"Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field..." Genesis 2:19-20a (NIV)
This female or immature Rufous Hummingbird showed up and perched on the window feeder in the summer of 2012. It was the first Rufous I identified in my backyard (in SW Idaho) since I had begun bird watching. They are feisty little things; bullies even. I had to move my feeder out of the sight of the other feeder, otherwise the Rufous would fly back and forth chasing away any other hummers that needed a taste of the sweet nectar I was offering. It was fun to watch the interaction with this new visitor added to the mix, but I still wanted them all to get their share. It worked pretty well. This is the time of year I will anticipate the possible arrival of the Rufous Hummingbird in my yard again. Fun! It's always exciting to see what birds show up and just when I think I've seen all that will come to my yard, a new visitor stops by and makes my day.
First, one of my photos was chosen by The Peregrine Fund’s selection committee as one of 10 Honorable Mentions! That prize includes: Free membership in The Peregrine Fund ($25 value). Receive the next Birds of Prey Calendar, 10% gift shop discount, and unlimited admission at the World Center for Birds of Prey for one year.
The best "prize" of all I found out about just today. My Northern Saw-whet owl photo will be published in the 2015 Birds of Prey Calendar! Woot! Woot! or should I say, Hoot! Hoot!? :) This means I've met my "get published again" goal I had set for myself this year. It's been a few years...since before my corneal transplants and such; so yes, I'm STOKED!
I had a new surprise visitor to my backyard yesterday. I love it when a bird visits my yard that's never done so before.
At first glance, with one of the boards on my trellis in the way, I thought it was a young robin (since we have a robin family with two newer fledglings right now). When I could see the bird in the clearing, I realized it didn't look at all like a young robin. The beak was SO small! Then I notice all the other markings, like the heavy horizontal bars on it's lower breast. This was a bird I had read about in my bird books, but never actually seen. The name, containing the word common, suggests that it is easy to find, right? Well, I've read that the numbers have declined overall, but I've heard from someone local, that they are coming back.
Ironically, the Common Nighthawk is neither common, nor a hawk. It does however become more active in the early morning and evening, so at least there's that part of it's name that rings true. :) I have something in common with this bird. As a photographer, when in the field, I too am most active in the early morning and early evening hours. After all, that is when the lighting is best for gorgeous outdoor images. In photography, this time period is know as the golden hour (sometimes known as the magic hour, especially in cinematography). It is a period shortly after sunrise or before sunset during which daylight is redder and softer compared to when the sun is higher in the sky.
If you're a birder and have more than my limited knowledge as a beginner, please comment and tell me what you can about this bird and it's numbers here, in SW Idaho. Whatever the numbers are, I sure enjoyed the time this bird spent in our yard and I hope to see more of them in the future.
Here is a list of the birds I observed and identified in my backyard yesterday, June 5th, 2014:
Common Nighthawk, European Starling, House Sparrow, American Robin, House Finch, American Goldfinch, Eurasian Collared Dove, Mourning Dove, Red-winged Black Bird, Hummingbirds. (at least Black-chinned, perhaps others)
It's been a while since I've posted. (not sure why there's white around my text.) My bird blog has suffered in its ranking, as a result. It couldn't be helped, though. I had to have corneal transplants in both eyes in 2013. As part of getting back into my photography, I've entered a photo competition and I need your help. The prizes are awarded based on the most votes received by the public. Please vote once a day through June 13th. Please share this post with your FB friends and ask them to vote, too. My 5 images are all on pages 1-3, under "Newest" tab. Kathleen B is under each one, so they are easy to find. The links to the individual photos are below, if it will be easier for you to find my images.To see what images are ahead of mine in votes, go to "Most Popular". If you think any of my images are worthy of being pushed up in the ranks, please do what you can to help them get there. Feel free to vote for other worthy images you like, as well. There are some great images in the running.
Vortex Optics has generously donated a RAZOR HD 16-48X65 spotting scope. Its sophisticated triplet apochromatic lens system delivers high-definition views across the entire field of view—no color fringing, degradation of resolution or dilution of color fidelity at longer viewing distances. Retail value: $1200.
$100 credit at The Peregrine Fund gift shop, either online or at our visitor's center in Boise, Idaho.
$50 credit at The Peregrine Fund gift shop, either online or at our visitor's center in Boise, Idaho.
10 HONORABLE MENTION PRIZES:
Free membership in The Peregrine Fund ($25 value). Receive the next Birds of Prey Calendar, 10% gift shop discount, and unlimited admission at the World Center for Birds of Prey for one year.
I think this is the first time I have seen a hummingbird picture quite like this one. This little one (I believe it is a black-chinned hummingbird) was feeding on the Wisteria blossoms hanging from the trellis in our backyard. The green you see through it's wing is actually part of the Wisteria plant. My wife has some MAD skills!
We have seen a lot of hummingbirds this year in our neighborhood. Every time one comes to the feeder hanging from our kitchen window, whoever is nearby will stop and just watch for a while. They truly are amazing. They are so small, with their hearts beating at about 1200 beats per minute. And they flit around our yard with such acrobatic zeal that you cannot help but smile.