch a crow?  Thanks to BosqueBill for pointing it out on Twitter.

Spring Migration is seriously on! Check out this animated RADAR from BadBirdz from Saturday night.  Get the latest updates here.  Did you see any new birds on Sunday or Monday?

Feathers are in the news twice:

Using chicken feathers as a basis for plastics?

Pigeons with darker feathers are healthier than pigeons with light feathers.

Upcoming Birding Event:

American Birding Association young birder camps.  One in Colorado and one in the Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas.  They seriously need to offer these to adults.

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