Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Feeding Frenzy of Feathered Friends

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Do you know what bird this is?  Hint - It's probably one of the most abundunt of all the birds in the world, so much so that it's become somewhat of a pest.  It was introduced to North America when 50 pairs were brought over from Europe and released in Brooklyn, New York in 1852.  They have spread into the far north of Canada and into Central America.

This is the female House Sparrow feeding it's babies right outside my back door.  There are four babies in total.  Gloria and I have much fun watching them stick their little heads out of their nest begging to be fed.

Click HERE to see a picture I took last year of a male  House Sparrow mating with the female.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

More Birds of Prey

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Thanks for all the nice e-mails I received on what type of  hawk is in the picture of my previous installment.  These guys can really be tough to figure out.  They tend to look very similar, so we have to look at the details.  So, more images would be nice, right?  I took 61 pictures of these visitors (there were two birds, one of them staying up in a tree).   So, as I went through the rest of the pictures I found the one you see at the top.  The hawk in the previous image is now slightly below the new hawk you see here.  As you can see, the main difference is the bars on the breast versus the streaks on the other.  I was suspicious that the lower bird was an Immature Red-shouldered Hawk, so when I saw the image of the other bird, it confirmed it.  The bars on this bird are on an adult Red-shouldered Hawk.

Take a look at these really nice images of Red-shouldered Hawks taken by Raul Quinones and you'll see the resemblance is very good: Red-shouldered Hawk by Raul Quinones

Monday, May 2, 2011

Bird of Prey

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I spotted this beautiful bird of prey perching on my satellite dish, scanning my backyard for a juicy rodent I'm sure.  I quickly grabbed my Canon camera, put my 300mm lens on it and took this picture.  I'm pleasantly surprised at the nice quality of the image, considering I was shooting the lens hand held, through a plate glass door and leaves from a foreground bush.  I did help to keep it steady by turning the image stabilizer on and shooting at 1/2000 of a second.  I also leaned the front of the lens against the plate glass.  A few mintes later, it flew to a nearby tree, but then flew back down to the lawn.  I think he was looking for moles, because I know I have lots of mole hills in my yard.

I think I know what type of hawk this guy is, but I'm not sure.  Let me know what you think it is.