PUFFER JACKETS: A CASE OF BIOMICRY?

Male Pine Warbler Puffed Up In Cold Rain

When the cold fronts start moving through the South, the birdwatching web sites light up with posts from many new birders along the lines of: “Bless their hearts, are my poor little babies going to freeze to death?” The answers back are along the lines of: One way birds stay warm is by using their […]

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RED-TAILED HAWK: CLOSE QUARTERS PRECISION FLYING

I’ve seen it hundreds of times. A bird of prey that has been sitting quietly still and unnoticed deep in a tree canopy suddenly explodes into flight. Maneuvers through the branches and limbs of the treetops to take its prey. I’m awestruck every time. This Red-tailed Hawk hunting in our yard on two recent days […]

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RARE WINTER VISITOR TO OUR YARD: BALTIMORE ORIOLE

Female Baltimore Oriole. Or maybe immature male. Males don’t molt to their bright adult orange until their second year. This bird was visiting our yard in Decatur, Georgia which is deep inside metro-Atlanta on January 29th. I had to add Baltimore Oriole to my yard’s eBird checklist. And was lucky to have photos. They are […]

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PINE WARBLER: WINTER BRIGHT SPOT

Male Pine Warbler Puffed Up In Cold Rain

Pine Warblers live year round with us. They don’t head to the tropics in winter like their neotropical cousins. They are literally and figuratively a bright spot on drab, grey, winter days. Especially our days of ‘wintry mix’. What holds them here is their fondness for, guess what, pine nuts. Something we have a lot […]

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BLUE-HEADED VIREO: RAPTOR MINI-ME

Blue-headed Vireo Devouring A Bug

I like Vireos (& Shrikes). To me they are a raptor mini-me. All have stout bills. Many have hooked bills –‘tomial tooth’. Both perfect features to kill and dismember prey, including insects and for some of the ‘larger’ species (they are all small compared to the big guys) small birds, mammals and reptiles. It is […]

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WINTER VISITORS TO OUR YARD: RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS

Ruby-crowned Kinglet With Full View Of Ruby Crown

Pure energy packed into a tiny package. Ruby-crowned Kinglets are short-haul migrant winter visitors to our neighborhood. They only migrate to and from the U.S.’s south and northern Mexico to the upper regions of Canada. This is even more remarkable when you think about just how tiny they are: 3.5-4.3 in (9-11 cm), 0.2-0.3 oz […]

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THE OWLS HAVE IT

Barred Owl In Backlit Bright Yellow & Gold Autumn Maple Tree

To paraphrase Zac Brown, the It is “whatever It is that blows a viewer away”. Owls are just photogenic. For Barred Owls it really helps that they are more diurnal than their cousins so it’s possible to get shots in decent light. It also helps me that there is a pair that nests two houses […]

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CUTE & FUNCTIONAL

Tufted Titmouse In Fall Colors

Tufted Titmice. Their eyes are black as coal & large in proportion to their heads. This not only gives them a ‘cute’, expressive look, it is functional as well. The eyes placement and high degree of range of movement gives Titmice a relatively wide binocular field of vision. They can focus both eyes on one […]

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PATIENCE PAYS OFF

Barred Owl Taking Off With Wings Stretched Straight Up

In many of my posts I make a big deal out of being an active birder\photographer. Some would say too big a deal. There are times though that I try to wait for the shot. This is the case in this series of one of our neighborhood Barred Owl pair. She and her mate (I […]

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Happy Our-Little-Piece-Of-Earth Earth Day

Today’s (April 22, 2021) media will be full, and rightfully so, of proclamations calling for an urgent global response to the climate crisis. As you might suspect, one of my interests in these proclamations of goals and possible solutions is their impact on the impact of climate change on bird populations. Globally and my yard, […]

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