Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Bird Watching

I spent a very pleasant hour or so yesterday sitting on our porch and watching the antics of the birds and bees and hummingbirds.  We now have at least two hummers, and I was pleased to be able to capture a few fairly good pictures of them.

I was surprised to see this ruby-throated hummer, whose throat was more orange than ruby colored.  
 I discovered that the orange throat could be related to the bird's molting season.
He finally landed long enough for me to zoom in on him, and he looked pretty "scruffy" up close, so I guess he is molting.  He spent at least five minutes just sitting and preening himself.
 One advantage of having a long beak is being able to scratch your back ...
I was amazed to see that he turned his head completely around.
Have you ever noticed that birds sometimes look as if they are frowning?  This sparrow didn't seem too happy about having his picture taken.

Our cardinals weren't very happy about me being so close, either.  They were perched high in the nearby Bay Magnolia tree, not-so-patiently waiting for me to go inside so they could swoop down to their feeders.

I loved capturing the hummers and cardinals, but the cutest little visitor of the day was a little mockingbird that captured my heart.  I saw him swoop down to the pond in our courtyard to get a drink, or so I thought ... but I soon saw water splashing and realized he was taking a bath! I so wanted to get pictures of him happily splashing and bathing, but I knew if I got too close he would fly away. 

I waited for him to finish his bath and discreetly captured these pictures of him "drying off."  He seemed to be modest as he peeked over the edge of the rocks, watching me watch him.
After a few seconds, I guess he figured I wasn't going away, so he shyly began to dry himself off by flapping his wings ...
And ruffling his feathers.
  In the next two pictures, you can see the water droplets flying off of him as he briskly dried himself.
 He was so cute and sweet, and looked like a young bird.
Isn't he adorable!  I wanted to hug him when I saw these pictures.
Look how "fluffy" he is after his bath ...
After he finished drying, he paused on the rocks long enough for me to capture a couple more pictures.

I continued to take pictures of the hummingbirds during the afternoon, and hope to share more of them soon. They are such fascinating little creatures and I never tire of watching them.  Do you have hummers yet? 


Sue said...

What a pleasant hour you had, janie, the photos are absolutely beautiful, Thanks for the reminder of expecting my hummingbirds back, one of my favorites. i must get the nectar out soon..

C. M. Designs said...

Janie, your pictures are absolutely gorgeous.. I know you had a wonderful time bird watching.
I think it's a big too chilly here in Virginia, yet, to put my hummingbird feeder out.. I had one on my deck last summer and could see the hummers up close.. They are such tiny, amazing birds.

Pat said...

Hi Janie,

Yes our tiny little hummingbird returned this year on March 9th to a waiting feeder.

Janie it would be impossible to achieve a sharper photo than those shown here and all so beautiful.

I bet that was the first bath after a long winter. Completely adorable photos.

Pat in Tallahassee

Jaybird said...

What beautiful pictures!!! We have not had any hummer visitors yet, but we have PLENTY of birdie entertainment!!!
Your mocker is absolutely adorable! We have one who nests in the hedge right outside the garage door. Last Saturday I was doing something in the garage with the door open, and he came right in!! He lit on the lugggage rack on top of my car, and suprevised my work. He did not seem the least bit worried about me...just curious.
Birds are a never ending joy for us!!