Winter Warblers

I saw a post just yesterday where someone was saying that a Yellow-rumped warbler had come and taken over their feeders.  Somehow, that has not been my problem this season.  I do get the “butter butts” as some people call them but, they haven’t reduced the visits from other birds in my case.  I have seen the aggressive behavior of yellow-rumped warblers chase off competitors but that only last for a moment.  Once the bully is gone, all the others are right back.

The Pine Warbler shown here is a frequent visitor to the suet feeder.  I see both male and female but since the yellow color is so much more vibrant, the males attract my eye more often.

I thought maybe there would be lots of variety this winter when I started seeing the pine warblers, yellow-rumped warblers and goldfinches coming round.  They still visit but, I haven’t seen any new breeds show up recently.  Could be, I haven’t looked closely enough.  I did see some ruby-crowned kinglets that from a distance, looked like small pine warblers.  It’s hard to distinguish from a distance.  I’m hoping I chance across some new finds in the near future.

Pine Warbler
Roswell, Georgia
January 20, 2018

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Alta Pro 2+ 263AB 100 tripod
Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2
600mm @ f/8 – 1/200 sec – ISO 400

#BirdWatching #birds #PineWarbler #Georgia #WithMyTamron

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Mourning Dove

How often have you heard doves cooing from the tree-tops or the rapid beat of their wings when startled?  The mourning dove is so commonplace we don’t pay them much attention. Up-close however, this is a beautiful bird.  I am always amazed by the texture and color of the feathers. Also amazing is how the colors they display camouflage them instead of making them stand out.

Once again, nature exhibits diversity and the ability to adapt to the surroundings.  I can hardly believe what amazing sights are always just outside my back door.

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Alta Pro 2+ 263AB 100 tripod
Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2
460mm @ f/9 – 1/100 sec – ISO 800

#BirdWatching #birds #MourningDove #winter #Georgia #WithMyTamron

Female Downy Woodpecker

I love it when we get a variety of birds at the feeders.  It is also neat to see the pairs of male and female coming in so you can see the differences.  Here is a female downy woodpecker waiting her turn for some suet.  The only visible difference between male and female seems to be the red patch that the male has on the back of its head.  I saw her mate (probably eating at this point) but didn’t get a shot of him this time.

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2
600mm @ f/9 – 1/200 sec – ISO 800

#BirdWatching #DownyWoodpecker #birds #Georgia #WithMyTamron

Who you lookin at?

I love to catch that moment when it certainly seems that the birds are looking right at you.  They may be much more interested in a competitor for the food or some predator like the neighbor’s cat but there’s that look like they are trying to communicate with you.

If we could get a somewhat sunny day, I would be spending lots of time watching these little wonders.  As of now, it looks like we’re in for another dreary winter day.  Oh well, Christmas is amlost here!!

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2
600mm @ f/11 – 1/50 sec – ISO 320

Bluebird’s breakfast

I guess I didn’t give this guy enough warning of portrait time.  He still has remnants of breakfast on his beak.  It was obvious that the bluebirds were hungry and very anxious to get at suet and birdseed.  I frequently had 3-4 hanging off the suet feeder at the same time with others waiting their turn or fighting for a chance to get in.

I’m certainly happy to feed them and watch their antics.  It’s a great way to spend time over the holiday season!

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2
600mm @ f/11 – 1/10 sec – ISO 320

Winter’s brightest colors

If there is a classic winter bird shot, it’s definitely a cardinal in the snow.  We don’t get the opportunity for this combination all that often in the deep south but this weekend was a special occasion.   The birds were happy to have our feeders stocked with the sudden turn to winter weather and I was very happy to watch them.  Love the contrast of brilliant red on pure white!

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2
600mm @ f/14 – 1/100 sec – ISO 800

Hawkeye

After the presentation at Wild Birds Unlimited, we got an added bonus. Pete Griffing invited a couple of us into the back room for a close up session with one of the raptors.  We got to be up close and personal with the red-winged hawk that he brought and she was fabulous.

It is totally amazing to see animals like this so nearby.  Pete was very clear in letting people know that these are not house pets.  They may be more used to people than a fully wild bird but they can still easily tear someone up with the talons and sharp beaks if they are the least bit threatened.  We were only a few inches away but I definitely had a healthy respect for the power that could be unleashed if we weren’t careful.  I’m glad we had a handler who knew what he was doing and what to expect from this wonderful animal.

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
165mm @ f/8 – 1/40 sec – ISO 1600

#Alpharetta #CharlieElliottWildlifeCenter #GeorgiaDepartmentOfNaturalResources #hawk #PeteGriffin #raptor #raptors #RedTailedHawk #WildBirdsUnlimited #Georgia #WithMyTamron #nature