A novice birder's observation of birds and other natural wildlife with wings ... or maybe not with wings...
Friday, July 9, 2010
Probably the most well-known of all the Crested birds (6th in my series) is the Illinois State Bird - the Northern Cardinal. Cardinals are present all four seasons in Northern IL. Their song is very recognizable and their striking red color is easy to spot at their perches within the tree branches. Above (1-31-10) a female enjoying a winter meal at our backyard feeder. Below top (5-2-10) a male at Rock Cut State park, IL; below middle (12-27-09) a male peaking at me between the branches in Tucson, AZ (close to the edge of their Western most range); below bottom, backlit by the winter morning sun, a Cardinal joined by a Slate-colored Junco at our front yard feeder, both looked at me at the same time when I snapped their photo (1-31-09).
Hello, I have always been interested in birds, undoubtedly influenced by my mother and grandmother. As a young boy I remember paging through my parents' bird books. Both my Mom and Grandma would identify birds by both their songs and their looks. I enjoy nature and being out in it as often as I am able. Being a teacher helps - as I have much of the summer to do just that. I have done some nature and wildlife photography, but until a few years ago I never thought about photographing birds thinking that it would be too difficult - too small and too flighty. After a few thousand photos, my girlfriend suggested that I open a blog sharing some of the pictures that I have taken and hopefully will be taking in the future.
During the 3 years that have been writing this blog, I have graduated from my first camera, a Sony Digital, to my 2nd, a Canon Rebel T1i, to finally my 3rd and current camera - Canon EOS7D. I started with the standard 18-55mm lens, which I soon found was totally impractical. I then purchased a Canon 55-250mm which I used for quite some time, until I bought my current lens, Sigma 150-500mm.