Mountain Songbirds

| 7 images

On the Fourth of July, I spent the day at my parents house. They live up in the mountains where the scenery is far more beautiful, and the songbird species diversity is considerably greater than in my back yard. I brought my camera, and managed to make some excellent photos of several bird species that don’t seem to frequent my back yard: House Wren, Green-tailed Towhee, and Ruby-throated Hummingbird. The full list of species that I spotted includes a few more:

  • Songbirds
    • House Wren
    • Green-tailed Towhee
    • Black-capped Chickadee
    • Mountain Chickadee
    • Yellow Warbler
    • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • Jays & Blackbirds
    • Stellar’s Jay
    • Blue Jay
    • Black-billed Magpie
  • Hummingbirds
    • Ruby-throated
  • Thrushes
    • American Robin

The House Wren had a nest in an old nest box on a post, and it seemed as though both the mother and the father were hunting insects and feeding a full brood (the chicks could be heard clearly, although not seen as they were nicely tucked away inside the next box). I must have counted a wren returning about 20 times or more while I sat there photographing. The Towhee was difficult to spot at first…she initially blended so well into the pine. I only heard the sound of a bird I’d not heard before, and waited with my lens pointed and focused in the general direction and location in the tree. Eventually he appeared, meal in its beak. (I absolutely LOVE the creamy boke this new lens produces…its like silk!)

Finally, the Hummingbirds were everywhere. There must have been a couple dozen of them, zipping about in the sky, flying their mating arcs or fighting each other off. I found the small territory of one, a circle of five trees and a bush. I set my tripod up near the bush, and waited for him to perch, which he did on a fairly regular period as he patrolled and defended his territory. I’ve seen a lot of amazing hummingbird photos of them in flight, drinking nectar from a flower…but few of them perching. These high energy birds never seem to stop and rest, but when they do, they are absolutely stunning! The scalloped mating feathers on the males necks have a metallic sheen, and are just amazing! At some point, I hope to get some setup photos of these itsy bitsy beauties, if I can attract them to my yard.