April 21, 2013

A Roundup of  Birds for Spring

In the past week, I captured photographs of several birds which were interesting to me. Hope they interest you , too.

 First there is a male House Finch that for some reason seems almost to be visible in 3-D.  

Male House Finch 

Male House Finch. (13-Apr-13; © Richard L. Bowman)

While during the winter I sometimes caught the Cardinals with their crown feathers down, spring must be for love because now they are always showing their plumage. Take a note of this female Cardinal.

Female Cardinal 

Female Cardinal (14-Apr-13; © Richard L. Bowman)

This spring it seems that different birds are closer together than they were in the winter. Are they possibly more sensitive to the male of their species than to other species?  

cardinal and ... 

Female Cardinal and Female House Sparrow (14-Apr-13; © Richard L. Bowman)

And There are just the different photos of many of the birds I have seen this winter and spring..


Male House Sparrow (15-Apr-13; © Richard L. Bowman)

Below is a sparrow which I just assumed, with my poor eyesight, while taking the picture was just another of the usual sparrows or finches. But I believe it is the first Tree Sparrow I have recorded a photo of. (I ask all to check me out and let me know if I am right or wrong.)


Tree Sparrow (15-Apr-13; © Richard L. Bowman)

I just love the small yellow patch above the eye on the White-throated Sparrows we have in our backyard. It adds class to what might be called a common and drab bird. 


White-throated Sparrow (17-Apr-13; © Richard L. Bowman)

I hope you are having fun observing birds around your house or apartment. 

April 10, 2013

Sit and Rest Awhile!

Yesterday (Monday) afternoon, I captured a few more photos that proved interesting.

First, here is a composite of two photos taken ONLY six (6) seconds apart. I had been trying to capture a bird in a tree in our backyard, but when I downloaded the photos to my computer, I discovered I had captured a bird perching on a branch and then settling down and sitting on it. Apparently their legs get tired, too!

Junco perching then sitting on branch

A Junco takes a break in a tree. (8-Apr-13; © Richard L. Bowman)

And it seemed to be a good time to photograph a male House Sparrow on one of the steps of the deck behind our house.

Male House Sparrow

Male House Sparrow (8-Apr-13; © Richard L. Bowman)

It is exciting to learn new things about our biological world and to renew acquaintances with "old" animal friends.  

April 8, 2013

More Old and New Friends

Yesterday (Sunday) and this morning, I captured some more old and new friends on film. OK, it is not film; it is digital media!

First, I documented the definite return of the starlings. 

Starlings have returned

A Starling visits our suet feeder. (7-Apr-13; © Richard L. Bowman)

Every once in awhile, I need to find a bird that is difficult for me to identify and makes some discussion with my friendly experts. So which woodpecker is eyeing me from the other side of the seed cake feeder?

Our son-in-law, Holden Byler, sent me a link to a web site that compares both woodpeckers for those of us who have a hard time deciding between the two. So primarily on its smaller size, I have called it a Downy Woodpecker. But I could be persuaded either way. 

Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker? (7-Apr-13; © Richard L. Bowman)

And there is always the nasty sounding bird with no manners but with such beautifully colored feathers--the Blue Jay.  

Blue Jay in a tree

Blue Jay in a tree (7-Apr-13; © Richard L. Bowman)

Blue Jay on the ground 

Blue Jay on the ground (7-Apr-13; © Richard L. Bowman)

A new one for this year, is the Female Brown-headed Cowbird. It and a Mourning Dove ambled around on the ground looking for food while seeming to be unaware of the other's presence.  

Female Brown-headed Cowbird & Mourning Dove 

Female Brown-headed Cowbird & Mourning Dove (7-Apr-13; © Richard L. Bowman)

Since it is a new bird for this blog, here is a close-up.

Female Brown-headed Cowbird 

Female Brown-headed Cowbird (7-Apr-13; © Richard L. Bowman)

And a very old friend, the Male House Finch, but this time he is up in a tree. I think this is the first time I have photographed him in that locale.

Male House Finch 

Song Sparrow (6-Apr-13;; © Richard L. Bowman)

But now I have another question. That cannot be an ear we are seeing on the side of his head, can it? Well, something new to research. 

April 6, 2013

Old and New Friends Stay Around

The past two days I have capture some of my old bird friends from the winter and a couple of the more recent ones, too. First is a robin in the tree. Until I started getting their photographs, I mostly would have seen them search for food in the lawn. Seeing them in trees makes them seem more wild and not just a "domesticated" spring bird dear to elementary school children.

Robin in a tree

Robin in a tree(5-Apr-13; © Richard L. Bowman)

Recently I have been able to photograph some of the birds in our yard in the late afternoon sunshine. The Common Grackle shows its iridescent head very clearly in the photo below.!

Common Grackle in late afternoon sunshine

A Common Grackle showing its iridescent head (5-Apr-13; © Richard L. Bowman)

If the Common Grackle is photographed in shadow or filtered sunlight, its head is still slightly iridescent but its black coat is rather muted.

Common Grackle in filtered sunlight

A Common Grackle in filtered sunlight (6-Apr-13; © Richard L. Bowman)

Today was the first time I found a Carolina Wren in our yeard. The one I discovered at the end of February was at our daughter's and son-in-law's home in Pennsylvania.

Carolina Wren picks at the seed cake 

Carolina Wren (1-Apr-13; © Richard L. Bowman)

The steady and stately Mourning Dove is still a standard presence in our backyard. Hmmm...I'm trying to remember if they stay around all year. Yes, they do. I now remember the one who raised her young in one of our hanging plants on our front porch a few years ago. 

Mourning Dove

Mourning Dove (6-Apr-13; © Richard L. Bowman)

And another friend likes our backyard--the Song Sparrow. 

Female House Sparrow

Song Sparrow (6-Apr-13;; © Richard L. Bowman)

I still enjoy photographing my old friends, but I also get excited about new ones, as well.  

April 4, 2013

A Squirrel and a Video

I think the photo below is the best one yet that I have taken of a Squirrel. What do you think? DO NOT forget to check out the video clip below!

a squirrel eating

Squirrel Eating (3-Apr-13; © Richard L. Bowman)

And your children or grandchildren might appreciate this short video of this Squirrel playing energetically in the Spring.

If you would like to save this video to your computer, permission is granted to do so by right-clicking on the link and saving the target. For permission to use this video or any photos in a commercial project, please contact me.

April 2, 2013

Birds and More--for Spring

The past few days I have captured a number of birds and a squirrel as they visited our backyard. Robins are becoming more plentiful in just a few days of when they have first shown their presence.


Robin (31-Mar-13; © Richard L. Bowman)

This Squirrel is healthy enough after a hard winter--probably from eating my bird seed!

a healthy Squirrel 

A healthy Squirrel hunts for more food. (1-Apr-13; © Richard L. Bowman)

a Squirrel eats 

A Squirrel eagerly snacks on the food found. (1-Apr-13; © Richard L. Bowman)

The two photos coming up next amazed me when I looked at them on the computer. I have a visual handicap (retinal scarring) that has wiped out the central vision in my left eye and 7/8 of the central vision in my right eye. Thus I was not sure that I had actually focused on the bird before I saw the product on the computer. Way to go Canon SX30 IS!

female House Sparrow 

Female House Sparrow (1) (1-Apr-13; © Richard L. Bowman)


Female House Sparrow (2) (1-Apr-13; © Richard L. Bowman)

Then for another surprise when I looked at my photos on the computer, this little Tufted Titmouse had been caught eating at the feeder. But it moved so fast that I only got one shot off before it was gone. This is my first photo of this bird species.

Tufted Titmouse

Tufted Titmouse (1-Apr-13;; © Richard L. Bowman)

Several years ago my sister (Janet) gave me a bird house as a Christmas present. Until this year, we had not seen any birds nesting in it. Now it looks like a House Sparrow pair may be calling it home.

House Sparrow pair near bird house

Female and Male House Sparrows (1-Apr-13; © Richard L. Bowman)

Then later in the day I came at the bird house from the other side and discovered that the Female House Sparrow was sitting on the birdhouse porch.

female House Sparrow on the bird house

Female House Sparrow (1) (1-Apr-13; © Richard L. Bowman)

And I cannot complete this day without showing the most common resident in our backyard this winter--the Junco..


Junco (1-Apr-13; © Richard L. Bowman)

--©2013, Richard L. Bowman

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