Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Word Bird Wednesday: Turkey Vulture

Someone else who walks around the ponds left a note a couple of weeks ago (tacked to an oak tree- give me a break) stating: The Hawks are HERE!  Right, only they're TURKEY VULTURES not hawks.  And so, I am linking the turkey vultures to Springman's Word Bird Wednesday over at The Pine River Review.  If you enjoy watching birds, taking pictures of birds, or BOTH, HOP on over to The Pine River Review and join in or just have a look at all the wonderful creatures people from all over the world are sharing!

And now, the turkey vulture:

I have seen them for days but can't seem to get a decent shot of them in flight.  This is one of the better tries...they came in pretty darn close today and right over head.

This one shows the two toned underside of these creatures.  It was quite windy today and their flight reminded me of a surfer.  Only these guys surfed the air currents.

This one finally found a dead fish for his lunch. I couldn't believe how close he let me get, but it was probably because he didn't want to leave his meal.

Pretty sure he was irritated at this point. 

The wingspan can be up to six feet from what I understand.

He perched on a column near the pond and waited for me to leave so he could get back to his meal.  They don't seem to be afraid of people at all. 

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Christmas Birds

If you are experiencing an empty nest for the first time (or have been in one for awhile), or about to experience one, my advice is to take up bird watching.  If you're like us, it will lead to many lively discussions with your spouse on bird identification.  Yes, lively.

There were a few birds out enjoying the Christmas season on Christmas Eve at the ponds and in our backyard on Christmas Day and the day after.  Please let me know if he is I am wrong in his my identifications.  I'm in the learning process with these wonderful creatures and always welcome advice/comments/constructive criticism/etc from people other than Hubs.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and, believe it or not, it's almost time to wish you all a Happy New Year!

The first shots are either a cormorant or an anhinga (aka, Snakebird).  I leaned towards the anhinga because of the way he was moving his long neck around resembling the movement of a snake.  What do you think?

After searching and searching I think this might be a Yellow-rumped warbler.  Let me know what you think.  This one was very hard to identify!

I'm going with Mockingbird on this one.

CHRISTMAS DAY in the backyard:

Eastern Bluebird

Sparrows?  Warblers?  Wrens?  Oh my!

A downy woodpecker perhaps? 

I'm going with a sparrow of some sort  (wrens and warblers were discussed too).  

Thanks y'all- I stand corrected.  I had this one as a mourning dove but it is an Eurasian Collared-Dove! 


An Eastern Bluebird.

Two House Finches and a Titmouse.

A pine warbler???

Another house finch and the bird yet to be officially identified.

I know this one!  A male cardinal! 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Word Bird Wednesday

It's time for Word Bird Wednesday! A great place to share your bird photos with other bird enthusiasts around the world.  Just follow the link to Springman's blog, The Pine River Review, and share your shots!

These little guys have just recently begun showing up at the pond.  I had never seen them before so I had to investigate (which drives me nuts because some of those bird sites are so misleading).  At first, I thought they were plovers.  But then, upon further investigation, I decided perhaps killdeer was a better choice because 1) they have DOUBLE rings around their necks as opposed to singles; 2) the red around the eyes; and 3) the orange rump.  AND THEN I find out that they are of the PLOVER family (which made me feel better about my confusion but frustrated due to the misleading of a couple of websites--sometimes they assume that the reader understands certain things so they leave that information out.).  And so, what I think I have here are killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) of the PLOVER family????  

**A question for those of you who have been at this longer:  Is there a preferred site and/or book for identifying birds?  Perhaps one that won't have someone like me flailing around like a crazy person trying to put a name to these wonderful creatures? 

These little guys were very noisy and FAST.  It was difficult to get these shots because they were NEVER still!  

Thursday, December 16, 2010

My Very First One!

I can not believe I finally got a BALD EAGLE!  When we first started our walk this morning I noticed, quite suddenly, something very near the front pond---just to my left.  Just as suddenly, it took flight all the while I'm saying, "Wait! Wait!" as I am frantically getting my camera out of the bag.  Of course, I miss him standing by the pond AND in flight.  Of course.  Why would I have thought to be camera ready when one of the top three reasons for these daily walks is to take pictures of birds????  However, I was able to get him in the pine tree!  And, for now, that will just have to do.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Word Bird Wednesday

It's Wednesday and that means it's time for Springman's Word Bird Wednesday. 

Springman started this as a way for bird lovers everywhere to share their photos/blogs/bird watching experiences with others.  WBW is up and ready each Tuesday through Thursday. 

All you have to do is follow the link to The Pine River Review and start posting your photos!

This week, I am sharing a Great White Egret and a White Ibis, or four.  Most of these were taken last week; a couple were taken three weeks ago.