March 29, 2013

One More Sign of Spring

This morning I was finally able to capture the first photos of a Robin this spring.


Robin (1) (29-Mar-13; © Richard L. Bowman)


Robin (2) (29-Mar-13; © Richard L. Bowman)

March 28, 2013

Song Sparrow in Evening Sunlight

Last evening as the Sun was getting low in the sky, I captured several photos of a Song Sparrow in our lawn. It was camouflaged so well that only when it moved could I find it.

Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow (1) (27-Mar-13; © Richard L. Bowman)

Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow (2) (27-Mar-13; © Richard L. Bowman)

Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow (3) (27-Mar-13; © Richard L. Bowman)

March 27, 2013

Corrections Are Always Very Welcome!

In addition to my friend Gordie Shantz correcting my identification of Song Sparrow (which I had given the name of female House Finch), yesterday our son-in-law, Holden Byler, correctly identified the Common Grackle (which I had incorrectly listed as a Starling).

So folks, please keep me on my toes and honest! This is fun.

March 25, 2013

More Animals and Snow

By this morning we had at least 7 inches (18 cm) of snow on the ground. Here is a Mourning Dove resting in a snowy tree.

Mourning Dove in a tree

Mourning Dove in a tree (25-Mar-13; © Richard L. Bowman)

Here is another photo of the two Mourning Doves in the snow late yesterday afternoon.

two Mourning Doves in the snow

Two Mourning Doves in the snow (24-Mar-13; © Richard L. Bowman) 

As the snow began yesterday afternoon, this Song Sparrow was well camouflaged as its environment became dusted with snow.

Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow (24-Mar-13; © Richard L. Bowman) 

And a Squirrel also pauses in a tree as the snow begins.

Squirrel pauses as snow begins

A Squirrel in a tree (24-Mar-13; © Richard L. Bowman)

The results of the poll are in.

The bird whose bottom-side I captured yesterday morning is a Blue Jay. At least that is the consensus of those who responded, one of whom is our son-in-law, Holden Byler. His photography is outstanding, much better than mine, and he knows birds well. Take a look at some of his photos on Flickr

March 24, 2013

Snow and Birds Again, Again!

It is one week later, and I am again taking pictures of birds in the snow. But now I'm posting them on the same day I've taken them.

two mourning doves

Two Mourning Doves in the snow (24-Mar-13; © Richard L. Bowman) 

And it is time again for a "what-is-it." It was taken this morning as we left for church in the upper reaches of our more than 30 foot (>10 m) high ash tree. 

bird in a 30-foot high ash tree

Can you recognize a bird by their undersides? (24-Mar-13; © Richard L. Bowman)

I'm thinking it is a Blue Jay, but then I've never have looked at one from its underside. Let me know what you think. 

March 23, 2013

Snow and Birds Again

After a winter of not much snow, we are getting more of it as we head toward spring. The birds seem to cope well with more seeds and fluffed feathers. These photos were from last Sunday, and the forecast again for Sunday (March 24) is for snow!

Junco in snow

A Junco fluffs its feathers (17-Mar-13; © Richard L. Bowman) 

During this winter it has been nice not to have a flock of starlings come and eat most of the bird seed, but they have returned. I wonder how far south they go? 

Common Grackle 

The Common Grackles have returned. (17-Mar-13; © Richard L. Bowman)

I'm pretty sure I saw a Robin last evening, but I took too long getting my camera, so it was gone. 

birds at the feeder 

A male House Finch keeps watch as Sparrows bury their heads in the feeder. (17-Mar-13; © Richard L. Bowman) 

March 17, 2013

Birds in Trees and on the Ground

Again the birds below are not new to me, but I do like the venues they are in and their stance and colors. They are all worth admiring.

Female Cardinal

Female Cardinal looks around. (14-Mar-13; © Richard L. Bowman) 

Male Hourse Finch

Male House Finch stays warm. (14-Mar-13; © Richard L. Bowman) 


Junco fluffs its feathers to keep warm. (14-Mar-13; © Richard L. Bowman) 


Junco hunts for food. (14-Mar-13; © Richard L. Bowman) 

March 12, 2013

More Birds Before, During and After the Snow Came

I'll introduce these photos in reverse chronological order with the most recent ones first.

We have a Mourning Dove cooing on our porch these days. While spring has not yet truly arrived here, the Mourning Dove is beginning to make a next in an old hanging basket of flowers. She roosts on the nearby maple tree when she is not on the nest. There are no eggs in the nest as of today.

Mourning Dove roosting

Mourning Dove rests from her nest building. (8-Mar-13; © Richard L. Bowman) 

It is hard to believe that just six days ago we had a snow storm that dumped more than a foot of snow on us. The birds had to stay warm, too.

Cardinal in a anow storm

Male Cardinal endures the snow storm. (6-Mar-13; © Richard L. Bowman) 

And while I was taking pictures in the midst of the snow storm, I caught this male House Finch in flight. (Note that the 30o angle of the bird feeder was due to the lopsided snow cap on the feeder.)

House Finch in flight

Male House Finch flies from feeder. (6-Mar-13; © Richard L. Bowman) 

Look carefully at the feet and legs of the House Finch. They are bent just right for leaving a perch and for landing on a perch. Now compare the above photo with the one I posted back in February of a Sea Gull in Belize. The Sea Gull is prepared for streamline flight with its legs stretched straight-out behind along its line of flight.

Sea Gull in flight

Sea Gull in flight (22-Sep-12; © Richard L. Bowman) 

And I cannot resist posting a shot of this photogenic bird, the Blue Jay, even if they tend to be the bullies around the feeders.

Blue Jay at feederB

Blue Jay (5-Mar-13; © Richard L. Bowman) 

March 6, 2013

Before and After the Snow Came

We are finally getting our big snow storm for the season. It began last evening and is continuing today with more than a foot on the ground already. I posted a couple of pictures on my Landscape and Other Venuses Blog.

And the birds are dealing with the storm by eating even while it is snowing.

at a bird feeder during a snow storm

House Finches store up the food. (6-Mar-13; © Richard L. Bowman) 

Even before the snow came, the Junco below was keeping warm by fluffing its feathers while roosting in a tree. (See the February 2013 archive for more photos of birds with fluffed feathers.)

staying warm while roosting in a tree

Junco fluffs its feathers to keep warm. (5-Mar-13; © Richard L. Bowman) 

A White-throated Sparrow (or maybe more than one) seems to like our backyard, too.

White-throated Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow (5-Mar-13; © Richard L. Bowman) 

There were at least eight on the ground at any time for several minutes.

White-throated Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow (5-Mar-13; © Richard L. Bowman) 

March 4, 2013

Juncos Come in Flocks!

Until last Thursday I was not aware of how often Juncos came in flocks. Below are two that I caught near each other as they searched for seeds that had fallen on the ground.

two Juncos on the ground

Two Juncos--from a flock (28-Feb-13; © Richard L. Bowman) 

There were at least eight on the ground at any time for several minutes.

--©2013, Richard L. Bowman

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