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Tuesday, April 30, 2013


by Mauverneen                                                

I have filled my hummingbird feeder and hung it outside, just in case there are any – um, you know - early birds. So far, all I have is a feeder full of ants. But they’ll come. They always do. Quick, lively and colorful, they are always fun to watch and a challenge to photograph. I’m also wondering when the Indigo Buntings will show up. Another sure sign of spring.

Hummingbird at the feeder
Hummingbirds might be the most fun, but winter or summer, the backyard feeders attract many different kinds of birds. There are Yellow Finches, House Finches, Juncos, Cowbirds, Jays, several types of Woodpeckers, Nuthatches, Chickadees, Cardinals, and even Hawks.  Besides of course your everyday Robins and Sparrows. In cold weather I shoot through the window if I see something interesting, but in warmer weather, I set up my tripod and my remote and patiently wait. And wait. And wait some more.

Male Cardinal
Female Cardinal
“How many pictures of birds do you need?” my mother wants to know. “You must have a hundred by now.”  I pretend not to hear. It’s probably more like 300. Of just hummingbirds.

When all the flowers are in bloom there will be hummingbirds in the nearby park, too. I always bump into other hopefuls with cameras there.  The creek that runs through the park has Herons, Geese and Ducks. Just last week I saw three Cormorants sitting on a branch overhanging the water. That was exciting - Something new!

Cormorant spreading it's wings
I’ve seen several ‘new to me’ birds recently. Each one sends me running to the computer to do a search. I’ve spotted an Eastern Bluebird and a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers in the park. As many times as I’ve been back looking for them, they are not there. A couple of months ago a flock of very pretty Cedar Waxwings hung around for a few days and just the other day I’ve seen what I think is a Yellow Rumped Warbler.  
Pair of Pileated Woodpeckers
I’ve taken to wearing binoculars around the back yard and I think a bird identification book would be a good gift for Mother’s Day this year.

Good Lord! I’ve turned into a birder!
Cedar Waxwings

Downy Woodpecker
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