Sunday, February 14, 2010

Getting Close

I spend too much time watching the birds feed on the suet outside our kitchen window. If I have free time, that's often where you'll find me. When I know I'll be observing for an extended period, I try to keep my camera nearby.
Today, the Red-bellied Woodpecker seemed less nervous that usual so I enjoyed his antics at length while standing by the kitchen sink. Here's a nice head shot. How about that? He has brown eyes!

A good deal of the credit for picture such as these - besides perseverance - needs to go to today's digital cameras. We can zoom in (this shot was taken at 12X) and we can shoot again and again without wasting any film. And with almost endlessly rechargeable batteries, even that need not be a concern. Once the equipment is bought, photography can be a nearly cost-less hobby.

This male cardinal, too, caught my eye and seemed less skittish today than usual. We've had snow cover for the past ten days so I suppose his food source is effectively cut off. The free handout at the suet feeder must seem too good to be true.
I watch the birds stage themselves on the maple tree and take turns visiting the suet. When one leaves, the next flies across. It's almost an assembly line of hungry birds.
Is there any bird - anywhere - brighter than the male cardinal? There are plenty with more colors, but can any be a more red? This is such a proud bird for Ohio's state bird; I could not have chosen better.