Thursday, May 31, 2012

Birdfeeder diaries: May 31, 2012: Hummingbirds

May 4th...up before the hummingbirds arrived

One of my favorite birds is the hummingbird. I have loved watching these tiny birds for as long as I can remember, and the one thing I always do is get a feeder put up before they are due back from their migration south.

They are a tricky little bird to get photos of, and my frustration mounted through much of May, as it seems like every time I tried...and "almost" got a photo...they were gone again. I think that what eventually helped was my being on the back deck, where the feeder is located, so often that they became accustomed to my presence. 

But only if I didn't make any sudden movements.

Finally...on May 20th, I managed to get my first shots of one, it was a female who didn't seem to be intimidated by my presence at all. She came often, as you will see in the following photos...

May 20th, 5:42 a.m...I was ready with my camera!

She moved around the feeder to another 'flower'

Sipping the nector...5:50 a.m.

A bit wary...but not afraid

Whenever I go out onto the deck, I take my camera with me now, always looking to get the next shot, regardless of what kind of birds might be present at either feeder. Later in the day of May 20th, I managed just this single shot...

Perfect timing!
...which surprised me with the detail I captured! This photo is the best I have managed thus far.

The next day, a female was again back at the feeder, but I have no idea if it's the same one or not, as I have seen several darting around at the same time.

May 21st
I am always amazed at the details of the wings that is captured in that split second that the shutter goes off. 

May 21st
Two days later, I watched another female (or maybe the same one!) dart from the feeder to our bushes and land. Because I had to go to the furthest setting of my zoom, the photos look grainy, yet...the details are still there:

She knows I'm there...

Ever watchful...
Is she ignoring me?
What has been really hard to do, is capture a male hummingbird. They are less forgiving of my presence, and any move I make, off they fly. It's not been for the lack of trying...and I will keep in trying to photograph one of them to add to my collection!

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Bird feeder dairies: May 14, 2012: Something to crow about

crow getting a late breakfast in
the field behind the house

With warmer weather here, I am now opening windows earlier in the morning to let the fresh air in and to listen to the bird song. However, this morning, the normal birdsong was interrupted quite abruptly by the continuous (and aggravating) cawing of crows.

Normally, that kind of ruckus in indicative of some "thing" upsetting the birds, but this morning, I found that they were not behaving upset at all, just out in abundance...gathering in the fields, pecking at ground. Yet...all the while, sounding-off as if to warn all that this was their dibs and to stay away.

This crow seemed more content to stay by itself, yet
it would caw loudly every couple of minutes

The crow above, seemed to be a loner and chose to dine alone as well. I watched it for some time, but no other crows came to challenge it...or even bother the rest of the field around it. (I keep wanting to call it a 'him'!)

In the small field across the road from the house, there were at least three that stayed close most of the afternoon. They worked their way across the field in no specific direction.

Two seem content for the moment to pick at the edge of the

Seems like a conference was in order!

As I stood out watching the three above, a fourth came along and landed just on the edge of the yard...and I was able to snap a photograph as he was landing:

The look of the very eerie. It's no wonder people
don't like them!

Here, it's like I am being shunned...I know he knows that I
am just behind him on the deck!

Finally, flying-off, it circled the field before landing once again

As much as these birds can be a farmer's nightmare, and a hunter's curse, they are a majestic bird in their own right. Despite the fact that their looks do creep me out (too many scary movies, me thinks!), they are a fascinating bird to watch and photograph!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Bird feeder dairies; May 8, 2012

Red cardinal

I learn something new daily about the birds that come to the tree with the bird feeder just off our back deck. Each day, I see a new species of bird, or instead of seeing one or two of a specific species, they are now coming in pairs, sometime two pairs at a time.

Each day, before going out the back sliding door to the deck, I check to see what might be at the feeder...and yesterday morning, I was very pleased to see that a red cardinal had come. I managed several photos through the window of the back door, so that they do appear somewhat grainy...for that I apologize!

The cardinal stayed for some time, allowing me to get several different shots of him, and there were times I actually wondered if he knew I was in the window.

Some of the birds are very skittish, but I have noticed that over the last week or so, they tolerate my presence on the deck more and more, and don't seem to mind any movements by me.
At this point, I think the cardinal was scoping out the feeder, trying to decide whether he felt safe enough to venture onto the rim. Although, he didn't then, I did see him this morning, sitting at the feeder, having what was surely a tasty breakfast.
As well yesterday, I noticed that the gold finches seem to be somewhat territorial. There was one at the feeder when another landed on a branch next to the feeder, and off they went...doing a duel in the air before they parted and flew in opposite directions. 
gold finch
In the last two days, I'm seeing two pair of mourning doves coming to visit several times a day, but it seems to be my luck that I just stepped out the back door without my camera when they arrived! There also has been a new bird that came last night before it started to get dark, but I have yet to take a photo of it or identify it. Once I do...I'll add it to these diary entries.

My pair of geese came calling yesterday afternoon to the field beyond our yard...and I was able to get a few shots. As silly as it sounds, I am so glad that despite the fact the field is now planted, they are still arriving twice a day!

They had just landed and already one of them is
talking up a storm!  

They never seem to get too far apart from each other...

Taking a stroll...

I also had the opportunity to photograph a non-bird species this afternoon, and we are still trying to figure out exactly what it is. It looks like a mangy fox, or a coyote, yet the facial features seem wrong for either. 

What do you think?  
(Again I apologize for the graininess...this was out in mid-field
and I had to hurry to zoom in and get a shot off
before it was out of my sight/range.)

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Bird feeder diaries; first entry...May 6, 2012

the new bird feeder

My mom always told me that patience was a virtue, but she never told me how rewarding patience could be!

Last week, I decided to purchase my first (of many!) bird feeders (one was also a hummingbird feeder, which will eventually also become a seperate blog entry) for here where I live now, filled it with seed, dried berries and other 'treats' and placed it in a tree just off our back deck. It took me three tries to get it located where I could sit and watch the feeder clearly and be able to photograph the birds as they came to visit and eat. (I also threw some seed on the ground around the tree to entice them...then I waited...)

I was rewarded about 2 days later as the birds began to discover the bird seed on the ground and then in feeder. At first, the only birds that happened-by, were chickadees, and sparrows. Day before yesterday, a mourning dove showed-up and although it didn't visit the feeder, it did eat the seeds on the ground. What was amazing to me is that it came alone and stayed almost the whole day!

This morning, a pair of finches showed-up and it was amazing to see the birds chasing each other off for dibs on the food! I watched the chickadees scare off the finches, then a while later, the finches scared off the sparrows! Interesting! (Talk about pecking order!)

Since I have taken so many photos, I decided to make a video with them...enjoy!

(In order: Mourning dove, Starling, Sparrow, Robin, American Gold Finch, Cardinal, Geese (the ones from the field out back that I talked about in a prior blog!), finishing with more of the finch and the sparrow.)

Thanks for stopping by!