Mineral Wells – Sunday Birding List

The short, it was a great Sunday for birding in my little Mineral Wells neighborhood. I checked off four more birds on my list. Wren, Raven, Bunting, Finch. For me to check off… I must capture clear photo documentation. Keeps me honest! Shameless, non-paid plug… The Canon T3i has made that part of this hobby so MUCH EASIER. No more XS-1 for birding. It is now serving as the designated Macro camera. The T3i was purchased last week along with the Canon 70-300mm IS USM lens. The auto focus is stellar for the fly-by’s. Enough of the plug but I do love the new toy.

My First Bunting:

Indigo Bunting - female
Painted Bunting - female
  • Aperture: ƒ/5.6
  • Camera: Canon EOS REBEL T3i
  • Taken: 12 August, 2012
  • Focal length: 300mm
  • ISO: 800
  • Shutter speed: 1/200s

I owe a debt of gratitude to Jim Peterson from nctexasbirds.com for helping identify the little green looking thing. Birds can be tough even for serious minded folk. Thanks Jim for your incredible guidance.

Painted Bunting - female
Painted Bunting - female
  • Aperture: ƒ/5.6
  • Camera: Canon EOS REBEL T3i
  • Taken: 12 August, 2012
  • Focal length: 300mm
  • ISO: 800
  • Shutter speed: 1/200s

This weekend I changed out the feeders from Black oil seed to nuts and fruits. The change in bird scenery was instant. Blue Jays, Cardinals, Wrens, Buntings, and Finches. Prior to this weekend, it was sparrows, doves, Titmice, with a light spattering of Chickadees. So, I caught my first House Finch, Carolina Wren, Painted Bunting, and Blue Jay in the yard. The food change worked quick. Prior to this weekend, these guys have avoided my yard like a man avoids an ex when past due on child support. Bad analogy – but so true. Prior to this weekend, I had no idea that Buntings were so tiny. The do remind me of the mighty Titmouse. Good Night! It is late and I have to be up in 5 hours, so this completes the short.

I love this photo – Bit characters in a play.

European Starlings
European Starlings - conventional roll call
  • Aperture: ƒ/10
  • Camera: Canon EOS REBEL T3i
  • Taken: 12 August, 2012
  • Focal length: 300mm
  • ISO: 400
  • Shutter speed: 1/125s

Sunday yard count and the Mineral Wells, Texas neighborhood list: European Starling, Northern Cardinal, Carolina Wren, White-Winged Dove, House Sparrow, Northern Mockingbird, Tufted-Titmouse, Carolina Chickadee, Great-Tailed Grackle, House Finch, Painted Bunting – female, Raven(?), Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture and Mississippi Kite. Only the Chihuahuan Ravens, Vulture and Starlings were not directly in or over my yard at the time of the photos. Have no clue about identifying one black bird from another. Grackle, Raven, Crow… only the vulture is easy to pick out. – That bunting was something else. Great fun to watch.

The Kite in the neighborhood is starting to visit less regularly.

Northern Mockingbird on birdbath
Northern Mockingbird on birdbath
  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS REBEL T3i
  • Taken: 12 August, 2012
  • Focal length: 300mm
  • ISO: 400
  • Shutter speed: 1/250s

2 thoughts on “Mineral Wells – Sunday Birding List”

  1. what type of seed do we need to bring in more buntings? I really want to see a male painted bunting!

  2. Me to!!! Check out this PBASE.com entry. Fantastic! http://www.pbase.com/dadas115/painted_bunting&page=all Still think the female looks a lot like my Indigo Bunting… does not have the yellow below.

    To answer your question: We need to plant wildflowers. Native wildflower and leave them on the ground. Provide seed at your feeders. Millet seeds are a special favorite. Says to have several feeders. Painted Buntings are shy, yet very territorial. They are known to fight to the death over their territory.

    Running or dripping water is preferred. Hence the pond / running bird baths, they love to bathe.

    Leave plenty of brush – buntings nest three to six feet off the ground, wild native vines or other bushes need to be on the perimeter of our property, as well as other indigenous plants.

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