Let’s begin with THIS<<link notice from the Illinois DNR. Basically, it’s a warning about the EA H5N1 strain of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) currently impacting some wild and domestic bird species. As a result, they recommend stopping the use of bird feeders and birdbaths until the end of May. I’ll have additional important information at the end of the post. (See what I did there? I used the ole “Details at 11:00” ruse to maybe have a few additional readers stick around until the end.)

I like birds, so on April 22nd I pulled all my feeders and emptied my birdbaths. But, not before I sat outside for a few hours photographing birds from my covered patio. This then is a post harkening back to the posts of yore, when I used to publish long posts with lots of photos. Posts that few people read, and even fewer readers stuck with it to the end.

If I use all the photos I post-processed, I’ll end up with 104 photos in this post (I had nearly 300 photos), but because some photos are similar to each other, I’ll probably have a tad fewer than that . . . but still more than what current readers might be used to.

Right! Let’s begin with a White-throated Sparrow . . .

I’ve been snapping a fair — maybe even more than fair — number of photos of the birds visiting my backyard feeders. I put up the feeder in early December and I now have quite the number of mediocre photos, along with a few decent photos, and a few I quite like.

Of course, I’m way behind in documenting them, and I doubt I’ll ever catch up, but, what I can do — and will do in this post — is share a few photos of birds all doing the same thing . . . looking at me.

All of these photos are taken from inside the house through double-pane glass. There’s a preferred window I use because it’s fixed (meaning, it doesn’t open) and hence has no screen interfering with photographing the birds. All I have to do is remove about seven slats from the blinds and I have a nice unobstructed view of the patio and feeders. For the record, all the previously shared feeder photos are shot through that window.

All of the birds’ names are linked to a description page. Click on the name and the webpage will open in a new tab or window. Click on the photo, and the photo will open in a new window or tab.

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

For a SmugMug slideshow, click HERE<<link. When you click the link, it will open in a new window, and you have two options:
1) Manually scroll through the photos by clicking the “<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos.
2) There’s a PLAY/PAUSE button at the top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow will run a full-screen slideshow. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos (this will pause the slideshow).

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

Welcome to the third bird feeders bird post. This post has photos (Nikon D7500) and videos (Nikon P900) from December 16, 2021. Also, videos from the 15th.

The 16th was another warmish — if wet — day, and I sat outside for a few hours watching the wildlife. I shot 99 photos, and I managed to pare them down to 64.

Because I’m still working out the whole embedding thing, these will be loaded as I usually do, which means I’ll have galleries to help readers speed through the photos as opposed to having readers wear out the scroll wheel of their mouse. I calculated that based on the amount of storage I have left, the actual number of photos I can upload might be as many as 4,500 (depending on the sizes). That’s more than I’d estimated before, so that’s nice.

I’m also breaking with tradition and not presenting the photos in the order they were shot.

Tufted Titmouse using my Nikon D7500

Much like the last post, this is not a super-great photo of a Tufted Titmouse. What can I say? Sometimes, my luck runs out and my lack of talent shines through, even if I’m using the Nikon D7500 with the excellent 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. I could blame the poor lighting and the rain, but it’s all on me. However, I got luckier after that . . .

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

For a SmugMug slideshow, click HERE<<link. When you click the link, it will open in a new window, and you have two options:
1) Manually scroll through the photos by clicking the “<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos.
2) There’s a PLAY/PAUSE button at the top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow will run a full-screen slideshow. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos (this will pause the slideshow).

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

Welcome to the second bird feeders bird post.

The weather having been unusually warm (we had a few days in the 70s and a number of days in the middle and upper 60s … in December) I have lots of photos to share . . . and if it’s anything like my cruise photos effort, I’ll probably finish sharing them sometime in late 2024.

Overall, I’ve been pleased with the bird attendance at the feeders, this being winter and all, and I look forward to more of a showing once Spring rolls around, which, at this rate, will probably be in the middle of January.

Sneak peek of a Tufted Titmouse using my Nikon P900

I’ll have more off those guys in future posts. They are cagey and seldom sit still long enough for a shot when at the feeders, hence why the P900’s long zoom came in handy for that opportunity.

I don’t remember if I mentioned it, but — weather permitting — I sit outside with a cup of coffee and the two cameras (Nikon P900 and Nikon D7500 with 70-200mm f/2.8 lens) for a few hours during the time the birds are most active. Even if there’s little avian activity, I still shoot photos of shrubs, rocks, leaves, etc.

Most of those photos get blown away (yes, I occasionally get rid of photos), but what I’m doing as I wait for birds, is trying different settings, learning what the cameras can and cannot do, and finding the best settings for the conditions.

American Robin photographed using my Nikon P900

And, what are the conditions?

Well, this set of photos are samples from two days — December 14 and 16 — and both days were overcast and featured an occasional raindrop or two (a few raindrops are visible on that photo, and you can see water drops on the bird’s tail).

In that particular photo, the bird was about twenty feet away. This next bird was about 160 feet away.

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

For a SmugMug slideshow, click HERE<<link. When you click the link, it will open in a new window, and you have two options:
1) Manually scroll through the photos by clicking the “<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos.
2) There’s a PLAY/PAUSE button at the top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow will run a full-screen slideshow. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos (this will pause the slideshow).

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

A little over a week ago, I broke down and bought a few bird feeders.

In Michigan, I used to have multiple feeders. In Colorado, I sought to duplicate my bird-feeding habits but ran into a problem with field mice getting into the house and garage (field mice droppings contain some nasty stuff), not to mention one had to bring feeders in at night lest one attracted bears.

I’m pretty sure I won’t have bear problems in my backyard, and I’m hoping field mice stay in the fields. Wait, I take that back. There was a confirmed bear sighting about 30 miles north of us (LINK).

Fortuitous capture of a White-throated Sparrow using my Nikon P900

Anyway, that White-throated Sparrow was one of the first birds to arrive at the feeders.

Well, actually, on the ground. I spread some no-waste feed on the ground to attract the ground feeders. The thinking was that other birds would then investigate.

Slate-colored Dark-eyed Junco photographed using my Nikon P900

The other first arrivals were one of my favorite bird species, Dark-eyed Junco. I’ll have more to say about them below.

I should note a few things about me, cameras, and birds. Because the weather has been warm enough (if a bit cloudy and wet), I sat outside for a few hours at a time just so I could observe and photograph the birds. The feeder is about 15 feet away from where I sit, but the edge of the patio — where those two birds were photographed — is about 25 feet away. My neighbor’s bushes are about 45 feet from my chair.

So, there’s me, my coffee, and both the P900 and the D7500 with either the 70-200mm or the 70-300mm lenses on it. You might thus notice a difference between various photos, with the DSLR photos perhaps (but not always) offering better quality. And, that’s all I’ll probably say about photography and cameras.

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

For a SmugMug slideshow, click HERE<<link. When you click the link, it will open in a new window, and you have two options:
1) Manually scroll through the photos by clicking the “<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos.
2) There’s a PLAY/PAUSE button at the Top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow activates the option for a full-screen slideshow. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos (this will pause the slideshow).

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

We begin with a fairly easy “find the hummingbird” . . .

. . . followed by an extremely easy “find the hummingbird” . . .

Letsee . . . what to talk about today?

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

For a SmugMug slideshow, click HERE<<link. When you click the link, it will open in a new window, and you have two options:
1) Manually scroll through the photos by clicking the “<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos.
2) There’s a PLAY/PAUSE button at the bottom-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow will run a full-screen slideshow. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos (this will pause the slideshow).

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

So, more delays to the Deadly Sins Challenge. One of the writers had technical (software) issues, and the other writer is writing a novella covering all seven sins and needs to split out Lust into a stand-alone story. At least that’s my understanding of it.

They messed me up a bit, so if my story sucks, blame them. You see, I do my best writing under pressure; pressure of a looming deadline. So on the 13th, I buckled down and wrote nearly half of the story that was due on the 14th. But before I finished, I heard Perry and Gary we not going to meet the deadline . . . and I lost all my inspiration, drive, and desire to write.

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

When you click the links, it will open in a new window, and you have two options:
1) Manually scroll through the photos by clicking the “<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos.
2) There’s a PLAY/PAUSE button near the top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: Above the play/pause button there’s the option to go full screen. Most of these look really good viewed full screen. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos (this will pause the slideshow).

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

That surely don’t look nuthin’ like a bird . . .

Good catch, grasshopper. Them be one of the first flower pots we be done did this year. We’re going to limit the number of pots we’ll populate this year . . . maybe.

Seventy. This post has seventy photos presented either singly or in small galleries. At the end of the post, there’s a gallery of all the photos . . . that’s for them who just want to see the photos and have no interest in my words. Well, other than the words in this opening paragraph.

This photo is for mvschulze — that’s the current look of the trimmed River Birch. We’ll see how it’ll look in the summer.

For them not interested in reading my words but interested in the full-size versions of the photos, you can see the bird photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery and the plant and miscellaneous photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery. 

When you click the links, it will open in a new window, and you have two options:
1) Manually scroll through the photos by clicking the “<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos.
2) There’s a PLAY/PAUSE button near the top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: Above the play/pause button there’s the option to go full screen. Most of these look really good viewed full screen. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos (this will pause the slideshow).
3) If you click on the photo, it will zoom to full-size (1:1 view). Depending on the size and details of the photo, it might take a few seconds.

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

Common Grackle <<link

May 2nd, and like the mythical creator, I decided to rest (‘been painting and rearranging the garage, caulking, doing trim, and, in general, acting like I want to do stuff around the house as opposed to just vegetate and eat anything but vegetables).

For me, resting occasionally means sitting outside with my camera, my coffee, and my non-vegetable snacks. Specifically — on that day of rest — I aimed to catch me photos of birds and especially, birds in flight.

If you’re not anxious to exercise your right to go out in public, I have a suggestion:  read the “I” Stories submissions. After, if receptive to the idea, the writers hope you’ll make the effort and vote for your favorite of the “Alphabet Challenge I-Stories” HERE.

That post has links to the individual stories and the poll where readers can click a box to indicate their appreciation for their favorite. And, after voting, readers can spread the news about the story to friends and family. Maybe.

So, birds . . .

I realize everyone is rushing out and hugging each other and coughing in each other’s faces, but when you come back in to your shelter, here’s something you could do:  read the “I” Stories submissions. After, if receptive to the idea, the writers hope you’ll make the effort and vote for your favorite of the “Alphabet Challenge I-Stories” HERE.

That post has links to the individual stories and the poll where readers can click a box to indicate their appreciation for their favorite. And, after voting, readers can spread the news about the story to friends and family. Maybe.

So, eggs and birds . . . .

Some might remember these photos:

Cardinal eggs

Robin’s eggs

For them not interested in reading, you can go directly to the SmugMug Gallery HERE.  These are added to the D7500 camera Gallery since they are taken exclusively with that camera.

For a SmugMug slideshow click HERE. When you click the link, it will open in a new window and you have two options:
1) Manually scroll through the photos by clicking the “<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos.
2) There’s a PLAY/PAUSE button at the bottom-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow will run a full-screen slideshow. You can then still use the <” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos as this will pause the slideshow.

If you want the full experience, keep reading. Also, if you see stuff crossed out (like this) it’s editing after I published the post and any new words are in gray. Part of my educational outreach effort.

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Note: I copied the original post instead of writing everything anew. If you read Part 1 or Part 2 or Part 3 or Part 4 or Part 5, you can skip most of the writing and just go to the calendars section. Just how many more do I have? Difficult to say.

I used to do monthly calendars, but they were a lot of work and few people bothered downloading them. At the beginning of 2016, I switched to doing a yearly calendar . . . which I did not do for 2017.

The calendars I did were neat prism yearly calendar generated using one of the free actions PanosFX offers to subscribers and people who register at his site. It lets someone, let’s say me, create a prism yearly calendar. Like, for instance, these.

20151231_195556-01 20151231_194924-01

Each three-sided calendars can be customized with any set of three photos. You can change the colors (I left them as they are), the language (I left them in English), and choose whether you want the week to start on Sunday or Monday (I left it on Sunday).

Now, the above photos are the ones I had done for 2016. I show them so I can give people an idea of what they look like (I don’t currently have a color printer hence why the old photos), but I’m doing new calendars for 2018. Panos made a few improvements and I decided to dump a bunch of calendars here. If you want to download the action and make your own calendar (you need Photoshop or Elements), click HERE. All you have to do is register and you get any of the free actions (high quality and fun to use).