Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Feeder Fotos

When I awoke Monday morning the snow was falling at a rapid pace.  I decided that spending the day at the feeders was a more appealing option than driving the slick roads across two mountains to get to the office.
The following photos are the best shots of the day.  All photos were with a Canon EOS 6D, Canon 600 f4L IS USM.
Dark-eyed Junco

White-throated Sparrow
 Northern Cardinal Female

 Northern Cardinal Male 
 White-breasted Nuthatch

Tufted Titmouse

Sunday, January 25, 2015

January at 600mm

While I wouldn't usually consider the 600mm lens for a landscape photograph in this instance it came in handy.  One cold evening near sundown as dark clouds and rain squalls turned the countryside into a patchwork of shadows I spotted this unusual scene many miles in the distance.  With a lesser lens this distant spot would have been too small to have drawn ones attention.

The 600 finds itself right at home at the bird feeders, capturing small subjects at relativity close range.  This female cardinal was busy cracking sunflower seeds while keeping an eye on me and what I was doing.  A seed hull can be seen falling just to the right of her.

A Tufted Titmouse poses prettily in the fresh fallen snow.

And a White-breasted Nuthatch watches warily before hopping into the nearby feeder.
And keeping a close look-out from overhead, a Golden Eagle cruises past.
All of the photos in this post were shot with a Canon 6D and a Canon 600mm f4L IS USM lens.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Mid-Winter: The Strutting Begins

Mid January, with over half of winter still ahead, the first indication of the wild turkey's spring mating season can be seen in the bachelor flocks of gobblers.

Gobblers spar throughout the year testing each others strength and determination.  At this time of year the sparring becomes more intense with the occasional fight breaking out.

The gobbler pictured to your left is using a technique I had never witnessed before.  Notice his left wing pressing upon his opponents back.  This bird held the submissive gobbler under his wing, circling continuously as the submissive gobbler tried to break away.  I have little doubt that this would have become an all out full contact fight if the submissive bird had resisted. 

While gobblers sparred, strutted, and occasionally gobbled this tom wandered a few yards from his companions and simulated mating.  When I first noticed his actions I was surprised to see a turkey mating at this time of year but a closer look revealed that he was alone.