Small Birds

We have had a few days of clear air with a few warm days and now a cooling trend. However the smoke from the wildfires in the Sequoia National Park is starting to appear. We have rain in the forecast and it appears to be headed directly towards the burn areas, I certainly hope so. I hiked, camped and drove though it many times, it takes a long time for these trees to grow back. It will be long after I’m gone when they will be close to maturity.

I spent some time out doors today, once early and again during the noon hour. I took a picture of a Sparrow in the bird seed feeder that I was going to use for the first photo in this blog. I uploaded it, a window appeared telling me it’s not allowed; that’s a bit odd, it must be the way I saved it. Anyway I am using this well worn image I’ve posted numerous times on various sites.

I’m still capturing images of flying birds however I have to be in the right mood or physical shape or something. I take 100 photos and 1 may be a keeper. But I can easily destroy one in editing.

None of the photos I took today will be allowed on this site to download, I did something wrong; I will figure it out. The two I posted were taken this past May, they are still current. I have mentioned in other blogs I hypothesize it doesn’t take much smoke to keep the wildlife (mostly birds) to keep their distance. Some remain around however I am beginning to believe I may be correct. Birds have very delicate thin lungs, it makes sense to keep their weight down. There were few birds out this morning, the sky had a blue haze (smoke).

I believe these are Cowbirds, I have a difficult time identifying most birds. I heard it said the best way to learn bird identifications is to make a lot of mistakes. Public humiliation does wonders for us. These two were fighting over the pylon which is a popular pastime of all the birds capable of landing on it. The guy on the right has every intention of dive bombing his partner, if indeed it is. They flock in impressive numbers, they also will build their nests anywhere. Awnings, old tires and exposed rafters are all fair squatting zones. They multiply rapidly as I found out the hard way as they had many nests under our patio roof and in the fireplace. When the wood surround for our wood burning stove stack had to be repaired 4 bags of nesting was removed; it was ready to ignite.

I believe this image is of a Starling the colors are natural I was fortunate to be able to capture it in the correct light. I have another theory about the translucent coloring, I wonder if the birds are able to see this coloring under any lighting situations which enable them to identify those they know. I began thinking about that after reading a book on Corvids. The Animal Behaviorist that wrote it remarked somehow the Crows and Ravens identify their friends but he did not know how. Perhaps they are capable seeing a whole array of “Infra” colors we don’t know exists.

The rough and tumble Sparrow, this was taken late afternoon as the Sun was bidding us farewell. It happened to be a good golden hour when this small bird landed in front of me. I was fortunate to have my camera set up for just this shot. I have one hour at dusk and 3 hours in the morning when there is good light. That is a good amount of time to take thousands of images if afforded that many opportunities. I remember taking just over 1,000 on a morning last fall. There are days when the sky is crowded and others like today offer slim pickings.

I still have the 70D Canon our son in law would like to sell to me, I am still undecided but will most likely make the purchase. One way or another they will likely get the money so I might as well get something for it. I’m being a bit cruel, he’s been out of work for the entire Covid adventure; he’s returning this week. I don’t know if I could have been out of work that long, I’m fortunate in being an old disabled man. If I was not in rough condition I’d probably still be working, or wanting to. On the other hand it’s easy to sit behind my laptop thinking about how I would make a wonderful employee; in the real world I’d last less than 5 minutes with luck it wouldn’t kill me.

Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance

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