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Post  BackyardBirdGardner Sun 1 May 2011 - 14:20

I am going to try and get my May thread up soon in Midwest, with garden pics. But, I couldn't resist when I noticed my feeder activity perking up again.

I think the birds took a nice several week break because of claiming territories and nesting. However, the recent deluge of rains has brought them back around.....in droves. I had 11 goldfinches alone at the feeders a couple times today.

But, what I was really looking forward to was the return of my White-Crowned Sparrows. These little cuties are migrants in my area. They are moving back north to nest for summer. They are only here for about a week. So, when I see them, I drop everything and try and get some good shots of them.

I nailed a real cracker of a shot today....first attempt this year. Now, I can get back to business because my camera can't do much better than this one. So, I'm gonna show off a little. Hope you all enjoy these few shots.

Feeder busy with Goldfinches..
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Another Goldfinch..
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My pretty Song Sparrow in some branches..
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Now, my White-crowneds...
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Thanks for letting me share. And, now you know why I chose BBG for my screenname.
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Post  Josh Sun 1 May 2011 - 14:43

Your pictures are awesome!
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Post  WolfHeart Sun 1 May 2011 - 15:07

Shocked Those are AWESOME!!!!

You must have one of those bazooka lenses that I droll over cyclops

I think your song sparrow is a Lincoln's sparrow though Wink
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino Sun 1 May 2011 - 15:13

In your first feeder picture, is that a purple finch hiding out at the bottom of the feeder?
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Post  spankyleatherlips Sun 1 May 2011 - 15:56

I love you heart be still. Amazing!!!! Makes me want to dance naked in the rain!!!! affraid
Ain't life grand Smile
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Post  BackyardBirdGardner Sun 1 May 2011 - 16:20

@WolfHeart wrote:I think your song sparrow is a Lincoln's sparrow though Wink

Could be. I am not very good at ID'ing native sparrows. If it's a Lincoln's, I have a new sighting. So, let's hope I am very, very wrong....lol. Thanks for the compliment.
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Post  BackyardBirdGardner Sun 1 May 2011 - 16:26

@Nonna.PapaVino wrote:In your first feeder picture, is that a purple finch hiding out at the bottom of the feeder?

This is another combo that confuses me. The House Finch vs Purple Finch thing. They look very similar. Here is my reasoning, though.

House finches are year-round visitors for me. Purple finches only get down here in winter. The markings, though, are interesting, too. The house finch has a brownish strip from the back of the beak through the eye. The purple finch has a rosier head and an even lighter stripe above the eye. And, a house finch has a red patch on the rump between the wings when folded and sitting on his back.

But, no matter what I say on birding sites, I get "hey, isn't that the other?" LOL. So, I suppose none of us are really good at ID'ing these guys.

Again, thanks for the compliments. All of you!
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Post  quiltbea Sun 1 May 2011 - 17:05

I love your pictures. Such beautiful birds.
Thanks for sharing.
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Post  staf74 Sun 1 May 2011 - 17:09

WOW ...... just WOW !
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino Sun 1 May 2011 - 17:54

Yes, thanks for your wonderful pictures. We maintain several bird feeders throughout the winter and spring, and I derive a great deal of pleasure watching the birds. So, wanna share? What "bazooka" lens are you using?
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Post  BackyardBirdGardner Sun 1 May 2011 - 17:55

Judging by what I said of the House vs Purple finches, that may well be a Purple. Nice eye! I just assumed it was a House Finch w/o looking twice.
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Post  BackyardBirdGardner Sun 1 May 2011 - 17:59

@Nonna.PapaVino wrote:Yes, thanks for your wonderful pictures. We maintain several bird feeders throughout the winter and spring, and I derive a great deal of pleasure watching the birds. So, wanna share? What "bazooka" lens are you using?

55-250mm "kit" lens on my Canon EOS Rebel XSi body. Totally "beginner" stuff that anyone can do once they learn the basics of exposure, composition, and a little post-processing in the computer. Very basic stuff.

And, I'd be happy to tell any of who how I do it, because every single one of you can do the exact same thing.

Bring 'em in close with your feeders, offer a variety of seeds to attract a variety of species, and sit in your window and shoot pictures right and left. That's literally all there is to getting some pictures worthy of hanging on the wall. Now, if you want to "sell" them for a living, you need to get way better than this. And, along with the techniques, it also requires some very expensive equipment. What I have is good enough for what I want to do. I'll have to get my blog updated, too.
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Post  CindiLou Sun 1 May 2011 - 19:18

BBG, don't sell your photos short. There are several stock image sites that will let you sell on their site. Google for some research.

And it don't work to take photos out your window at beautiful birds if said window glass is around 100 yrs old Showing off! 889526 I have to have my set up out my side porch window. I spot the birds then cross my fingers they don't leave before I get to the porch! Darn things just won't stand still for photos! Showing off! 926169
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Post  clfraser Sun 1 May 2011 - 19:40

Very cool! I had a hummingbird outside my window the other day and didn't even have a feeder or anything. I can't wait to hang some feeders and see what we get. I know I won't be able to get pictures so great however!
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Post  camprn Sun 1 May 2011 - 19:41

Lovely lovely photos of wonderful birds BBG! I love finches. I snapped a few pics on my not so great point and shoot of the piliated woodpecker in my back yard last week! The bird and it's mate were B I G.
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Post  Furbalsmom Sun 1 May 2011 - 20:16

These pictures are from last spring. We had goldfinches, house/purple finches and red winged blackbirds. No talent with a point and shoot, but I loved watching them from my porch.
Gold finches came back last month.

Red winged black birds
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Gobs of Finches
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Coming in for a landing
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Post  The Cynergist Sun 1 May 2011 - 22:52

The pics are beautiful and I love the variety of feeders you have
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Post  Furbalsmom Mon 2 May 2011 - 1:09

Camprn, forgot to tell you how impressed I was with the pileated wood pecker, haven't seen one since I left Virginia in 94. The closest thing we have is a yellow breasted sap sucker, which never visits when I have the camera out.

BBG I always enjoy your bird photos.

Thanks, Cynergist. We try to feed the birds all year. The finches love the nylon sock type bags with Nijer (thistle) seed. The redwing blackbirds love the covered feeders and try to fling the seed off the feeder into the yard. Stellar Jays (much louder than a Blue Jay) terrorize the smaller birds and we had to put wire guards on everything, but the socks, to keep the Jays from emptying the feeders in minutes.

I don't have my hummer feeders up yet, the porch was semi closed in this winter and I can no longer get to the hooks to set up and keep clean feeders for those little ones.

We have already had a sparrow, a gold finch and two hummers get confused inside the porch and it is so hard to try to help them get out without stressing them even more. DH was using a broom to ease one hummer along, and the hummer perched on the end of the broom until DH gently carried the hummer outside (no camera No dag nab it)

When the weather dries up and warms up we will remove the windows around the covered porch and then the birds can come and go at will, among my hanging baskets.
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Post  BackyardBirdGardner Mon 2 May 2011 - 5:43

I forgot to mention I open my window just enough to stick the lens out. I use the house as my "blind." Although they notice me anyway.

I have an upstairs window for the birds in trees like finches, cardinals, and chickadees. However, I have a downstairs window for ground birds like doves, sparrows, and even the squirrels.

Those others are neat pictures, too. I've seen a pileated a couple of times, but I ran off afraid he'd take "mah babeeez." I know they are harmless, but they don't look it....they're huge.

I encourage you all to start a list of what you've seen in your yard, if interested. See how high you can get it. Here's mine....just since September when we moved into this new house....

List as of May 1st, 2011...29 species

- Carolina Wren*
- Eurasian Tree Sparrow*…aab lookup
- Northern Cardinal*
- Tufted Titmouse*
- Black-capped Chickadee*
- Blue Jay*
- White-breasted Nuthatch*
- Ruby-throated Hummingbird
- Mourning Dove*
- Common Grackle*
- American Goldfinch*
- Eastern Phoebe*
- Hairy Woodpecker
- Downy Woodpecker*
- American Robin*
- Brown-Headed Cowbird*
- Red-Bellied Woodpecker*
- Northern Mockingbird
- House Finch*
- Brown Creeper*
- White-throated Sparrow*
- Purple Finch*
- Dark-eyed Junco*
- Yellow-bellied Sapsucker* (first sighted 01/2011)
- Red-winged Blackbird*
- Rusty Blackbird* (first sighted 3/10/2011)
- Cedar Waxwing*
- White-crowned Sparrow*
- Chipping Sparrow*

The asterisk means I have a photo of the bird on file.
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Post  Old Hippie Mon 2 May 2011 - 11:22

Gorgeous pic of the pileated woodpecker. We have those up here too. They are HUGE!

Birdgardener and Wolfheart, we had lots of activity at our birdfeeders for a couple of weeks and now NOTHING. What's up with that?

Gwynn
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Post  Tril Mon 2 May 2011 - 11:30

Went for a 4 mile walk along the Kennebec this morning and saw male cardinal. Smile I could hear his mate singing in the trees, but didn't get a glimpse of her. He flew ahead and landed on brush and let us walk right by... so cool!
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Post  BackyardBirdGardner Mon 2 May 2011 - 14:59

@Old Hippie wrote:Gorgeous pic of the pileated woodpecker. We have those up here too. They are HUGE!

Birdgardener and Wolfheart, we had lots of activity at our birdfeeders for a couple of weeks and now NOTHING. What's up with that?

Gwynn

My guess is the same thing that happened to me a couple of weeks ago. You are in transition from winter to spring. The migrants are leaving, the year-rounders are either coming back around or territorializing again, molting, and generally trying to find mates. They are so busy, they are eating flower/leaf buds and all the like.....not much time for the seeds they've been eating all winter.....changing the pallet, if you will.

But, that's just a guess.
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Post  camprn Mon 2 May 2011 - 15:58

I still have some of the lovely birds come to visit, but no finches, as I take down my bird feeders when the bears wake up. Shocked
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Post  BackyardBirdGardner Mon 2 May 2011 - 17:40

@camprn wrote:I still have some of the lovely birds come to visit, but no finches, as I take down my bird feeders when the bears wake up. Shocked

Do the bears take the feed or the birds? I've never heard of anyone having to do this before......but, I don't know anyone living in "bear country" either.
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Post  camprn Mon 2 May 2011 - 17:48

@BackyardBirdGardner wrote:
@camprn wrote:I still have some of the lovely birds come to visit, but no finches, as I take down my bird feeders when the bears wake up. Shocked

Do the bears take the feed or the birds? I've never heard of anyone having to do this before......but, I don't know anyone living in "bear country" either.
When the bears come out of hibernation they are VERY hungry! Sunflower seeds are high in oils the bears really like. They go for birdfeeders because they are easy. Some people try to foil the bears and still feed the birds, but it is not easy to foil bears.
http://www.guy-sports.com/humor/pictures/picture_bear_birdfeeder.htm some folks say these pics are fake... could be, but the fact is bears can be determined and Bears are pretty darn smart.
More bear info
The bears also like bee hives, but mostly what they are looking for there is the brood=protein. The honey is a side dish.


Last edited by camprn on Mon 2 May 2011 - 17:57; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added info)
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