Wednesday, June 26, 2013

I collect birds

To share with you, at least. :P These photos are from two birding trips - one last week, and one this morning.

These two individuals look really different, but they are actually both Swainson's Hawks! The top one is a "pale morph," and the bottom one is a "dark morph." You can tell they're Swainson's Hawks because their tails are plain gray, and the trailing edge of their wings are gray/black.

I like this picture of a Great Egret a lot. I'm so pleased with how well my camera captures flying birds - you can see every one of this Egret's flight feathers, and the delicate buffy plumes trailing off of its back, and its knobbly little knees. Egrets are awesome birds. They fly over my creek pretty often.

Here's a Song Sparrow, peeking out from between reeds. This sparrow met up with another sparrow in the reeds and then skulked out of sight. It's possible that they're a mated pair, and their nest was hidden in this area. The Song Sparrows like this creek a lot. There's pretty much always a SOSP singing somewhere along the path.

And this family of Western Kingbirds provided me with a good half-hour of entertainment. Here are the two babies. They look full-grown! They minded their own business, hopping from perch to perch and preening their fluffy feathers.

I didn't realize they were juveniles until one of their parents showed up with food, and they started squawking and gaping at it. The bird on the left of the photo above stayed pretty still, so the parent flew directly to it and fed it twice. The bird on the right was much more active, moving all throughout the bush, so by the time it noticed the parent was home with the "bacon," its sibling had already been fed. Down in this photo, you can see the very satisfied babe on the left, the pissed babe on the right, and the extremely harassed parent sandwiched in between.

Neither of these trips was too exciting, but I had a lovely time! It's nice to just get out of the house and spend some time under the sun, especially since the last two days have been weirdly rainy and overcast.

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