Sometimes, Life is for the Birds!

1 09 2010

large plastic bird feeder shaped like a red barnReal birds that is. Living at the edge of city we get quite a few birds hitting up our feeders; sometimes, they fight over them. We have three good sized birdsmall sparrow perched at the edge of a roof feeders on the front porch, and in the back yard,  an old feeder my dad built that feeds a number of small birds in their own cubbyholes. The holes are small to keep the squirrels and larger birds out, so the feeder is suitable for the small yellow finches, the little sparrows and wrens, and the tiny chickadees. The feeders at the front porch dispense the feed onto a bottom platform and we generally get sparrows and yellow finches, but also find ourselves inundated with starlings, and on occasion the large crows and blackbirds try to feed off them too. When there’s a fight over the feeders, they swing back and forth small sparrow perched at the edge of a rooftopspilling the millet and sunflower seeds onto the front porch, bringing the doves who prefer to feed off solid platforms as opposed to swinging bird feeders. Having a pond and birdbath with moving water adjacent to the feeders also helps bring the birds into the yard.

Not far from our house is a large wooded area open to the public which is known as “Grants Woods”. This used to be a private estate, and on the grounds is a fieldstone house and a large gazebo at the side yard. This gazebo has a picnic table and benches around the edges, with feeding platforms for the birds. Nearby are a number of feeding stations for the birds too. We discovered on a recent outing that if a person sits at the gazebo, you can see and photograph the birds without frightening them away.  On that particular day, I was only equipped with a young bluejay at a feeder with a peanut in it's beak200mm lens, so I wasn’t able to get as close as I’d have liked.  If you leave the gazebo to move closer to the feeding stations, the birds disappear in a hurry.   We’re planning another trip out there to simply sit and watch (ie: photograph) the birds, but this time I’ll be taking my 400mm lens and tripod and setting it up in the gazebo.

female hairy woodpecker at bird feederThis last trip I managed to photograph a young bluejay, and a pair of hairy woodpeckers (male and female), along with a sparrow, who appears to be able to share the feeder with the bluejay and not get into arguments. But besides those I managed to capture, there are yellow fitches, and tufted titmouse, and I’m pretty certain I also saw a cedar waxwing. I was hoping to find a cardinal, but we were only at the gazebo for a short period of time at the end of our treck through the forest and woods.

A quick hop from there on our way home and we were at the sanctuary (hard place for me to stay away from), where we got a look at this male hairy woodpecker at bird feederyear’s crop of baby mute swans; they’ve grown from small bundles of fuzz into the youth stage, though they are only about 4-5 months old right now. Of the four babies, two are white, and two are brown (the brown is most common until they are adults, with white babies being less common). The Orillia Fish & Game Conservation club have been working in the swan pond and fixed up an area that was quite overgrown. They’ve removed some of the wilder undergrowth and patched up some areas with gravel and generally have 4 month old cygnet of a mute swan with white coloringspent some time cleaning up the area. I was rather surprised at the number of ducks resting in this area – generally you might see two or three ducks at the swan’s pond, but on this trip there were more than a dozen sitting quietly in the cleaned up areas near the gravel beds. The swans seem happy enough to share their compound with the ducks, but don’t tolerate the geese very well.

On this trip we took along a couple of heads of lettuce to feed the swans (they eat greens or corn) and as my husband approached the fence they lined up side-by-side to receive their greens. It was funny to see them in a neat row like that – most of the time they are stepping on each other to get to the food, although they certainly don’t go hungry. The pond is full of growth for them to feed off, and the OFGC has a member feed the swans every day with boxes of greens and corn, and of course at some point through the day, there are always visitors to feed them.

You should be able to download any of the images from this post (the full size available) by clicking on the image.

a group of ducks resting in a swan's compound

young bluejay and sparrow at bird feeder

young bluejay without the recognizable bluejay head crest

female hairy woodpecker at bird feeder

female hairy woodpecker at bird feeder

male hairy woodpecker at feeder

small house sparrow at the edge of a rooftop

small house sparrow

small brown sparrow at bird feeder

young bluejay at bird feeder


Free Photographs – Oct. 27, 2008

27 10 2008
Marsh Ducks in June

Marsh Ducks in June

Ducks in a protected wetlands & wildlife sanctuary.

Strolling Duck

Strolling Duck

A female wood duck at the wildlife sanctuary.

Wings Over Babies

Wings Over Babies

A trumpeter swan with spread wings; it’s babies at it’s feet.

This next batch of images were taken in 2004 with a small camera. They will not be much good for large projects, but will be suitable for blogs, and web display. Most of them were taken in and around Georgia (USA).

Above the Clouds

Above the Clouds

A view of the clouds from a small private plane.

Above the Clouds 2

Above the Clouds 2

A rolling carpet of clouds, as seen from above.

Event Horizon

Event Horizon

A view of the horizon above the clouds.

Ladies Watch

Ladies Watch

A square-faced ladies watch with beaded bracelet band.

Shadowy Hallway

Shadowy Hallway

Hallway with window at the end; the evening light casting shadows.

Tree Hole

Tree Hole

A large hole in the trunk of a tree.

US Highway I90

US Highway I90

Along the US Highway I90

Warm Hotel Lobby

Warm Hotel Lobby

A warm and inviting seating area in a hotel lobby sporting plaid wingback chairs and a Queen Anne style console table.

Free Stock Photos – Saturday May 17th

17 05 2008

Small corner of beach (sand) with lake in the background.


Birdseed with scoop.


Envelopes with windows for CDs

CD Sleeves

Hand holding car keys.

Hand With Keys

Ducks on a stream through the marsh.

Marsh Ducks

Energy Saving Lightbulbs

Save Energy

Mostly Stock – Thursday May 16th

16 05 2008

Wow – got a little behind here with posting up some new stuff. Sorry folks. Here’s a few more than usual today – mostly “stock” type images for business and editorial use – one nature photo.

If you haven’t already, please be sure to read the licensing terms – found on the FAQ. For those who have already, please read them again as there have been a couple of changes in the last week – don’t worry, they are still free. The changes mostly relate to commercial usage (and that’s still free too).

A black calculator with large buttons on white.

A Calculating Mind – calculator with large buttons.

Magnifying Glass

Magnifying Glass

Vintage fountain pens - one gray, one red; both with gold caps.

Old Fountain Pens

Three hold paper punch

Three hole paper punch.

A single puzzle piece on white background.

Puzzle piece.

Song of Songs or Song of Solomon

Song of Songs or Song of Solomon.

Pieces of baking candy.

Sweet Bits

Old style flatware pieces on white background.

Vintage Silverware.

Old style flatware with amber handles.

Vintage silverware 2 – same cutlery as above.

Yellow pencil with sharpened lead point.

Yellow Pencil

Ducks and Geese

Ducks and Geese