I found these photos on the camera’s memory card today.
My husband told me that early this afternoon he was sitting in the sunshine, bundled up in his winter coat and hat, enjoying the birds.
He had the camera with him and the Quantaray 70-300mm lens on it. It was nice in the sun and where he was sitting, he was protected from the wind.
He spied a little black capped chicadee clinging to the suet cage trying to get at all that lovely cake inside.
He captured this downy woodpecker with a thick beard.
I looked at this beard close-up in Photoshop and it really is thick!
A house finch stops by to feast on seed my husband had spread out on the picnic table.
And a little nuthatch comes by as well. All the birds were chirping and twittering about in the warmth of the sunshine.
It was so peaceful, he told me.
And then suddenly, in a flash of wings, they completely disappeared.
My husband was ready with the lens. When the birds leave that quickly, there’s usually only one reason.
A sharp-shinned hawk has appeared. And he looks hungry.
I love how clear this shot is. It’s the best of the bunch.
This hawk moves very quickly and silently, and his secretive traits allow him to surprise his prey. He’s looking for birds at the feeders.
But they’ve already left.
He flew down to the picnic table but didn’t stay very long. Small birds are the most common prey for these hawks, together with rodents, reptiles and even some large insects.
Sharp-shinned hawks often have a plucking post near their nest, where they go to pluck feathers from their prey, leaving piles of them at the base of a stump, a fence post, or a fallen tree. Their nests are usually hidden quite well high up in a dense conifer tree.
I do hope you’re taking notes. There’s going to be a quiz at the end of this chapter.
But I find all of this interesting, so I’m sharing the knowledge.
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I’m thankful that I don’t live in the Randolph, NY area. I heard on the news tonight that they had 4 feet of lake-effect snow in a record-setting early December storm.
And that’s just too much. Anyone out there have snow yet? It’s been bone-chillingly cold here in Maryland these past few days. So how are things in your neck of the woods?
Until tomorrow, my friends . . .