A novice birder's observation of birds and other natural wildlife with wings ... or maybe not with wings...
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Whether I am at home in Northern Illinois listening to a Wood Thrush or out West listening to a Hermit or Swainson's Thrush, in my opinion, the thrushes have some of the most beautiful songs in the bird world. One reason for this is that they have the ability to sing more than one note simultaneously. I am also convinced that they can throw thier voice. I can be in the woods chasing a Wood Thrush and it sounds like I am literally next to it, and still cannot spot its location. Then I hear it in another spot, follow that song, and still not see the bird. Of course, their brown feathers blending into the forest is probably the real reason I cannot spot them. And when I do, they are too far away, too hidden, or it is too dark to get a decent photo. Nevertheless, hiking in Colorado, it is the Hermit Thrush that always seems to avoid my viewfinder. They are more prone to be in the open than the Wood Thrush (which always seems to be behind a branch); however, they are very sly at always seeming to be in a position with their back to me or half-hidden behind a fallen log or bush. Of all the attempts of photographing a Thrush, only once I came away with a good picture, and I wasn't even stalking it. I was actually stalking a Coati-Mundi (Below top, 12-27-09) during one of our Winter Break migrations to Arizona, when a Hermit Thrush (Below bottom, 12-27-09) landed on the ground in front of me.. What fantastic luck - getting two wildlife photo ops within ten seconds of eachother.
I labelled the photographs, just in case you didn't know which one was the Hermit Thrush.
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.