Ruby Crowned Kinglet
I was photographing a couple of other birds when this Ruby Crowned Kinglet stole the show. He was zipping at blazing speed through the branches, and I'm pretty sure he completely ignored me the brief time he was there.
Great Blue Heron
I couldn't help but laugh at this Great Blue Heron. He would skate from place to place on the thinly frozen lake and peck at the ice. I'm sure he could see the fish below but couldn't quite work out how to get to them.
Sometimes it takes the red breast of an American Robin to warm my day. It was a cold day in December when I saw this robin eating berries deep in a Common Privet, but I had to wait until he had his fill and came out on an open branch to get this shot.
Female Rose-breasted Grosbeak
I saw this female Rose-breasted Grosbeak in a bit of a run down garden. Even with long-empty feeders she had found a sunflower seed and immediately flew to this perch. With that look, I'm guessing that sharing it was just out of the question.
I followed this Red-Shouldered Hawk to 3 different trees before I got him in the open and in good light. My heart was pounding hoping he would stay long enough to get a shot. He didn't linger since he was on the hunt and soon moved on.
This American Pipit was exciting to me because it was the first time I'd ever seen one! She was challenging to capture, pecking the ground and often changing direction like a wild hen. It was all I could do to keep up, but I finally caught her in the warm afternoon light.
It's easy to lump sparrows into little brown jobs, but I love the often subtle differences. I hope to photograph as many species as possible, so I was excited to capture this Swamp Sparrow finally. There was a pair, but only this one came out of the dense brush at sunset.
I followed this Swainson's Thrush from perch to perch. Occasionally he would glance at me but was apparently more interested in looking around for insects. It resulted in some interesting poses, but I waited for one that really stood out. That's when I took this shot.
Male Northern Cardinal
This male Northern Cardinal was flying between a small clump of Cedar Trees. I positioned myself where I could see most of the open perches, hoping he would pick one where I could get a shot. It took a while, but he eventually landed on this branch.
Snow Goose in a gaggle of Canada Geese
I was photographing a gaggle of Canada Geese when this Snow Goose landed in their midst, wet from a nearby lake. At first, the Canada Geese moved away and paused with heads held high. That's when I got this shot.
Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird
This female Ruby-throated Hummingbird was feeding at flowers but didn't stay. Then she flew to perch on a limb but again didn't stay. I finally got this shot as she waited her turn at a feeder. Later I noticed the tiny red glint of the feeder's reflection in her eye.
Male Acorn Woodpecker
This male Acorn Woodpecker was foraging alone and flew a short distance every time I tried to approach him. I decided to stay further back and settle for this more distant shot because he was in such lovely light. Then he flew away to join another male.
The Steller's Jay is one of my favorite western corvids. These beautiful birds are common around picnic areas hoping for handouts, but this one was in the forest. I held my breath expecting her to fly away, but she was calm as I got several photos before she moved on.
The Tufted Titmouse is often less afraid of people than other birds, so I wasn't too surprised when this one landed on a nearby branch. I was curious when he seemed to ignore me entirely and focus only on something further up the tree.
My granddaughter (4), likes bird photos and is learning their names. Yesterday she went birding with me and saw several birds, including this Red-headed Woodpecker. She learned to be quiet and walk slowly towards the birds. This is the photo she suggested I share with you.
I heard the loud and distinct call of the Carolina Wren and followed it to his tree. These small birds can be difficult to find unless they are moving. Soon enough I spotted him and got this shot as he turned around mid-call to see what I was doing.
Male House Finch
I was taking photos of a female House Finch when the male landed in this lovely light on this open branch. He gave me a couple of quick glances before turning his attention to his mate and then moving along.
Immature Female Hooded Warbler
I could use some help with this beautiful bird. I don't know how to describe the color. It's not precisely yellow or tan. Would you call it gold? As close as I can come to identification is an immature female Hooded Warbler. I'm hoping a more experienced birder can help.
I loved the light on this Carolina Chickadee for the way it revealed his bold markings and fine feather detail. He was friendly and very curious, always seeming to select a perch where I could watch him, or more importantly, where he could watch me.
Male Red-winged Blackbird
This male Red-winged Blackbird landed and fluffed his wings a bit just after sunrise. Other males were calling, but he was surprisingly silent. He changed positions a few times, glancing at me occasionally, but seemed content to hold his ground as the sun rose higher.
Male Eastern Bluebird
The Eastern Bluebird can brighten even the dullest day. There was a pair in the area, and I was hoping this male would come out on a clear branch, but he was apparently comfortable where he was. Fortunately, there was just enough light on him to get this shot.
Male American Goldfinch
I had been watching this male American Goldfinch fly around the area, usually hiding in a tangle of small branches. He moved often and even more quickly when I raised my camera, but I was ready when he landed on this more open branch.
I've never thought of birds as being "snooty," until I saw this White-breasted Nuthatch. Not only wouldn't he give me a profile shot or show any of his back colors, but he also lifted his nose as if thumbing it at me, deciding this would be all I got, and then he was gone.
This Cooper's Hawk in sunset light and surrounded by feathers is a classic "Circle of Life" photo. I had to cross a ditch and hide behind bushes as I weaved my way to her. The last hurdle was getting close enough to get a shot without scaring her off.
This beautiful bird is almost certainly an Eastern Phoebe, but it has a warm colored belly. It was obscured by a tangle of branches, and there was no way to get a clear shot. Then he flew to this open branch, pausing long enough for me to get this.
Male Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Capturing this male Ruby-throated Hummingbird in flight was a challenge that took many attempts. Depending on the light and angle of view, his throat can appear various shades of red or even black, so I was happy to catch him in this light.
Male Indigo Bunting
Initially, this male Indigo Bunting flew away every time I pointed the camera at him but didn't go far. He eventually stayed put long enough to give me this over the shoulder glance just before taking off again.
I love sparrows and still remember how taken I was on first seeing the White-crowned. This one seemed to be staring me down, but not showing any of his warm brown feathers until another bird landed nearby. The sun helped me get lots of details down to his tiny little fingernails.
Sometimes I "think" a bird is watching me, but in this case, I was sure of it. This male Northern Cardinal landed behind one tree and then another, occasionally peeking out at me. It was brief, so at first, I wasn't prepared, but I was ready the third time and captured this shot.
Male Rose-breasted Grosbeak
This male Rose-breasted Grosbeak was part of a pair. I had been watching them interact when the female landed nearby, but in the dense brush where I couldn't get a photo. Then the male followed her, but landed in the clear, allowing me to get this shot.
Female Northern Cardinal
I noticed a few birds in a grassy area between trees. I decided to get low and see if I could get a good shot. After a while, this beautiful female Northern Cardinal hopped along into camera range. She was the only one that came my way, but I was thrilled she did.
I watched this Pine Siskin alternate between gleaning through the foliage and visiting a busy feeder 20 feet away. Her quick movement made it difficult to follow her with my camera, and I sensed that approaching her wouldn't work, so I waited until she landed on this open branch.
Male American Kestrel
This male American Kestrel had disappointed me many times, taking off when I tried to get an even distant shot. I decided to try again, approaching ever so slowly. He quivered and flapped his wings twice, but this time stayed put, allowing me to get this shot.
I never got very close to this Eastern Meadowlark. Approaching birds in an open field is as hard as it gets, resulting in small, halting steps as the bird zips along, and usually away from me. Then he turned and ran a short distance in parallel, and I quickly snapped this shot.
I love the warm colors and bold markings of the Hermit Thrush, but this shy bird has been my nemesis, peaking out only to quickly retreat. This time I sat still for about 30 minutes waiting for him to come out of the dense brush far enough to get this photo.
I was walking down a back road when I saw this Great Egret some distance away striding through the water. He was slowing down as they do when they are approaching prey. As he became still, I got this photo, but he came up empty and looked elsewhere for lunch.
I watched this Yellow-rumped Warbler, aka Butter Butt, feeding on insects as she flew between trees. Each time she seemed to pause and check on me, but was rarely within camera range. Eventually she landed in a closer tree and allowed me to get this shot.
Northern Mockingbird in berries
There is so much I would like to say in a holiday tweet, but nothing more than "Thank You!" I'm grateful for your kind comments, follows, likes, and especially retweets. You help share my work and good can come from it if just one person has a brighter day from one of my photos.
I was surprised to see this Brown Thrasher slowly emerge from the dense brush. They are very tentative for such large birds. I knew she was headed for the ground litter to scare up insects and patiently waited until she was in the clear.
I was returning from a day of birding and had already lost the light at ground level. Along the way, I saw this Common Grackle bathed in the last rays of the setting sun on the highest perch around. This was the last shot of the day.
Male Eastern Towhee
This male Eastern Towhee was scratching up dinner at sunset when he stopped to check on me. He noticed me earlier but didn't run off right away. However, after this pause, he started working his way towards the dense brush and soon he was gone.
Male Vermilion Flycatcher
This is another pose of the male Vermilion Flycatcher I posted last year. The photo is a highly cropped distant shot because he would not let me get near him. When I retreated, he returned to the same spot so it must have been a favorite perch.
Male Golden-fronted Woodpecker
The Golden-fronted Woodpecker occurs primarily in Texas and Mexico. I saw this male in a distant tree and got as close as I could before he gave me that "You're not from around here, are you?" look and then took off.
Female Black-and-White Warbler
I love the dark black and pure white markings of this Black-and-White Warbler, but her intense acrobatics searching for food in every hole and crevice made getting a good photo almost impossible. She finally stopped to check me out, long enough to get this shot.
Male Common Yellowthroat
The Common Yellowthroat is a curious bird, and this male proved the point. I think he found me before I saw him in dense foliage. Satisfied that I was completely boring, he returned his focus to gleaning insects from underneath leaves and along small branches.