Posts Tagged ‘birds’

I recently spent a bit of time sitting in a reasonably comfortable bird blind that one of the members of my local photo club constructed.  It is a great way to get closeup photos of birds in the area and is an excellent resource.

Here are a few of my photos from my time in the bird blind. At the bottom of this post are two birds that I can’t identify (other than that one is some type of woodpecker).  I’d appreciate any information anyone can provide about these “mystery” birds.

Blue jay

Bird Blind - October 22, 2014 - 0099

I don’t know if these are immature Blue jays but they don’t have the full-blown distinctive crest you typically associate with a Blue jay (the bird in the second photo may be developing that crest).

Bird Blind - October 22, 2014 - 200 Bird Blind - October 22, 2014 - 285


Male Downy Woodpecker (in the second photo it is getting a grub out of a tree branch)


Bird Blind - October 22, 2014 - 0020 Bird Blind - October 22, 2014 - 0027

Female Downy Woodpecker

Bird Blind - October 22, 2014 - 0040Bird Blind - October 22, 2014 - 0079

Male Cardinal

Bird Blind - October 22, 2014 - 178-Edit


Female Cardinal

Bird Blind - October 22, 2014 - 302-Edit Bird Blind - October 22, 2014 - 306


Bird Blind - October 22, 2014 - 0103


Mystery Woodpecker

Bird Blind - October 22, 2014 - 0031

Mystery Bird 2

Bird Blind - October 22, 2014 - 335


Ducklings - May 31, 2014 - 137

I was out with my camera recently having no intention of photographing ducks when I ran into a duck and her ducklings. It was a beautiful day. I had a fully charged battery in my camera as well as a large memory card and, most important, a willingness to wait and watch for several hours to see what might be seen. In summary, I saw both more and less than I expected and hope for.  There was no troop of duckling waddling down to the water and launching themselves off from shore as a small flotilla, which would have been fun but is also visible enough so that it has been photographed a lot. What I captured instead were images like this one – a duckling exercising its wings. I’m sure this is a common enough event in the life of a duckling but it isn’t so in your face cool (like a duckling flotilla) that it gets a great deal of photographic attention. I don’t recall having seen a photo of this necessary little piece of a duckling’s life before, so in that sense I captured more than I expected. I hope you enjoy seeing it as much as I did.

I have two contributions to this week’ s Weekly Photo Challenge: Split Second Story. My first involves the immature Bald Eagle shown here and the split second is a very small fraction of one as the eagle is poised to strike the water hoping to catch its primary food source, a fish. This eagle was successful but somewhere between 80%-90% of such efforts are not.

Bald Eagles - January 10, 2014 - 235

Word of Warning: For those who are unusually squeamish the third photo in my contribution to the Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes might be a little much.

I have been spending time with the bald eagles that are wintering along the Wisconsin River near Prairie du Sac. The bald eagles’ days encompass a variety of cycles. One of these is the feeding cycle — hunting, catching and eating enough to keep them alive. The eagles’ prey is generally fish. The three shots that follow show a bald eagle as it captures a fish from the Wisconsin River, brings the fish back to a safe place in a tree along the river and eats it.

The Capture

Bald Eagles - January 10, 2014 - 68-Edit-Edit-Edit-Edit

The Return

Bald Eagle Returns to Tree With Fish - January 10, 2014 - 43

The dinner

Bald Eagle Feeding - 43

I have had this blog for less than one year and recently I posted my 365th post so I decided to memorialize the occasion. has been pretty difficult for me. I suffer from a chronic disease that makes it hard to concentrate and to stay focused and I am often in pain and quite tired (thus the “fog”). When I started this blog I had no idea how much energy it would take and what a challenge it was going to be (thus the “war”).

I started this photo blog in part because the writing that used to come so easily to me now comes slowly and messily like the last bits of toothpaste squeezed out of the tube. Until relatively recently, I was able to work at least part-time in the career I had long pursued (I was an attorney working with intellectual property and technology law). That work is no longer available to me because it requires more energy, a better memory, and greater nimbleness of mind than I currently possess. I tell my friends that I am not dumber, but I am slower.

During the early days of my illness, boredom was a constant companion. Then, a few years ago, my wife bought me a new camera. While I had always enjoyed photography, suddenly I had a lot of time available in which to pursue it. So off I went on a photo binge. Many of my photos are taken of things very close to home – typically in our yard or neighborhood; indeed I have a category in my blog for “Photos Taken within 100 Meters of Our Home.” Many others are taken on the way to visit or at my in-laws. (My wife has a great family!)

As the years went by and the shutter clicked, hundreds and then thousands of images filled up space on my hard drive(s) and I began to think about sharing my photos. I am and always will be an amateur photographer. I do not have the energy nor do I have the desire to sell any of my work (although I do donate my work to non-profit auctions and the like).  Eventually I decided to try blogging and started start

Keeping up with this blog has been difficult for me. What has made this easier is that many of you who have visited this blog have been extraordinarily generous with your thoughts about my photos. I am not too proud to admit that when someone says a photo of mine is “stunning” or “wonderful” or “amazing” it makes me feel good. That isn’t the sole reason for the blog, but it sure doesn’t hurt! More important for someone who had spent all too much time just sitting at home is that my blog brought me into a community of people from around the world whose blogging about their lives and travels has made boredom impossible and made frustration, fatigue and pain more bearable. While it is still so very much more difficult to write than it used to be, I have all of the time I want to do it and so it is okay.

This post contains some of my favorite photos from my first 365 posts. When I was looking through the posts to put together this collection, my biggest thought was how thankful I am that I have had this opportunity. Mostly I thank all of the people who have visited my blog. I also want to give a shout out to WordPress because I really doubt I would have had a “Post 366” had I not been blogging with WordPress, which has made setting it up my blog and keeping it going so much easier for me than would otherwise have been the case.

I hope you enjoy this collection.

I took quite a few photos of bald eagles along the Wisconsin River recently. Here is a set of photos that tell a little story.

In the first group of photos, a bald eagle stands alone on a patch of ice in the Wisconsin River. In the second photo it is approached by another bald eagle. In the third photo the approach continues with the first eagle showing some activity at the sign of the approach. Anthropomorphizing this is silly but it here we go. This might be akin to a person standing or sitting alone or not interacting with anyone at a dance or a club. The person is subsequently approached by someone who is smooth, who glides across the room. The person being approached is a little excited by the approach.

Performace of the Bald Eagles - 1  Performace of the Bald Eagles - 2 Performace of the Bald Eagles - 3

After a bit of conversation, it is off to the dance floor where they demonstrate their moves.

Performace of the Bald Eagles - 5 Performace of the Bald Eagles - 6 Performace of the Bald Eagles - 7

Afterwards, they retire from the dance floor, where they talk before going on their separate ways.

Performace of the Bald Eagles - 10  Bald Eagle Watch - January 10, 2014 - 935-Edit


Two birds at the bird feeder

These two birds were at one of our bird feeders in the back yard a while back. The curious expression of the small bird on the right side of the feeder juxtaposed with the rather puzzled expression of the larger bird in back of the feeder (which I have not identified; it is the only one that I have ever seen in our yard) entranced me. I hope you enjoy my submission for this week’s Word a Week Photo Challenge: Two.