Tag Archives: red breast

Pine Siskin

Backyard Bird Friends

My backyard bird friends will soon be changing homes here in Palo Pinto county. Looking forward to the migratory influx.

Pine Siskin
Pine Siskin
Female Northern Cardinal
Female Northern Cardinal
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Carolina Chickadee
Carolina Chickadee
Three Amigos
Three Amigos
American Robin
American Robin
American Goldfinch
American Goldfinch
Robin migration on the Brazos

Robins Robins Robins

As usual, click an image to enlarge.

Robins migration on the Brazos watering
Robins migration on the Brazos watering
  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS REBEL T3i
  • Taken: 26 November, 2012
  • Focal length: 300mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Shutter speed: 1/250s

The American Robin migration that settled at Oaks Crossing just south of Mineral Wells, Texas (North Central Texas) was only the fourth time in my life where I had witnessed such an event. To this day, I am not sure if it was a migration, a gathering, or a concert. What I do know is that they face in all directions and have a high watch standing LP for inbound traffic. With the defense watch intact, they leisurely drink and bathe all along the water’s edge. The whirring of my camera bothered them none but any approach would not be tolerated.

Robins migration on the Brazos River
Robins migration on the Brazos River
  • Aperture: ƒ/5.6
  • Camera: Canon EOS REBEL T3i
  • Taken: 26 November, 2012
  • Focal length: 300mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Shutter speed: 1/640s

Robin migration on the Brazos
Robin migration on the Brazos
  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS REBEL T3i
  • Taken: 26 November, 2012
  • Focal length: 300mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Shutter speed: 1/320s

Short fact: The American Robin is the largest, most abundant North American thrush. The Robin has a loud and musical voice, makes it one of the most easily recognizable birds in North America. “Red Robin, Yummmm!” The diet of the robin is highly variable, changing from primarily earthworms, in spring and summer, to primarily fruit in autumn and winter. During the non-breeding season, large flocks of hundreds or thousands of immature and adult birds migrate to lower elevations, where they form roosting aggregations from which they track sources of berries. The river is heavy with them at the moment. The birds are supposedly more wary than they are when on the breeding grounds. Not all robin populations are migratory, however, some spending the winter months close to their breeding grounds.

Oaks Crossing on the Brazos River
Oaks Crossing - Good Bird Habitat
  • Aperture: ƒ/7.1
  • Camera: Canon EOS REBEL T3i
  • Taken: 26 November, 2012
  • Focal length: 105mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Shutter speed: 1/500s

Nuthatch on the Feeder

Red-Breasted Nuthatch Gallery

Give us the photos – Click here if you would like the story. Palo Pinto county is experiencing an invasion year for these feisty little birds. It happens once every five years or so according to my birding buddy over at Texas Bird Images. One note for this gallery post – The Red-Breasted Nuthatch is one of the most acrobatic little birds that I have seen in the Mineral Wells, Texas area. They are placed right up there with the Chickadee. Both birds have that white and black head and appear very close in size and look. That red breast is a very distinguishable difference. Also, one might note the placement of the head bands are in completely different areas.

CLICK TO ENLARGE:

Red-Breasted Nuthatch on the feeder
Red-Breasted Nuthatch on the feeder
  • Aperture: ƒ/6.3
  • Camera: Canon EOS REBEL T3i
  • Taken: 2 December, 2012
  • Focal length: 300mm
  • ISO: 400
  • Shutter speed: 1/320s

Carolina Chickadee
Carolina Chickadee - Comparison shot
  • Aperture: ƒ/6.3
  • Camera: Canon EOS REBEL T3i
  • Taken: 2 December, 2012
  • Focal length: 220mm
  • ISO: 400
  • Shutter speed: 1/400s

Nuthatch - Back to where I started

Red-Breasted Nuthatch – first sighting.

Time for additional feeders. After watching three months of Titmice, Chickadees, Robins, Mockingbirds, Sparrows and Dove – I decided to add two new feeders. The success was nearly immediate. Obviously, credit will traverse over to the time of year, but some of it goes to the new feeders. Today, I have a change in bird scenery that is spending time “hanging out.” Most notably, the Red-Breasted Nuthatch, Lesser Goldfinch and a House Finch. What an amazingly cool little bird the Nuthatch turned out to be. Acrobatic in every sense of the word. This one spent the majority of his time facing every direction but up, more on that in a few seconds. He travels with approx five Tufted-Tits and a Carolina Chickadee. Man, he looks like a Chickadee at first glance. The body coloring and striping on his head differentiate them quickly. The Red-Breasted Nuthatch is 4 1/2″ of pure amusement. Small fluke that this happened at all, they only arrive once every five years or so.

I am lazing about the home in Mineral Wells, Texas convalescing from a surgery and my daily regime is spent watching the feeder or cleaning something. My shop is off-limits because fresh wounds and saw dust don’t mix. Two days ago, I caught a couple of quick shots and identified my first Nuthatch. He did not stay around long. So, I buy new feeders and solid Sunflower seeds. Today, this guy decided to stick around as well as a few others. The Tube Feeders are a hit. So is the Finch feed.

First Red-Breasted Nuthatch
My first Nuthatch
  • Aperture: ƒ/6.3
  • Camera: Canon EOS REBEL T3i
  • Taken: 28 November, 2012
  • Focal length: 300mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Shutter speed: 1/250s

The story – A Red-Breasted Nuthatch flops lands and hangs upside down on the mixed seed feeder a couple of days ago. No idea what he is so I started checking. That mask (Chickadee like) and coloring made him an easy identification. This is my second time in seeing this bird but I now have it photo documented and checked off. Today, he arrives and puts on an acrobatic show. Of the 20 odd shots that I took of him in the tree, he was upside down or sideways in 16 of them. As-in upside down underneath the branch of the tree.

Nuthatch out on a limb
Nuthatch out on a limb
  • Aperture: ƒ/5.6
  • Camera: Canon EOS REBEL T3i
  • Taken: 28 November, 2012
  • Focal length: 300mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Shutter speed: 1/800s

Today he lands on the new feeder. Looks around. Hops to the pole and eyes the mixed seed feeder. Flies back up to the tube full of black oil sunflower seed and over the next ten minutes, he makes 30 pit stops travelling to and fro. Tree, feeder, tree, feeder. Fan of the tube feeder and sunflowers. That explains all the waste at the mixed seed feeder from two day earlier. Throwing out all the corn. Check out the photo – if you watch, a bird will DEMONSTRATE what he likes. I am hoping the new feeder will save the mixed seed and all the mess.

Picking favorites
Picking favorites

– Talk about strange — I baked a cake.

Tufted - Titmouse

Yard Sitting and Medicinal drinking

Hi Guys! I spent the night in the hospital, courtesy of an over-active blood pressure and high cholesterol. Yes! Hospital stays always make for a fun time. Fun! Fun! Fun! Kind of like a cruise. Same constant unwanted attention; yet, minus the big body of water, food and ambiance.

I managed to capture several massive flocks of Egrets flying Southeast from the window of my Palo Pinto General Hospital jail cell. Probably running from the fires at Possum Kingdom Lake. Not much else flew by. The nice ladies in the colorful shirts finally got me to stay in bed and I stared at the walls for several hours. Anyhow, after a long night of playing (being) human pin cushion, I attained my freedom and left for home. It is a positive thing that the Charge Nurse, doctor and staff were sad to see me leave the floor and the premises. =/

Captain Morgan and I yard sat in the yard and communed with nature for a few hours. Nothing more calming than sweating profusely while waiting on something of interest to fly-by( BIRDING – gotta love it ). It is starting to cool off now, but I lost the light under our canopy of trees. So here I am once again.

The return home – While I sat on the porch step, a House Finch came by to say hello and duck for cover. A Mississippi Kite was hunting just overhead. The Finch heard the camera but did not move. Once the Kite passed, the Finch hauled himself over to the nearest tree limb to watch me at a distance. The mighty Titmouse and and the usual Mockingbird came by. I believe these roost nearby cause I KNOW THESE TWO BIRDS. That sums up my day of relaxation. Sleepy and buzzed… Hey… don’t judge! Medicinal purposes until I see a cardiologist. Missed items include a few sparrows, wrens and a beautiful set of Cardinals. The tinking of my glass as it was placed next to me must have – hiccup – scared ‘em off. PRO HINT – don’t drink margaritas while birding. The mixer WILL interfere with your successful outcome. Just sayin.

Enjoy the photos! I sure enjoy taking them. The move from the XS-1 over to the T3-i was a good decision.

Tufted - Titmouse
Tufted - Titmouse
  • Aperture: ƒ/6.3
  • Camera: Canon EOS REBEL T3i
  • Taken: 14 August, 2012
  • Copyright: {@ZABINSKY} 2012
  • Focal length: 180mm
  • ISO: 800
  • Shutter speed: 1/320s

Northern Mockingbird
Northern Mockingbird
  • Aperture: ƒ/7.1
  • Camera: Canon EOS REBEL T3i
  • Taken: 14 August, 2012
  • Copyright: {@ZABINSKY} 2012
  • Focal length: 300mm
  • ISO: 800
  • Shutter speed: 1/160s

House Finch Hiding
House Finch Hiding - Kite overhead
  • Aperture: ƒ/7.1
  • Camera: Canon EOS REBEL T3i
  • Taken: 14 August, 2012
  • Copyright: {@ZABINSKY} 2012
  • Focal length: 300mm
  • ISO: 400
  • Shutter speed: 1/250s

House Finch in tree
Kite gone - Finch makes escape
  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS REBEL T3i
  • Taken: 14 August, 2012
  • Copyright: {@ZABINSKY} 2012
  • Focal length: 300mm
  • ISO: 800
  • Shutter speed: 1/250s

Mississippi Kite
Mississippi Kite - Kite hunting overhead
  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS REBEL T3i
  • Taken: 14 August, 2012
  • Copyright: {@ZABINSKY} 2012
  • Focal length: 300mm
  • ISO: 400
  • Shutter speed: 1/2000s

Northern Cardinal on Mineral Wells Texas Bird bath

Cardinals in Dusky Mineral Wells

As you can see, the light is gone in Mineral Wells as it should be this time of evening. I could not resist the urge to grab a few shots of my sickly looking juvenile Northern Cardinal. About this time every evening, I am visited by this young Cardinal that looks as if he has been rode hard and put up wet. Poor guy. I guess his mother did not teach him the dangers of too much sun. Not being the scientist type or a student of bird biology, I have no clue what causes these aberrations in my bird friends. The Starlings in my area are still in full winter coats. Anyway, no matter the time or the cause, it’s fun to step out for a few moments, crank up the ISO, turn down the shutter speed and see how it all turns out. Birding is never the same two days in a row and it is always entertaining. The Cardinal drank steadily while a squirrel chattered noisily in the background. This squirrel was being thoroughly harassed by a young Mockingbird. One can describe the scene thoroughly but the humor cannot be conveyed properly without a good visual. Too bad the trees were so thick. While all this was going on, the Sparrows and Titmice were taking turns on the feeder. A single Chickadee was directly over my head as I sat on the porch. Patiently waiting his turn on the bird bath. It may not be Possum Kingdom Lake or the Grand Canyon but a backyard scene can be invigorating and still calm the soul.

Well, it is time to upload photos, turn off the computer, and hope for a cooler tomorrow. It was a balmy 106 in Mineral Wells today. If you get the chance, stop in at yesterday’s post called, “Random Nature photos for July.” I am needing help with a spider identification.

Don’t forget to check out the links below the gallery for more information on birding, my hook bird, and some free nature photography desktops.

Northern Cardinal on Mineral Wells Texas Bird bath
Northern Cardinal on bird bath

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Birding 101 – New content for new birders. Read Birding 101. It describes the birth of my passion for these flighty little creatures. I also discuss the few essentials necessary for getting started.

American Robin

American Robin

The American Robin is one of my most sought after birds for photographing. They are literally everywhere in the neighborhood above us, I can never seem to catch them when the light is right. So, I apologize for the weak captures. To be honest, I have a problem locating and shooting any red-bodied bird. My camera HATES focusing on red. Strange! There are several red species on my local list and I have not had much success, but there is always tomorrow and another excuse.

American Robins are a fairly large bodied songbird. They have a round body, long legs, and fairly long tail. They are one of the largest North American thrushes. Robins are popular birds for their bright orange breast. These birds are very territorial and do not share well with others. I have heard stories from people that Robins have attacked windows due to reflections. This can go on for days.

The eggs and nest are what one would envision when thinking of birds. A deep cup with bright blue eggs.

American Robin Nest
Deep cup and blue eggs
  • Aperture: ƒ/3.1
  • Camera: FINEPIX S4250
  • Taken: 4 April, 2012
  • Focal length: 4.3mm
  • ISO: 400
  • Shutter speed: 1/5s

American Robin
American Robin
  • Aperture: ƒ/5.6
  • Camera: X-S1
  • Taken: 21 July, 2012
  • Focal length: 158.6mm
  • ISO: 400
  • Shutter speed: 1/200s