There are times when I look out the window of our rural home and think, “What a circus!” Birds are flying in every direction to take advantage of a free meal from one of our many feeders.
Of all the birds we see, the American Goldfinches are among the most active and consistent performers at our house. It can be quite entertaining to watch them zipping in and out; hither and yon.
When frozen by the camera, the Goldfinch’s quick, bouncy style of flight seems unnatural and awkward.
All of the birds in this photo are American Goldfinches – except the one Chipping Sparrow whose tail can bee seen as he perches on the back side of the feeder.
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This image was taken on a drab and drizzly day, so you’ll notice his feathers appear a bit damp.
There is no shortage of Goldfinches at our house – year round. (Might have something to do with the food we put out.) It’s nice to see them back in their bright yellow and black plumage for the spring and summer.
(Click on the main image for a larger view.)
This prim and proper lady enters the grand dining hall with a curtsey. The camera caught this female mourning dove landing on the the edge of the feeder in such a way that it reminded me of a curtsy. The proud posturing of the male made it seem more so…at least, to me.
It’s springtime so, as you would expect, they’re trying to impress one another.
The smaller image is the same pair just hanging out together.
We get quite a collection of mourning doves at our house.
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This is a Sandhill Crane. They’ve recently migrated back to our area of Wisconsin. You know their back in the area long before you see one by their amazingly loud and irritating call. Sandhill Cranes are large birds, standing nearly 4 ft tall with a wingspan of 6 to 8 feet. (Learn more about Sandhill Cranes HERE)
These exotic birds have become common during the warmer months but are very difficult to photograph (at least, for me) because they are extremely shy. When you attempt to get close enough to capture a good image they flee.
This opportunity came by chance. I was driving home and noticed a pair of cranes grazing near the road a couple of hundred yards before my house. I drove by and turned around when I thought I was far enough away that I wouldn’t spook them. I got my camera out of the case and then headed back down the road. (I try to always keep my camera with me.)
I took this photo while driving with one hand holding the camera and one hand on the wheel. I was the only vehicle on the road and moved as slow as I thought I could without sending the birds to flight. Even at 30-mph, the cranes became agitated and started to move. They were out of range before I could circle back for another shot.
I will keep a lookout for more opportunities to capture Sandhill Cranes. If I succeed, you’ll see them on this blog.
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Just hours old, these bluebirds are waiting for their siblings to hatch. All of them successfully hatched and fledged.
I shot this by lifting the top off the bluebird house and shooting straight down with my Kodak Easyshare DX7590. This photo was taken in early June of 2010.
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These guys are harder to photograph than I had imagined.
There’s an avairy in the lobby of a nursing home where I visit a friend. I’ve walked by it a hundred times and admired the dozen or more birds that are part of the display. Since my friend wasn’t up for much of a visit, I stopped on my way out and fired up the camera.
These guys are fast! They rarely pause for more than a second or two. They are continually bouncing from one perch to another, squabbling with one another or preening with their head under a wing or other unsightly places. My camera has a “Continuous Advance” setting, where, if you hold the shutter button down, it will keep clicking off photos. I held the button down for a round of about 7 shots and not one of them caught the bird in an appealing pose. This is one of those times where I snapped 60-70 photos and only kept two.
The aviary is constructed of oak and plexiglass, so I employed a Circular Polarizing filter to cut down on the glare. It didn’t totally eliminate it, but it helped. I don’t notice any glare in this image.
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