My adventures in the woods, streams, rivers, fields, and lakes of Michigan

Watch the birdies!

My posts have been short on bird images lately, there’s been too many bugs and blooms to photograph. However, I was up early one morning, and got to the park where I walk weekdays earlier than I usually do, ad before many other people had arrived. I saw more birds that morning than I have been seeing in a week when I walk just a little later. The number of birds has increased lately as well, since there are fledglings of many species just leaving the nest. So this post will have more birds photos, but I have a few bugs and blooms to share as well.

I’ll start with a juvenile downy woodpecker that was having feather problems. It was trying to find insects in the branch it was perched on….

Juvenile downy woodpecker

Juvenile downy woodpecker

…but as he pecked away at the bark on the branch, some of its feathers popped out-of-place…

Juvenile downy woodpecker

Juvenile downy woodpecker

…and you can see that the woodpecker was not happy with its misbehaving feathers. After getting the feathers where they belonged, the woodpecker went back to looking for food, but then, the feathers on its neck popped out-of-place.

Juvenile downy woodpecker

Juvenile downy woodpecker

The woodpecker did some serious preening….

Juvenile downy woodpecker

Juvenile downy woodpecker

…but its feathers would not stay in place no matter how hard the woodpecker worked, so it closed its eyes, and sighed.

Juvenile downy woodpecker

Juvenile downy woodpecker

It’s tough to be a young bird with wayward feathers, here’s a juvenile male Baltimore oriole with the same problem.

Juvenile male Baltimore oriole

Juvenile male Baltimore oriole

He noticed me taking photos and shot me one of those “Do you mind, I’d like some privacy!” looks.

Juvenile male Baltimore oriole

Juvenile male Baltimore oriole

Then he went back to preening.

Juvenile male Baltimore oriole

Juvenile male Baltimore oriole

The adult male Baltimore orioles were too busy looking for food for their young to do any preening.

Male Baltimore oriole

Male Baltimore oriole

Male Baltimore oriole

Male Baltimore oriole

Male Baltimore oriole

Male Baltimore oriole

The next four images are for those people who have tried chasing birds around to get photos of the birds. It’s a female Baltimore oriole doing her best to stay out of my viewfinder.

Female Baltimore oriole

Female Baltimore oriole

The only reason that I shot that one was that I’m trying to learn how make the new 300 mm prime lens do what the Beast (Sigma 150-500 mm lens) can do, pick birds out of the brush when the birds are trying to hide. The oriole figured out that I was still able to get photos of her where she was, so she changed tactics, and hid in the deep shade, where she thought that she would be safe. I think that she even laughed about it.

Female Baltimore oriole

Female Baltimore oriole

But little did she know, I can get the bird just about anywhere.

Female Baltimore oriole

Female Baltimore oriole

She tried hiding in a sunny area again.

Female Baltimore oriole

Female Baltimore oriole

But, when she heard the shutter still clicking away, she decided to put an end to the game, and flew off out of range.

This flicker was much more cooperative, posing and allowing me to choose its good side.

Northern flicker

Northern flicker

Northern flicker

Northern flicker

These next three images aren’t very good, but they show how a song sparrow eats mulberries, first spearing the berry…

Song sparrow eating a mulberry

Song sparrow eating a mulberry

…shaking the berry violently…

Song sparrow eating a mulberry

Song sparrow eating a mulberry

…then spearing it again.

Song sparrow eating a mulberry

Song sparrow eating a mulberry

I have a few more goose photos to add since I haven’t posted any goose photos for some time.

Canada goose

Canada goose

Canada goose diving

Canada goose diving

Canada goose

Canada goose

Canada goose

Canada goose

While the geese were playing, the mallards were engaged in their favorite activity, snoozing in the shade.

Mallards that forgot their sunscreen

Mallards that forgot their sunscreen

Time for some bugs and blooms.

Green bee and chicory

Green bee and chicory

Green bee and chicory

Green bee and chicory

Unidentiied red beetle

Unidentified red beetle

Daddy log legs

Daddy log legs

Unidentified beetle

Unidentified beetle

Now then, back to the birds.

American robin

American robin

This catbird had just been harassed by a red-winged blackbird, and looked a bit bewildered as to why another bird would chase him.

Grey catbird

Grey catbird

Seeing the blackbird again, the catbird decided to vamoose.

Grey catbird

Grey catbird

I got a few more fair images of a barn swallow.

Barn swallow

Barn swallow

Barn swallow

Barn swallow

Barn swallow

Barn swallow

One of the readers of my blog told me that I couldn’t delete photos of red-winged blackbirds attacking hawks. So, I decided not to crop these to see if the approaching storm clouds would add a little more drama to these images.

Red-winged blackbird attacking a red-tailed hawk

Red-winged blackbird attacking a red-tailed hawk

Red-winged blackbird attacking a red-tailed hawk

Red-winged blackbird attacking a red-tailed hawk

This next one is the pits, but it’s to remind me that the hawk had its fill of the blackbirds, and made a very quick manuever, quicker than I thought that a hawk could turn.

Red-winged blackbird attacking a red-tailed hawk

Red-winged blackbird attacking a red-tailed hawk

And to wrap this post up, a happy squirrel.

Laughing fox squirrel

Happy fox squirrel

I’ve been looking out the window and watching the fireworks as I’ve typed this, which reminds me….

Happy Birthday America!!!!!!!!!!

I hope that every one is having a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend!

That’s it for this one, thanks for stopping by!

 

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20 responses

  1. Em

    How funny you also call them Daddy long legs … Thought it was a UK thing. Blackbirds are famous for chasing hawks here too. Nice photos

    July 5, 2014 at 2:54 am

    • Thank you very much!

      July 5, 2014 at 9:21 am

  2. Love the shots of the juuvies. Nice to be back to the birds dory a day.

    July 5, 2014 at 6:58 am

    • Thanks Judy, let me know when you’d like to follow me around while I chase the birds.

      July 5, 2014 at 9:23 am

      • I’m thinking next weekend??? I’ll be in touch, off-forum. Lifting weights all week so that I can tote the Beast for you!

        July 5, 2014 at 9:47 am

  3. I think that’s the happiest squirrel I’ve ever seen.
    It’s nice to see the chicory. I think the winter killed all of ours. I haven’t seen a single bloom this season.
    The flicker is a beautiful bird! I like the shots of the geese splashing.

    July 5, 2014 at 8:09 am

    • Thanks Allen! The squirrel was happy because some people who had a picnic didn’t clean up after themselves, and left easy pickings for the squirrel. It’s hard to believe that this past winter could have wiped out chicory, it’s a very hardy plant. It was late here, maybe it will show up there in another week or two.

      July 5, 2014 at 9:25 am

  4. Those insect shots are really good and I liked the juvenile woodpecker photos too.

    July 5, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    • Thanks Clare, just another day in paradise. 😉

      July 5, 2014 at 5:53 pm

  5. I liked the insect interlude among your fine bird pictures.

    July 5, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    • Thanks Tom! I’m surprised that there are any insect left at the rate the birds are scarfing them down.

      July 5, 2014 at 5:59 pm

  6. Nenkin Seikatsu

    Well done!
    I can imagine the juvenile woodpecker’s saying the Serenity Prayer.

    July 6, 2014 at 6:22 am

    • Thanks, the young birds need all the help they can get.

      July 6, 2014 at 7:52 pm

      • Nenkin Seikatsu

        We all do.

        July 7, 2014 at 7:59 am

  7. Super-cute post – loved the narrative of the juvenile downy and oriole! 🙂 That oriole really was giving you a look!! It was fun to see more of your bird photos, they have been missed. And I loved seeing the happy squirrel! 🙂

    July 9, 2014 at 10:24 am

    • Thanks Amy! It’s the same old story, so many things to photograph, so little time and space to put them all online.

      July 9, 2014 at 2:10 pm

  8. Great juvenile downy woodpecker sequence, and thanks for the obligatory red-tailed hawk being mobbed photos. Also, the green bee on chicory is striking – unexpected colors that contrast nicely together.

    July 10, 2014 at 9:22 am

    • Thanks again! I think that photos of hawks mobbed by blackbirds are done for the year, oh well, there’s always next year. 😉

      July 10, 2014 at 2:38 pm

      • You’re welcome. Did you see the blog post (not my post) about RTH attacking sandhills cranes and being chase off by mockingbirds? Have never seen mockingbirds mob anything much less the much larger RTH!

        July 10, 2014 at 6:02 pm

      • I missed that post, but I have seen videos of mockingbirds attacking cats, dogs, and even people.

        July 11, 2014 at 1:53 am