Tag Archives: songbirds

Still Testing the New Camera

Actually, I’m not really testing the Nikon. I’m playing. Testing sounds more mature. My kitties have been photographed so often that they believe the camera is part of my face. As it turns out the Nikon B500 is a pretty impressive camera. It takes great photos and is far easier on batteries than my Kodak. Unfortunately, the autofocus performs almost as badly as the auto focus on the Kodak CD1013 so I’m struggling with focusing at long distances. There has to be some trick to getting the Nikon to focus on the distant bird, and not on the tree behind it. I’ll have to spend a little less time taking photos and a little more time searching the Internet for answers.

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First Wildlife Photos With the New Nikon

 

I got a few moments this morning to take a couple of bird photos with the new Nikon Coolpix B500. I have pretty shaky hands and didn’t use the tripod so I expected them to be pretty bad, especially since I had to zoom in. So far it’s proving to be a good little camera. I can’t wait to see how well it does with the tripod.

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Hey! The Feeder is Empty… and Broken.

Before daylight this morning I was awake. Not that I am an early riser. I hadn’t been asleep. It was just one of those nights. I’m not sure what drew my attention to the window, but out by the pond was a large black shape that I was sure hadn’t been there the night before. Family members often go up to the pond just to sit and look out at the water. It was probably just a lawn chair, I decided. Then the lawn chair began to move. I watched for a few moments, then raced upstairs to shake my sleeping husband.

“Wake up!” I commanded, “There’s a bear cub in the back yard!”

Of course, by the time I drug the poor groggy man downstairs and to the window there was nothing to see in the darkness but darkness, but dawn brought another sight.

This little lady was perched on the lilac bush with her beak almost against the window. As she peered into the human world inside, her loud “Cheep! Cheep! Cheep!” announced that all was not well, and she wanted her people to know about it! The feeding shelf had been licked completely clean and was hanging precariously by a mere corner. It looks like it’s time to change the location of the feeding station for the summer.
Sue

(I’m not sure if I have the birds and squirrels trained, or if they have trained me. If that feeder is empty they always find a way to tell me about it. )

 

 

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The Fledglings have Landed

Well, the kids are back early, and they are regretting it. Usually the Red-winged Blackbirds return to our area in great flocks sometime in April, but yesterday as I was attempting to capture bird photos through the snowflakes, I caught sight of two pairs. (You never realize how irritating snowflakes are until you try taking photos in a snowstorm.) These gung-ho youngsters obviously decided their fuddy-duddy elders were being too cautious and struck out on their own. One  bird still had his baby tufts.

Sorry, kids. We’re having a second winter up here.

Sue

 

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Return of the Ice Age

When I went to bed last night it was spring. Where did this come from???

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The Blue Jays are Getting Braver!

The blue jays have been coming to my window feeder for years, but in spite of the fact that these birds are often contentious and some times even downright hostile, they have also proven to be quite shy. The slightest move from someone on the inside will send them soaring out of range. For some reason this winter’s birds don’t seem to object to having their picture taken.

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HUMMINGBIRD OR HOUSE FINCH?

I was birdwatching with my  mom today, and birdwatching with my elderly mother is always educational, and never boring. I have never come across a bird that she doesn’t know the name of.  She recognizes their songs, and is familiar with their feeding habits and behavior, so when mom says that she’s seen an unusual sight, I know that it must be something incredible: like the patient, red-bellied woodpecker that finally lost his cool and cracked the irritating, red squirrel on the head with his beak, or the white falcon that landed on the garage roof one snowy, winter’s evening. Those stories always leave me sighing, “I wish I had been there to see that!”

This afternoon, I was actually with her at the right time. While we were watching the goldfinches quarreling over the hanging bags of  thistle seed and the stately blue jays strutting about the grass in search of scattered bird feed, Mom found the opportunity to introduce me to a pair of house finches that had been making a habit of drinking from her hummingbird feeder. I rushed for my camera so that I could share this moment with you. Unfortunately the male had flown away before I managed to focus, and an oncoming storm played havoc with the lighting, but you can see from the photo that this is definitely not  your common hummingbird.

How this pair manages to get nectar out of those tiny holes is a mystery, but their frequent visits to the feeder suggests that they are getting something!house finch eating from hummingbird feeder photo photography house finch eating from hummingbird feeder photo photography house finch eating from hummingbird feeder photo photography

Note: A little research identified the bug from last week’s blog article as an “eyed elater” otherwise known as an “eyed click-bug.” They are a harmless and very helpful insect. The adults live on nectar, but the larvae eat wood-boring insects. If this critter’s kids eat termites, I’m rolling out the red carpet. The eyed click-bug is welcome to stay!

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