Birds I never knew – Part 2

Staring into the sun trying to locate a distant voice.  Seeing a bit of shadow swimming through woodlands.  Driving along while trying to snap a photo of something resting atop a building.

Being prepared has little to do with successfully capturing an image when the subject and circumstances conspire against me.

I try, though.  Oh how I try…

Two male brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater) perched on a makeshift bird feeder (20080414_03459)

Two male brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater).  An old deer stand at the family farm quickly transformed into a makeshift bird feeder.  The blue plastic tray hanging above the ground is filled each day with birdseed, and that beckons to a variety of winged beasts who visit from dawn to dusk—and probably well into the night.

A male belted kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon) hiding in tree limbs (20080114_01128)

A male belted kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon).  His raucous cry had me searching high and low trying to find him.  Much to my dismay, he flitted from tree to tree as I ran along some distance away attempting to follow him.  Finally realizing I would never get close enough for a respectable photo, I took aim despite not being able to see if I was or was not focused on the right tree.

A pied-billed grebe (Podilymbus podiceps) floating on the surface of White Rock Lake (20080405_02986)

A pied-billed grebe (Podilymbus podiceps).  Cunning little creatures, these grebes.  They disappear beneath the water’s surface if they perceive a threat.  When they return to the surface, they can be one to three meters/yards away from where they vanished.  I hurried along the shore of White Rock Lake trying to snap a photo of this critter as it continually dove out of sight only to pop up in random directions and distances from where I lost sight of it.

An American black vulture (a.k.a. black vulture; Coragyps atratus) perched atop a hospital (20080511_05173)

An American black vulture (a.k.a. black vulture; Coragyps atratus).  Driving home one afternoon, I spied this beautiful bird preening in the bright sunshine.  Attempting to navigate Dallas’s busy streets while holding a camera out the window to snap photos is not something I recommend for the faint of heart.  Oh, and this irony was not lost on me at that time or when I viewed these images later: the vulture was sitting atop a hospital.

A white-winged dove (Zenaida asiatica) perched in the treetops (IMG_20080105_00703)

A white-winged dove (Zenaida asiatica).  During my first visit to the Audubon park near White Rock Lake’s spillway, I stood in a ravine with dense woodlands all around me as a spirited creek bubbled along on its journey to larger waterways.  In the dim light of predawn hours, I heard more than saw a bird land in the treetops quite a way from where I stood.  I snapped a few photos despite the distance and despite not knowing what kind of bird it was.

A male hairy woodpecker (Picoides villosus) clinging to the side of a tree trunk (IMG_20071230_00641)

A male hairy woodpecker (Picoides villosus).  Its size and its beak differentiated this common animal from the downy woodpeckers that also inhabit the area.  The rat-tat-tat knocking in the treetops above me drew my attention as I walked home from the lake, and against the contrast of wintry limbs and bright sky I nearly gave up trying to capture an image so high up from such a disadvantaged position far below.

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2 thoughts on “Birds I never knew – Part 2”

  1. I agree on needing a better zoom lens. Wholeheartedly, in fact, and that despite these being images taken when I knew I was well beyond my means.

    I have some updates to share with you in that regard. Let’s wait until after the holidays to go over it, though. I think we both deserve some rest from the demands of employment (and I do so hate it when others make me talk shop when I have other things to do with my personal time…).

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