First, I would like to mention that I have a new, additional page that you can see at the top of this post. It is “Yakkety-Sax Man”. It is the story of my music career. Some of you already know about it, but I decided to post it a manner where you can select the six parts individually. Just click on the ‘button’, or this shortcut.
Ann and I got out for a couple of hours on Tuesday morning. This is the proverbial dog days of summer. Hot, not too many birds moving. But a birder can find opportunities if he or she perserveres. I lucked out and saw a Bronzed Cowbird. They are somewhat solitary, not usually in large groups. This one was all alone in the grass at Spring Creek Park, here in San Angelo. I love the bluish iridenscent color of the wings, and of course, that flashing red eye.
Further along the way, I saw this pretty Northern Cardinal. I must admit that I already have many, many photographs of a cardinal, and I usually just ignore them, looking for that photo that may be better than the others. But with so few birds in our count, and needing some photos for my post, I gave it a shot. Once I saw it in my digital darkroom, AKA my computer, I realized that it was one of my better ones, so I am glad I didn’t ignore it this time. I hope you like it.
Click on either image to see an enlargement. To see more of my photographs, click on the Galleries button at the top of the page, then click on my SmugMug gallery.
They are the Rodney Dangerfields of the avian world. For you youngsters, Rodney Dangerfield was a stand-up comic who’s seemingly ongoing rants were about him not getting respect from anybody, including his wife.
Anyway, I am talking about the two species of cowbirds that are found in our area here in the Concho Valley. They lie, cheat, steal, and do just about anything they can get away with. They especially lay their young in other species nests, so they will have surrogate mothers. So with all that, they wonder why they don’t get any respect from us.
However, after having said that, I feel that they, in their own right, are very attractive birds. I am a birder and a bird photographer. I present you with these images to see if you might agree with me. First up is the Brown-headed Cowbird. He (or she) has the worse reputation. I usually don’t even try to get good photos of one. (See, I don’t respect them either.) But I did relent in a weak moment and got this photo.
Now I must admit, that the other bird of the species, the Bronzed Cowbird might be my favorite of the two. They are difficult to photograph because of their dark colors, and so I love the challenge. I might even say that I think they are beautiful. I love those flashing bright eyes. I have a weakness for beautiful eyes. Let’s see what you think after looking at the next two photos.
I hope you enjoyed these photos. Let’s show a little respect and give a big hand to these ill-treated birds. Click on either of them to see some enlargements.
I am not going to go into a lot of detail for this post. I know that many of you are celebrating this holiday weekend. Maybe these photos will help brighten your days. If you are traveling, be safe, drive carefully, and don’t text. Please remember the holiday for what it is, to remember to thank the people that help keep our country free. Click on any of the images to see some nice enlargements.
First of all, as I like to do occasionally, is to bring attention to other nature artists that impress me. Lyndi Simms is one of those and her work is stunning. Check out her work by clicking HERE.
Okay, when Ann and I were out hooting for the owls last week we had another experience. Glancing towards the river, we saw a flash of blue out of the corner of our eyes. We looked to see what had distracted us, thinking maybe we were spotting a Great Blue Heron. But what a surprise, when we discovered that it was actually a Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea), a smaller relative. They are in fact about 18 inches smaller than the Great Blue. They are permanent residents to the gulf coast, but summer throughout the southern states. They are very rare to this west Texas area where I live, and this is the first one I have ever seen. Number 254 to my life list. Click on either image to see an enlargement.
Little Blue Heron
Little Blue Heron
One more bird that I don’t want to forget to mention is this Bronzed Cowbird, (Molothrus aeneus). They summer mostly to the southwest of San Angelo, but a few do make it into the area. Difficult to photograph because of the black, glossy feathers, but if successful, the bluish feathers really pop. This one I got lucky with when it was hopping in the grass nearby. Ya gotta love that red eye, too.
Here is a reminder to my new and older readers. If you will click on “sign me up”, in the upper right of this page, below all of my copyright fine print, you will receive an e-mail whenever I publish a new post. That way you will never miss any of my narratives or nonsense. 🙂
Just one image to talk about today. We made s short trip out yesterday to try to find some photo ops, but it has been so hot that I think the bird are heading for the cooler mountains. I did spot this Bronzed Cowbird, (Molothrus aeneus). It was on the ground at Middle Concho Park.
This one was continually ruffling his feathers like he was trying to cool himself off. Photographed with my Canon EOS 7D and 500mm lens with a 1.4 tele-converter. 1/2000 sec. @ f5.6, +1.0EV, ISO 3200.
I am trying to keep up with a few regular posts while continuing work on my forth-coming book. I am in the progress of selecting the photos that I want and then trying to organize them. But, having said that, I may not try to organize them, but just put them hap-hazardly in the book so each page will be a new surprise and not predictable.
Then there is the narrative. I want to avoid it being boring, instead trying to make it entertaining and humorous. So stay tuned…….. 🙂
Here are the results for this week’s quiz. You were asked to ID these five birds, and select the one you thought was the Bronzed Cowbird. Photo C is the correct answer. The following images show the correct IDs.
Photo A – Brewer’s Blackbird
Photo B – Phainopepla
Photo C – Bronzed Cowbird
Photo D – Great-tailed Grackle
Photo D – Raven
As of this writing 34 votes were in and 20 of you selected the correct photo. Tune in Monday morning for Quiz #8.
For this week’s quiz I am going to change it up a bit and see how you like it. One of the photos is a Bronzed Cowbird,(Molothrus aeneus). Look them over closely, consult your guides, and vote below to select which photo you think it is. Also, I would like you to comment at the end, and tell me how you like this format versus the older one that I used for the first six quizzes.
Select from these photos, A, B, C, D, or E, and tell me which one is the Bronzed Cowbird. Put a check mark next to your choice and click Vote. Click any image to enlarge. Good luck. Answer will be published on Friday.
Comment below and please and tell me how you like these quizzes. Which style do you like best. Do you have some more ideas to share?
Heck, I sure am running behind. I just realized that it has been several days since my last post. Still doing the same old fun stuff. Birding, taking photographs, watching the Texas Rangers baseball games. Life doesn’t get any better than this.
Ann, Jodie, and I went birding for the whole day on Monday. I can’t believe we spent so much time at the park. We really explored the whole place. We went to the North Shore and saw some birds that we hadn’t seen at the South Shore. Eastern Phoebes for one. We also checked out the Isabel Harte park area and the equestrian area.
A week or so ago we saw a Zone-tailed Hawk, a lifer for me. Those birds act like a Turkey Vulture, and nearly look like one, as least the way the sit on a tree branch. Yesterday, we saw our first Bronzed Cowbird of the year. We also saw three Painted Buntings, singing at the tops of some trees. Caught a great photo of a Blue Grosbeak.
In other news, I had mentioned before that I have a compression fracture on my spine. I think, and hope, that it may be healing. This morning I had an injection of Re-clast to strengthen my bones. It is an annual injection so I am good to go for a while.
Enjoy the photos and click on either one to see an enlargement. Happy Birding!!