Friday, September 24, 2010

A Couple New Birds at the Cam

Momma Cardinal finally stopped by for a picture. Isn't she pretty?

Northern Cardinal

Her big boy came by a bit later.

Northern Cardinal

Carolina Wrens typically eat insects. Sometimes those little things can be found near the feeders and the wrens take advantage of an easy catch.

Carolina Wren

I noticed the feeder was running empty and headed out to fill it. However, I had to wait as a small flock of Red-winged Blackbird swarmed over the last remnants before heading back to the wetlands a few blocks over.

Red-winged Blackbird

Nice to see the adults bringing their new brood over from time to time.

Meanwhile, the Cardinal parents take a break from the kids to have dinner alone.

Northern Cardinal

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Bald Eagles are Back

Swung through the cemetery to see if the eagles had returned yet. They have!

Bald Eagle

All they did was sit on that branch. They seemed to be staring at the dead tree where their nest was last year before crashing to the ground. Didn't seem to be too busy building a new nest. No signs in any other nearby trees.

I hope they do decide to rebuild in a new pine soon. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Great-horned Owl Over Jupiter

Last night I was out trying to capture some shots of Jupiter after I noticed something I never had before. I could see the moons of Jupiter through my binoculars! I ran back in the house to get the camera and tried some shots. This is my favorite.


The bright light is Jupiter. In a line from left to right as some of its moons: Europa, Io, Ganymede, and Callisto. The small spec above and to the left of Jupiter is the planet Uranus!

Tonight I went out for some more tries. Notice how the moons are in different orbits tonight.


While I was taking shots I noticed a dark shape glide out of the gloom and into a tree not to far from me. I had a feeling what it was by the flight and shape so I moved closer and got a shot including the planets. A Great-horned Owl!

Great-horned Owl

I zoomed in for a closer look. This shot is lit only by the moon off to the right of the scene.

Great-horned Owl

Timing is everything. The owl heard (or saw) something behind me and soon took flight to investigate.

What an awesome couple of nighttime viewings. Planets, moons, and a huge raptor patrolling its territory.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Other Plan

Another reason for the new feeder is to discourage the gluttonous Mourning Doves from eating all the seed before the other, smaller birds get a chance. It seems to be helping but they still manage to grab a few seeds. You can see here how difficult it is for the dove to find a spot to settle in to feed.

Mourning Dove

Seems like this is the little girl's favorite feeding angle.

Northern Cardinal

Friday, September 17, 2010

ARC Comes to Audubon

Some of our friends from the Avian Reconditioning Center stopped by the Orange Audubon meeting this month to discuss how they help injured raptors. It was a great presentation. They also brought some nice birds to show to the crowd during the talk.

One of these birds was a recovering Barn Owl. Beautiful birds.

Barn Owl

Next up, Carol presents a dark morph Short-tail Hawk.

Short-tailed Hawk

Finally, Paula displays a Swallow-tail Kite. Meanwhile, on the table, an American Kestrel listens on.

Swallow-tail Kite

I have posted about the Avian Reconditioning Center several times before. We often band some of their birds before they are released back into the wild. If you are interested in reading those posts just click on the link to them at the bottom of this post.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I Have Been Defeated...Again

We remember one of the main reasons for this new feeder, right? The last image shows it didn't work all the way as planned.

The cam did get a good shot of the young male Cardinal, though. He is almost into his adult colors.

Northern Cardinal

His sister is still around. Still still has quite a while to go with that bill!

Northern Cardinal

Hello! A new visitor. Not as good as I would like. Facing the camera would be nice, but even this rear view lets me know a Titmouse is checking out the feeder.

Tufted Titmouse

As for that foiled plan...

Gray Squirrel

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Cardinals It Is

Well, I have been letting the cam sit in the new location for a week now. Seems like the majority of the shots of of the Cardinal family. Granted, they are still one of my favorites but I am still hoping for some other action to arrive here. Lighting is still variable as the Sun move from East to West (left to right in all these images).

In the right light, Papa Cardinal is very bright and pretty.

Northern Cardinal

Even the youngest female of the bunch is a nice sight to behold.

Northern Cardinal

Hold on! Finally a new bird. One of our House Finches! They usually feed out front of on the side feeders. Nice to see them enjoying the new feeder.

House Finch

Sunday, September 05, 2010

New Cam Location

In hopes of avoiding some squirrels I decided to move the cam from the tray feeder and bring out one of our older feeders. This feeder has a smaller ledge so it should also cut down on the billion dove shots. Hoping to get some sparrow shots once they start migrating through in the Fall.

First order of business is always to measure out the distance of the cam from the feeder. There are different setting on the cam that tells it how far out to focus. I choose the closest setting of 17-23 inches.

Setting Focus

Our first visitor was a nice looking Blue Jay. I really wasn't expecting that but it is fine by me.

Blue Jay

Of course the Cardinals found it a nice feeding spot right away, too. All members of this family ended up having their pictures taken and I am sure they will continue to swing by. I will post some of them as they come through but this is a quick post.

Northern Cardinal

I am not getting as many shots as I was at the tray feeder but the majority of them are keepers. At the tray feeder I was tossing out hundreds of squirrels, doves, and blurry images from things jumping on and off of it. So, we shall see how things go in this spot.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Sign of Fall

Stifling heat has been with us far too long. Seems at times that the cooler weather will never get here soon enough. But I decided to take a quick walk though part of Mead Garden just to check since we did find the Prothonotary Warbler on the last count. Maybe it was still around.

It wasn't. However, there was a new bird hiding in the thick growth of palm trees near the creek. Almost too dark to get any good shots but I thought I would share my bad shot anyway.

Hooded Warbler

A Hooded Warbler! I always watch for the yellow this time of year. It is a reminder that migration is happening and Fall really, is right around the corner.

Maybe the warbler was staying in the dark for good reason. Cooper's Hawks were on the prowl all over the park and staying very quiet.

Cooper's Hawk

Hurry up Fall!