Photographing my story, one click at a time.

Birding

We’ve Got Eggs!

The female bluebird has been busy laying her eggs. It looks like it’ll be four bluebird babies this time. Mama has started roosting so we should see some little bald babies between May 7th and 9th.

Bluebird eggs

Female guarding her nest

White Pine Photo

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Sparrow Spooker

In the past several years we’ve noticed more sparrows showing up in the yard. Even though we love all of the birds, sparrows are like the block bullies. In an effort to protect our bluebirds and their babies, we did some research on how to keep the sparrows from going near the nesting box. Last year we discovered the “sparrow spooker” and it was literally a life saver for our bluebirds.

This website sells sparrow spookers and supplies to make your own.  We order the Mylar scare tape and build our spooker. When we put it up last year we read that it’s best to wait until after the bluebirds have laid their first egg. They are less likely to abandon the nest at that point. This year because we noticed the bluebirds fighting off a few sparrows while they were in the nest building process, I decided to make a new one and put it up right away.

Let me insert a little helpful information here. Don’t run to the store and get a Mylar balloon (like I tried last year), cut it up into strips and use that thinking “Hey, it’s Mylar”. They curl and become ineffective by the end of the first day.

There’s nothing really pretty about a sparrow spooker except the Mylar strips waving in the breeze. I build them out of whatever wood I have handy. As long as it’s sturdy and I can attach it to the post the nesting box is on, I consider it a success. When I put it up this year, it took about a half hour for the bluebirds to be comfortable around the box again. They took turns checking it out, flying over it, under it, around it, etc. Soon they were perching on it as if it had been there forever. We haven’t seen any sparrows near the nesting box since we put it up.

White Pine Photo

White Pine Photo

White Pine Photo


The Bluebirds are hard at work building their nest. They have a daily routine of building in the morning, taking the afternoon off and then coming back in the early evening to add a little more.

female bluebird

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The Bluebirds are back!

We put up a new nesting box for the Bluebirds this year. Last years box had to have a mid season roof repair. There’s always a feeling of “I wonder if they’ll come to a new box”, but it took about an hour after it was up and here they came. One interesting side note about the bluebirds…….we discovered they were roosting in the barn swallow nests under the porch eave since at least February. It could be earlier than that, but we hadn’t noticed until then. Every night they’d show up as soon as it got dark. There were three of them. Two in one nest and one in the other.

We’re thrilled to see them working on a new nest and I’ll keep you posted on their progress all the way through the fledging.

The happy couple.

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Bluebirds - White Pine Photo


It’s all in the timing

“Sometimes I arrive just when God’s ready to have someone click the shutter.”
― Ansel Adams

Blue Jay
11/04/12 - Blue Jay jump


“Call me Grace”

Today I went out to shoot photos of a little wildlife. Timing was everything catching the graceful landing of a Blue Heron.

The landing gear starts to come down

Uh oh!

Picture Perfect Landing 🙂


Red-Tailed Hawk

I see this hawk all the time perched on top of this church steeple. This morning…….I had my zoom lens with me.


Yellow Rumped Warblers

We’ve noticed these little beauties in the yard recently. It’s the first time we’ve seen them here.

 


I.D. Bracelet

Bird Banding at the Indiana Dunes.

Blue-crowned nuthatch getting his tiny metal band with a nine-digit identification number.
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The band is on and all that needs to be done is to weigh this little guy
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All done and ready to take off!
Female Blue Crowned Nut Hatch 1


Close your eyes and listen to what you can see

“I hear like you see — like the hummingbird outside that window for instance.”
-Ray Charles


You might want to have plans on hatching day

Imprinting. The first living thing a goose sees when it’s born, it automatically assumes is its mother.


Be a Tree’s BFF

Be a gentle friend to trees and they will give you back beauty, cool and fragrant shade, and many birds, singing.
– Unknown

Baby Hummingbird

Yellow Finch

Female Red Finch


My Little Chickadee

Today we were visited by four Chickadees. We’ve never seen them in the yard, although friends that live about a mile away have recently seen them in their trees. Needless to say, I grabbed my camera and started shooting.


Even a hummingbird takes a break

I was sitting on the patio earlier today and saw this male hummingbird resting in a tree.

Hummingbird resting

Hummingbird resting

Hummingbird resting


We can’t all be the lead singer

“Use what talents you possess: The woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.”
― Henry Van Dyke


Nature gets it right every time

“Did you ever see an unhappy horse? Did you ever see a bird that had the blues? One reason why birds and horses are not unhappy is because they are not trying to impress other birds and horses.”
  – Dale Carnegie



Backyard Beauty

I feel a responsibility to my backyard. I want it to be taken care of and protected.
Annie Leibovitz

A baby Bluebirds first flight out of the nesting box. He turned around and flew right back in. (he left a while later)

I took all of these pictures in my backyard. 🙂


The Singer

A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.
Lou Holtz


Sandhill Cranes

Living just minutes from the Indiana Dunes and the Lake Michigan shore, bird migration is a common yearly ritual. In my opinion, nothing beats the Sandhill Crane migration. Their size alone; with a wingspan of 5-6 feet, is spectacular to see. On any given day during the migratory season, you can see thousands of them flying overhead.

Here are a few shots I took in March:


Grasshopper, Anyone?

As long as there are bluebirds, there will be miracles and a way to find happiness.
Shirl Brunnel

Female Bluebird waiting to bring her babies a grasshopper

A little blueberry chaser

Incoming!

Dessert


Whoaaaaaaa!

The female Bluebird flying in some lunch for her babies. She seems to have overshot the runway a little. They can’t all be perfect.


Dinner time

Indeed, this bird seems incapable of uttering a harsh note, or of doing a spiteful, ill-tempered thing.
John Burroughs, The Bluebird, 1867

The female  bluebird with another meal for her babies


Zen of the Bluebird

The bluebird carries the sky on his back.
Henry David Thoreau

Every day I see the bluebirds nesting in our backyard, and every day I’m more in awe. They have no newspapers, television or internet, and yet they have it all figured out. We have so much to learn.

To follow the nest building, egg laying, hatching and fledging of these bluebirds, check out The Bluebird Diaries by Elizababble.


Birds just wanna have fun!

Go ahead and JUMP!
5/21/12 - Go ahead and JUMP!

Jump!    -    05/12/12

Jumping

JUMP!

06/11/12 - Step Off

“Great photos won’t come knocking on your door. Get outside;  enjoy the view.”  Click to tweet!