No Bird Left Behind

When sorting through my shots with an eye towards putting together a blog post, sometimes I find that some of my favorite images just don’t find a place. I have never really liked posting a single image – I like making sets, so what do I do with these shots? Today I decided to put the orphaned shots together into a set of my favorite leftover shots of the Spring of 2013.

Not all of these are perfect or in focus, with wildlife sometimes you take the shot because it just happens. Where a shot fits into a previous post, I have placed a link into the text.

Precision extraction

Precision extraction

I adore nuthatches, but almost all of my shots are upside down or their swooning pose. These are really adroit birds and can climb almost any surface. I like this shot because it shows off his dexterity. He will take that single seed and fly to a secure perch where he will carefully open and eat it.

Rainforest Cafe

Rainforest Cafe

Robins are everywhere and I loved seeing them in the rain forests of Washington. They are usually spotted on the ground looking for worms – I like the chance to see one at eye level.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas down there…

Our local hardware store has a facade covered with signs that the house sparrows nest in. They hop all over the roof and barely take notice of customers passing below them. I though it was interesting to see how this little guy has made use of even the Christmas light brackets as a perch. Ho Ho Ho!

Talking with his mouth full

Talking with his mouth full

The red-bellied woodpecker is one of my favorite birds. They can be shy, but once they get used to your proximity to the feeders they stick around unless you make sudden movements. I love it when they look back at me.

Off balance

Off balance

This hummer prefers to drink from the feeder with no perch, sadly she almost falls off every time she sits up after drinking. She flaps her wings to regain her balance before drinking more. I rarely get a good image of the wing structure of a hummer. She reminds me of a gymnast trying to stick the landing.

Out on a limb

Out on a limb

This male goldfinch was the first to return with his new yellow summer outfit. He is unflappable. Dogs barking and racing below his feeder don’t bother him. Yesterday a crow zipped by and almost carried him away – I watched in horror as the collision happened right in front of me. He did a tumble and landed on his feet on the porch – I saw some white down float upward. He took a perch a few feet off the ground and caught his breath. 10 minutes later he was back on his perch feeding. As I have said before, goldfinches are badasses.

Hunkered down

Hunkered down

There is just so much going on when you look at the feathers on a peacock – stripes, eyes, shimmer – I liked getting a shot of most of it happening in one spot.

That boy's wearing polka-dot panties

That boy’s wearing polka-dot panties

If you’ve read my blog before you may recall that I have recently discovered a northern flicker near the grocery store where I shop. I am officially his stalker now. I know where he lives and I know where he likes to eat. Kinda creepy, I know, but he’s the one with the silly underwear.

Solar lighting

Solar lighting

These late spring evenings have been producing some interesting lighting – as the sun sets behind the trees at the Stone House the light breaks into pieces – when that combines with iridescence it can make for some interesting shots. I love how the feathers on this guy’s throat switched from black to this amazing bronze as he turned his head.

Covert operation

Covert operation

The pileated woodpecker was shot through a window, he’s so shy that it’s taken me a year to get an in-focus shot of him, and as soon as I moved closer to the window to frame a better shot without the pane showing, he bolted. Lesson learned, always take the shot before improving your position.

Mohawk

Mohawk

My goldfinch friend reacts to me whistling – often they will cock their head in an effort to catch the sound in one of the earholes they have on either side of their heads, but this time he just puffed up his head – I’ve never seen that before.

Puff Daddy

Puff Daddy

This male hummer is guarding his feeder. As intruders approach he leaves his post, flying sortis to defend his position. When he lands back at base he puffs up to add to his intimidating presence.

Krishna in the grass

Krishna in the grass.

My friend Krishna is a little camera-shy these day. The lawn has been cut down at the Grange Hall and he is lacking cover, so he heads off towards the woods. Sometimes a man needs to be alone with his thoughts and away from the prying eyes of the paparazzi.

Seeing red

Seeing red

Another shot of that late evening sunlight – for just a moment the sun shone right through the red bottle and onto the hummer – this is one of those you wish you could get another crack at – in low light focussing is more difficult. Imperfect or not – it was an unusual moment.

Focused on his next meal

Focused on his next meal

I rarely get a shot at a hawk near the house. I spotted this guy yesterday on my drive home. The woods here are so thick that I almost never see one in flight, but he passed right in front of my Jeep. I pulled up and turned off the motor. Shooting through thick woods made focussing tricky but I finally dialed in on his eyes and then he took off – an encounter of seconds. I love his intensity, but I am glad that he feeds far away from my feeders.

Bliss

Bliss

This photo is the one that made me decide to write this post. I almost posted it alone, but decided to give the library another once-over after deciding against it. Who knew that hummingbirds have eyelashes? I rarely suggest clicking on an image, but I do on this one – the structure of this birds eyelids are amazing! I occasionally get a shot of a bird in the process of blinking – and I typically discard those, but this one seemed different – serene, graceful, poetic – and none of those things have to do with me and a camera. It was just a moment and I happened to snap at just the right time.

So far the springtime has been amazing – birds are singing, I am shooting, and all is well with the world – at least it is here at the Stone House.

63 thoughts on “No Bird Left Behind

  1. How adorable those eyelashes are. I had to click on him to get a better look. Your birds are certainly all so different! What a great variety! These are wonderful. :)

      • Maybe, maybe not. The more I learn the more I realize how mediocre mine are. Granted mediocre is better than downright bad! I am just exposed to such really exquisit photography now, and I can see the difference. As of yet, I haven’t hit on those really earth shattering photos yet in my collection.

        • You know, I think it’s a process. I look at my work from a few of years ago and wonder what I was thinking at the time – I had a professor in college tell me that any artistic endeavor took real practice – to think of it like piano practice and dedicate time to it daily. I started shooting every day 5 years ago and see a huge difference in my work. I see things online from people I follow that just blow me away though – it inspires me to try new things.

          • I know. I’ve been discouraged about it recently, thinking I’ll never get there. The more I learn, the more I think that I don’t even see the pictures that are good. Vince and I were talking about being at the right place at the right time. I’m looking at the clear blue sky thinking how beautiful it is and there’s nothing there but clouds and trees – no focal point. Story of my retirement. I can’t figure out where to focus my camera lens. :) Better go shoot something! (Sounds naughty doesn’t it?)

          • I think things like a beautiful sky or beach are really hard to capture, at telecast for me. I have trouble finding the focal point, it’s why I do so few landscapes.

          • Interesting. Yes, landscapes are what I do the most, and I have the most trouble with finding a focal point. It makes sense. There’s a lot out there in a landscape picture. My best pictures are the ones I take of Manny. :)

    • Thanks, I guess when I started blogging my idea was to add context – posting a photo is what I do on Facebook – writing about an experience is what I hope to do here. I don’t mind reading posts with a single shot and I follow some who post several a day. I would rather pick the best selection for a topic – but then again I was the kid who opened my M&Ms and divided them into colors before eating them :)

  2. Fabulous, as always. And capturing those hummer pictures -wow. I love the red on the hummer as well as the eyelash shot. Amazing, Lorri. Just amazing! And done without the silly hat.

    • Thanks Elyse – I realize I am shooting hundreds of hummer images and I need to try some new things. I love that eyelash one and think I will be entering it into some competitions, no silly hats.

  3. What beautiful photos, you really have been putting that new lens to work! Lovely to see birds that we don’t get in this part of the world (New Zealand), eg the northern flicker. Thought your hawk photo in particular was stunning, you caputred his fierceness beautifully. Thank you for sharing these

    • Thanks so much – I am loving the new lens and am working on getting the most out of it. I love seeing the birds in your part of the world too – there are so many that seem unusual to us here – such variety! That hawk was a treat to see still like that.

  4. Great shots as always! I love the pic of the hawk. I have 3 that fly over my new place. Sometimes pretty low. I am trying to get a pic of them but my camera is not the best. The hummers are always fascinating to watch. I have always loved them. I love birds, wild birds. I always love coming to your blog and seeing what you have. :-)

  5. Oh – My – Gosh, Lorri! that photo of the hummer with the red reflection is STUNNING! I like all of these orphans but that one just blew me away.
    Our hummers have either forgiven us or we have the first hatch of the season – swarms have returned today and I have a feeling I will need to buy sugar by Monday! Such a lovely day – watched our feeders with my mom most of the afternoon – she loves her birds – just the regulars in the yard today. Have a great weekend! K

    • Hi Kathleen, I have five feeders so I’m cooking up nectar pretty much full time, but no babies yet. I has just put out that red glass bottle the day before, lucky timing. You know I could watch them all day, I might do that tomorrow ๐Ÿ˜ŠHave a great weekend too – it should be just about perfect tomorrow.

  6. These photos are beautiful, Lorrie. The vibrant colors against the blurred backgrounds really set these photos apart from the majority of “bird shots” that I view on other websites. It is obvious that you are getting comfortable with that lens.

    Keep up the good work,
    Allan

    • Thanks Vicki, I had an owl flash right past me on my drive in today, no way to catch it but it was stunning to see. The ozarks are so diverse – I’m lucky to have so many nearby.

  7. What a beautiful set of photos!! This is why I follow you, you can capture these feathered creatures in their best light. I can barely lay my own eyes on the birds around me. Maybe because I’m such a gorilla while walking around that I scare them away. =-) My plants can’t run!
    I work near a very large forest preserve now & there are many more birds here than at my house. I think I just need to get better feeders with stuff woodpeckers (etc) want. I saved a pair of chimney swifts last year when they fell from their nest into the fireplace in my bosses office. Thank goodness there is a bird rescue a mile from my house. Thank you again for the great shots. And yes, seeing a hummer’s eyelashes was downright kewl!!

    • Thanks so much, you know I find plants easier to photograph too :) I’ve been looking at the mix of foods and feeders and think I could probably get by with black sunflower seeds and suet. Even the finches will eat sunflower seeds. Of course I’m buying stock in sugar right now.

      It’s great that you have a rescue nearby. I made a run with a finch last week with a neighbor, it’s great that someone commits to doing that. I have never seen a chimney swift – I’ll have to look that one up.

  8. Kudos to the Pilated. You have to be so ready for them. I want to hear if Krishna is a father and photos of babies…gotta be anyway now?

  9. I followed your suggestion to click on the photo of the hummingbird to have a look at the eyelashes and eyelids! Great. Absolutely great!!
    And I really enjoyed to see Krishna again. Believe me, I completely can understand his desire to disappear for aa while. He will return as soon as the lawn isn’t short anymore. / Michรจle

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