Word and Image

Posts tagged “Birds

Osprey – two

Look closely. The second head is peeking just under the right wing on the left. Ha ha, your other right, it’s the left of the picture. I stopped short, backed up, and drew angry gestures from passing bikers who had to swerve around my car parked on the grass at the roadside. Hey! I got the shot.


Long term rental

The barn swallows have returned for the third year. I guess they will be back. Last year they made eight little swallows in two batches. I guess you would call it successful. There are lots of swallows buzzing around but no other nests in proximity. They are fastidious. They poop over the side of the nest onto my garage sill. It makes sense. I would keep my place clean if I were coming back. Again and again. Come to think of it, I posted this mother’s pic two days in a row.


Heron

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I’m using my Canon EOS M6 Mark II with a manual zoom. That’s a mouthful. I would refer to it as the M6 but then you’d be confused. Ah! You probably don’t care. It’s about the picture not how I take it. There is a disadvantage over my all-in-one point and shoot camera. It doesn’t have electronic zoom. Don’t ask. But the bottom line: I can’t zoom in a little extra and get that heron really close. You learn to live with the technical limitations of your gear and adapt to whatever is at hand. I had that discussion with the boss over the $2000+ Nikon D780 body. Nope. … not getting it for reasons too numerous (2000+) to counts. No! Hey! I/we was out riding the bike, not bird watching.


Forgiveness

Cardinal, as in bird, is a very skittish one. He does not like to pose. Male? You bet. This is its specific coloration. The female is another color. Duh! It’s a soft photo. (it’s a nice way to say, it’s out of focus). But you will forgive me, if the eyes have a catch light in them. It just makes the photo seem sharp. Not. But that’s my argument and I’m stickin’ with it. My bad, I was shooting through the window (glass) and the screen. Of course, I was challenged. I got a shot or we would not be speaking about this at all. And, not another word – ’bout me being challenged.


To market

I’ve done this before. Sad. Everything “tastes like chicken” doesn’t seem so humorous. There were stacks of crates on a truck headed to? Meat or eggs? Either way it’s an awful way to be treated. Point A to Point B, maximize space and profit. Humanitarian treatment doesn’t apply to non-humans? Oh boy! I would almost be a vegetarian. Mostly, you go along happily until it’s in your face. Blissful ignorance. We do that a lot. It’s sad for me to say. Today, I’m thinking about it again.


Squirrels gotta eat too

We bought a squirrel proof bird feeder. It cost $$. Why don’t I want to feed squirrels too? I would have bought a squirrel feeder. The feeder was squirrel free until today. And it works. There is a cage that closes over the holes when the squirrel’s weight is on it. The squirrel was getting something, but not an entire meal. Seeds spilled. Some, including the squirrel buddy, chose the easier way to go, on the deck. At least in this exchange the birds get a higher percentage on the deal.


Squirrel

I got squirrels. Look on YouTube. There are hilarious videos of ways to combat squirrels at the feeder. The poor birds? Hey! Squirrels gotta eat too! …unless your wife thinks squirrels are furry rats. You can see two feeders. The first was like a buffet. The squirrels were putting on weight! The second, a cheap plastic, device was so flimsy it was destroyed in a day. The squirrels destroyed it in a day! Destroyed! In a day! So, I broke down. …. Birds gotta eat. The new feeder has stopped the squirrels. So, there’s no pic. Ha ha. No squirrels. There’s/that’s not a pic.


Hummingbird

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This ain’t easy. It’s darned hard to catch a hummingbird. I got one decent shot in a dozen tries. Lucky. As I said it ain’t easy.


Flight time

Our barn swallows reached maturity. They will soon be gone. Four hatchlings flew about and landed on our chair. Three lined up as if they were in their nest. The other was independent. Somehow, they were nonplussed by my presence. No one flitted away. I just slowly walked forward and got my close-ups. Thanks guys. I hope to see you in the neighborhood again. When we returned later I could see more than four birds swooping about. It seems that siblings and family have made our house their home.


Ready to fly

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This group of barn swallow babies grew up overnight. They had a great steady diet of worms and are about to fall out of the nest. There’s simply no room left. I shall miss them. Fly away! Be safe! Come again and raise babies of your own.


Cardinal

The bird flashed by my peripheral vision. Nice! It stayed still long enough for about two shots. It’s fascinating that the plumage is not more noticeable. But even the male blends right in to the foliage. Colleen doesn’t believe it. It does seem that the plumage of the cardinal changes with the season.


Baby

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There are osprey nests all along the road. We stopped to view the parents and their newborn. How nice! I see one parent or another, but rarely the offspring. Lucky! We didn’t see the little one the next day.


Return, return

So, the first batch of swallows hatched and left in early July. Another pair came back and hatched a new brood. Wow! Yay! We now have more than a few swooping birds around our balcony. I don’t see another nest. I wonder if the whole extended family will remain close by?


Barn swallows

They came back. A pair of swallows made a nest last year. I have posted before on the earlier set. Now the parents returned to hatch a new brood. Lucky us. This time everyone got big and flew the nest without incident. Last year one little fellow fell and was rescued and taken to the bird rescue people. They were gone so quickly I hardly had a chance to get any images.


Birds of a feather…

Ok, it’s not a shout out to Wawa. There is a certain need to build a nest at a certain time. But location, location, location? This is a bit extreme. At least I would not want to be out where everyone can see. Why not a tree? Or, are other predators put off by all the people around?


Back

They came back. We have had a pair of barn swallows carefully build a nest under the eave of the balcony over my garage. They hatched five baby birds last year. The last one required rescue. It couldn’t fly and was pushed out of the nest to the ground. It was a harrowing rescue for us. This year they hatched five more in the same nest. They all successfully flew off in early summer. Now, it’s midsummer and we see barn swallows swooping about our balcony. Staying close to home? No, it appears there is another batch of babies. This set of parents are way more tolerant of me standing below to take pictures. The last time around the parents would swoop away and dive bomb me each time I approached. It’s nice to see the parents are more mellow especially as the only rental requirement of the nest is that I get a pic of the newborns.


Turkey

Okay! Now for something completely different. There was a magical Thanksgiving dinner when I was working in Maine. We had just sat down to dinner when a group of wild turkeys strolled past our window in plain view. Ummm, that would be a fitting argument to become vegetarian. However, I have only seen male turkeys rarely and never fanning their tails. Wow! Do you believe this? … in the back yard. … just for me!


Motion

At the birdfeeder the photo ops are limited. A few species enjoy feeding. They are eating not posing for me. I don’t get much action. I do get an occasional action shot. Can you say abstract art?


Cat count

 

Feather is one smart cat. She learned very early how to depress a door handle and spring the door open. Lately the door to our deck has been her project. Unless I lock the door, she is likely to have a go. I forget sometimes. Today I was photographing the cardinals at my bird-feeder. Suddenly the birds took off. I glanced to the deck and saw the reason. Feather was there beneath the feeder hoping to catch a bird. Loose! She was loose! Darn! Make that worse. Three other cats were out as well. And two had made a jailbreak down the stairs to the yard below. Willow, pictured in the photo of the deck, likes to jump to the rail. I have a gate; it was down because of the wind. And, Patch and Ray were on the loose. Ray, at least knows the drill. He trotted up the stairs. Patch was out in the yard. Not good! We got them all back. Can you count to seven? We did it twice. Everyone is safe and sound. I am working on my penance for leaving the door unlocked. And there is no photo to commemorate the action. I was too busy herding cats at that moment.

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Blue Jay

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There was a blue jay that posed for me for the longest time. No tricks. It turned this way and that. I took the pictures. Thank you.


Cardinal at our feeder

This bright feathered feeder was posing for me. I got the requisite catalog shots. Then the action started. He flitted to and fro. I got my shots. Action is hard. I have told you that a motor drive will not ensure a good action shot. It’ timing and luck. Mostly luck. Have I mentioned that I am a lucky guy.


Cardinal

All in one day and at the same time, it was unusual to see. Both were there. And I was able to get a shot of them. Birds, fish, cats, oh my! It was nice to capture the images. Action. It’s fortuitous. Patience. The skill is there. The circumstance is a bit of luck.


Congregate

After the first cold spell, there has been a lot of activity around the feeder. The birds did not find its location for about a week after we installed it. Now it’s a regular stop for food. A woodpecker! The seed supply dwindles steadily now. My goal is to get better pics. So far the caged feeder has hindered my ability to get the bird without distraction. And, they tend to stay to the far side of the feeder away from the house. Perhaps I should use a remote camera set up? I guess I’m already nuts. I have a dedicated camera on a tripod pre-focused on the feeder. I just didn’t go all the way ‘round the bend.


Cat TV

By the time I get this post out, it will be winter into spring. Ha ha! We got a bird feeder. And now my cats gather to watch. They are mesmerized. They stare, sometimes in pairs, sometimes singly. The birds don’t mind. They are hungry and protected by the glass panes. No squirrels allowed! One finally found the feeder, made an attempt to eat, and then bounded away never to be seen again. The anti-squirrel cage works… for now. Why not feed the squirrels? We do it at the park. They are rodents in the rat and mouse family. At the house no! In the park, maybe?