Birds of Spring 2004

Click on each picture to see the enlarged version.

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The Scarlet Tanager has always been my favorite bird since I was a kid of nine and saw my first one. It's taken me 9 years to finally capture it in a photo. In the winter it is green.
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Here you see one with it's mate. You can tell the female not only by its duller, greenish color, but by the simple fact that it appears to be the boss. 
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What few people know is that the red of the Scarlet Tanager's feathers is only on the tips of the feathers. If you were to examine the feathers closely, the red begins to fade just below the surface from red to orange to white. Most of it's feather is pure white.
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This is a male Ruby Throated Hummingbird. I've had a difficult time capturing a male at my house because every time one comes to drink, the female chases it off. Hopefully I'll be able to eventually capture one in full light so you can see it glisten. 
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This fellow flew over while I was shooting the Scarlet Tanagers and I thought, well, heck, I missed again. Then suddenly it was back and because I was being very still, it landed just fifteen feet away. To hear this bird's call, Click Here.
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You have to have the patience of a sniper to be a good nature photographer. It also helps to have lenses that cost as much as a good Harley Davidson. However, this guy got close enough to spit on and posed for about 12 shots.
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I had to digitally blow this one up, he was so high up in the tree waiting for the feeder to free up. I've never seen them at a suet feeder previous to these few days of shooting.
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The light was not good on this day, but still I was able to speed up the shutter and capture some good action shots. To hear this guy's call, Click Here.
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This little thing is a Gold Finch. They love thistle seed. They are bright yellow in the summer, and grayish green in the winter.
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Who knew that the Scarlet Tanager liked orange juice? I've had oranges nailed to trees in my yard for 12 years and never once have I seen one there.
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These Blue Jays move fast so I had to snap this one quickly.
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Here is an action sequence. The Tanager comes in from above, touches down, spins around, and starts munching.
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I've never seen the underside of the Rose Breasted Gross Beak's wings. Now we know there's a bit more red on this fellow.
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He lands and stares down at me. He's been watching me all morning, making sure I'm not a predator.
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Here we see the Gross Beak from behind. Many animals have masks on their backs to frighten predators.
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Here is an action shot of a Cardinal landing at the feeder. Using a very fast shutter, I was able to capture many birds in flight, but since our minds always picture birds in flight with having their wings spread, the top right picture doesn't look like he's flying, but he is. I caught many pictures of birds in very strange postures, which, though flying, did not look like one would expect. Here we see him landing at the feeder, and then, because the Cardinal too is a very nervous bird around humans, he looks back at me to make sure I'm not going to jump up and eat him.

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