Fantastic Females

For them not interested in reading, you can see the photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery.  

I have a feeling traffic will be heavy for this post . . . and that — having come here with different expectations — most will quickly leave.

That’s right . . . this post is about female birds. Wait, let me be clearer; non-human birds.

Click for larger view
Click for larger view

So, Project FeederWatch<<link — by The Cornell Lab of Ornithology — has been running weekly contests (and I’ve missed a number of weeks). This week, it’s “Fantastic Females; Celebrating the muted tones of female birds”. Anyone wanting to see the current submissions can click this LINK.

Now, I’m always reluctant to enter contests (although I’ve entered a few<<link — warning: there are nine pages of posts), and I’ll tell you why.

It’s because I suck . . . er . . . I mean, it’s because the judges have no taste . . . no, wait . . . OK, OK, it’s because there are mucho many better photographers out there than me. Same with writing, and pretty much everything I do. The thing is, I’m pretty good at many things, but excel in none.

Let me assure my readers . . . I know perfectly well I won’t win. I know it without a shadow of a doubt and I’m perfectly OK with it. The main — and sole — reason to submit is that it gives me a chance to do these kinds of posts. So, if you appreciate the photos, great, but don’t worry about encouraging me or wishing me luck, etc. etc.

OK, on with the photos (pay attention; there’s a poll at the end) . . . my first thought was to pick one of my many female hummingbirds photos . . .



However, if you look at the current submissions, there are already hummingbirds on there. Now, if the contest was based on quantity, well, then, I think I’d have a chance (just go to SmugMug and search for ‘hummingbirds’).

But, I can only submit one photo, and while I thought my photos are as good or better than some of the submissions, I wanted something that wasn’t as well represented. For instance, I like these lady cardinal photos, but there are a lot of cardinals photos already submitted (including some males from people who either didn’t read the guidelines or can’t tell the difference).

Same for other birds . . . except for Tree swallows. I see a few, but not many. Right, then, Tree swallows it is!

Right away, I thought of one of my favorite photos . . .

Option No. 1

The thing is, that photo was submitted in a previous contest . . . and a number of other contestants (and two judges) accused me of submitting a composite image (meaning, a photo made up of different photos).

I ended up having to submit the original RAW file to the judges to clear my name, but by then, I was thoroughly pissed off and I withdrew from the contest (not that — as I already explained — I would have won … especially after calling into question the integrity of the judges).

So, I don’t want to go through that again, do I? . . . but I have other photos of the female parent feeding her brood.

Option No. 2
Option No. 3
Option No. 4

If you want to read the post with more of those photos click this LINK.

Anyway, I like those action photos, and they might even do well, but I wanted to stick closer to the description of the contest, specifically, the colors. And, for that, I need closeups.

Well, it turns out Tree swallows liked to perch on the deck of our house in Colorado . . . and they didn’t mind me standing a few feet away and snapping photos. Pretty grateful, I was.

So, here are some considerations for possible submissions . . .

. . . and, fair warning, I’m going to repeat myself. Meaning, I really like this shot . . .

Option No. 5

. . . and I really like these two shots . . .

Option No. 6
Option No. 7

. . . but I really like these two for showing the colors . . .

Option No. 8
Option No. 9

How do we know those are females, you ask? Well, this is what males look like . . .

OK, they are pretty close, but, in person, and when they are perched a few feet from you, you can easily tell them apart. Basically, the males have bolder colors.  It also helps when you are shooting the female and the male is three feet away and to the side.

Anyway, back to the contest . . . as I said, I really like all of those . . . but this is what I’m going with . . .

Option No. 10


So, that’s my choice . . . which is your favorite? You can comment below and mention the number in the captions of the photos.

Oh, that’s right, I promised a poll . . .


Here’s a gallery of the above choices:

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


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