Archive for ‘Birds’

June 20, 2010

This Made Me Happy Today – Part 2

Yesterday I posted about my fortunate Cardinal sighting.  Earlier this evening I noticed him hanging around the front yard so I grabbed my camera to see if I might capture a few more good shots.  I determined that this particular bird was not really too bothered with my presence — and he proceeded to flit about the front yard stopping to pose for me in various locations. Mrs. Cardinal appeared on the scene shortly after I started.  As usual, she is more difficult to capture since she blends in with the trees so well.  But surprisingly, both of them were staying close together and only venturing a short distance from my front porch.

Getting comfortable with the Camera.

Another rare sighting of the Mrs.

So as I was watching them move about the yard, she starting flying back and forth between my Lilac tree and the Maple about 5 feet away.  It seemed kind of strange.  Then as she made another visit to the Lilac Tree (which I eventually figured out contained their “Nest”) out pops this other bird who then perched atop the tree.  It was kind of non-descript – round and grey with a little tuft on top of its head.

Then the new bird started to fly away — well at least it made an attempt.  It lifted off a few inches – flapped it’s wings, but only made it to the next branch before landing again.  Meanwhile the Mrs. was continuing the back and forth routine. And Mr. was close by keeping watch.

Then it dawned on me — the way they were both acting – flying about the yard, repeatedly moving from tree to tree, then to the roof, then back to the trees again — finally made sense.  This is a baby Cardinal, and they are trying to teach it to fly!!   What a neat thing to discover…it never occurred to me how this process happened, but I guess it’s not all that different than teaching a baby to walk.

Unfortunately, I don’t think the baby was too engaged in the plan today, since it quickly retreated back into the tree and wouldn’t come out again.  Maybe it was tired or just not ready.  I hope it wasn’t just camera shy.

🙂

I’ll be on the lookout for future training sessions as well as figuring out if the “it” will be a girl or a boy…

June 19, 2010

This Made Me Happy Today

Whenever I can combine my love of birds and birdwatching with my passion for photography — and my timing is good — I get very excited!!  From just minutes ago…my 2010 resident Cardinal…

My Cardinal

Finally - he sits still long enough for me to take a picture...

My Cardinal 2

...and he even gave me a few different poses.

[He was high up in the tree above my garage -- captured with my 75-300mm  telephoto lens.]

I have loved bird-watching for as long as I can remember. Cardinals in particular fascinate me for some reason.  They are obviously beautiful birds – yes, even the more subdued female – and I like to listen to them talk to each other in the trees.  I’m still trying to figure out the songs of many of the birds, but the Cardinal conversations always stick out to me over all the other chatter.  He always has so much to say — she responds with single syllable cheeps.  WHEN I get the rare chance to actually see it – they are so cute together.  Here was  one of those rare occasions — a few weeks ago — when I captured them working together.  I didn’t have my new camera yet, so I was fortunate that I could get a decent shot from my patio door without disturbing them…

Mr. & Mrs Cardinal 2010

A rare sighting of the pair...

It’s not as clear as I would like, but I had to crop it close to get rid of all of the weeds 🙂 .  She is harder to spot on her own in the trees, but in other settings her red beak makes her hard to miss.

One thing I’m happy about is that Shaggy and Willie don’t seem to care much about birds — so they appear to be able to co-exist in my backyard without much problem.  Since I put the feeders out last summer, I think the dogs have gotten used to them regularly being close to the house.  Now squirrels on the other hand – don’t fare so well with them…I’ll save that for another post as it has a whole different story line.

The other birds also deserve some space too, so Chickadees can also have their own post at some point.