Browsing Tag

birds

Learning Naturalist Nature Uncategorized Wildlife

Your Backyard

Outside your door is a world to explore. Miles or inches away from that door is some sort of nature. It may not be as sexy as elk and grizzly bears, but there is something. It could be insects or pigeons, dandelions or oak trees. Study something to improve and build skills. It will make your next adventure more productive, because it doesn’t matter what you are looking at that matters, it is what you see. Your trained eye is what will help you spot the unnoticed things others walk past everyday. Ask yourself questions and recall the details. Give this a try 5-10 minutes a day. I would love to know your results.

Learning Naturalist Nature Uncategorized Wildlife

The Gear Needed to Tell Great Nature Stories

Sometimes I get asked about what camera I use. And the answer is simple, whatever I had available. Anything from point and shoot, iPhone, drone, GoPro and various trail cameras make the images I happily share on social media. Brands have little meaning to me. Whatever will I get me closest to my vision is what I will use. One piece of advice I have for newbies, avoid G.A.S. Or gear-acquisition-syndrome. It is a costly game and can become habit forming. As much as I would love to have big lenses, I can wait to save up and buy them later when I feel I really need them to step up my wildlife photography game.

Keep in mind a simple point-and-shoot camera still takes great pictures that can produce sizable prints. This little old Olympus camera is nothing special; waterproof, drop-proof, decent video and tough. No RAW, interchangeable lens, or other fancy features happen on this camera. Birds in flight pictures? Not likely. Nightscapes and star-trails? Nope. Take it every where I go in case something interesting happens? YES. That’s where the “one you have with you” photography cliche comes from. You always have be ready. Other fitting cliche? You will always miss the shots you didn’t take.

Olympus Camera TG-860

A simple point and shoot can produce great printable images.

You do not need a big arsenal of equipment to document nature. In fact, some of my favorite stuff from others naturalists is hand sketched. They make beautiful pictures and notes. One book I love on how to nature journal is Keeping a Nature Journal by Leslie/Roth. Never lose sight of why you are out enjoying nature observation.

I will leave you with a picture of a Stellar’s Jay taken with a trailcam from EBay. This camera is a close focus system. I have been looking for a long time and found this one “cheep cheep” on eBay.

Bushnell Natureview TrailCam

Trail Cameras can be a great help for those shots you can’t be there for.

Naturalist Nature Uncategorized Wildlife

More Hummingbirds

After putting up the feeder, and then a single hummingbird finally finding it, I am so fascinated by these little birds ability. As a drone flyer, these little birds are the ultimately nature’s drones. And… Look fat those little feet!

If you want to know 25 fun facts about hummingbirds, click here. I learned a lot of things I never knew or considered. Like that an average hummingbird’s heart rate is more than 1,200 beats per minute.

Hummingbird taking a drink

 

Hummingbird seeing if he emptied the feeder after one drink, then realizes he still has a long way to go.

Nature Wildlife

Hummingbirds

One of my favorite parts of this time of year is that all the hummingbirds begin to migrate up this way. These little high-performance fighter jets of the bird world have highly reflective feathers. While fur absorbs light, feathers tend to reflect, causing the hummingbird in this image to be beaming with green off the back. Stay tuned for my bird photography tricks and tips coming soon.

Calliope Hummingbird on Feeder

 

 

Nature Uncategorized Wildlife

Ahh Spring!

Having seasons is nice. One change leads to another and each one is new and exciting with those changes; winter and fresh snow, fall and the larch trees changing to vibrant colors of yellow, or summertime playing in the mountain lakes. But springtime… means there will soon be newborn wildlife all over.

The other day I came across this osprey hanging out on the nesting box. It is in the perfect spot next to a lake, so feeding should be easy. As the season continues, I hope to spot other young wildlife roaming around.

Many of these nest boxes for osprey are occupied this time of year.

Nature Uncategorized Wildlife

Beginning of Bird Migration

As September starts off, it seems that summer is unofficially over. When summer tourist traffic dies down, kids go back to school, and the migratory birds show up it just starts to get that feeling of fall. While the official start of fall isn’t for a few weeks yet (I am working on a autumnal equinox post for then), I have been beginning to see a lot more migratory birds moving south. I was able to capture images of a two so far. The second one was kind of out of reach for the biggest lens I had at the time. I prefer to photograph rather than sketch. It really helps in identification for me later. I am no artist and I would surely miss important details like beak shape or tail shape.

Swainson's Thrush

Swainson’s Thrush

Swainson’s Thrushes breed in Western Montana, the northern part of the western Canadian provinces, and Alaska. As summer ends they migrate to Central and South America in the winter. What a journey for such a small creatures. I imagine this one was feeding and resting up for another leg of the journey.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Processed with Snapseed.

Yellow-rumped Warbler

The Yellow-rumped warbler really pushed the limits of my lens. I could see the motion and knew I needed a quick capture. This warbler has two sub-species. The sub-spedies in the west is know as the “Audubons.” “Myrtle” is the eastern sub-species. The winter grounds for the Yellow-rumped Warbler are central America and the southern United States. Their northern most range and breeding occurs in the northern part of the western Canadian provinces and Alaska.

Tip for birdwatching (and nature observations in general):

Most of these birds flew up close to me as I sat in silence. The only noise I made was my breathing and shutter clicks from the camera. To see what is going on around you, you have to stop and be present. That means taking a break from the digital noise or just daily white noise that is going on around you. At first, the silence may be deafening. In our day to day living, we tune so much out. When you tune in to your environment you will notice so much more. I make it a habit to try and tune in daily for at least for an hour if I can. It has done wonders to discover more in the natural world.

I use the Merlin App by the Cornell Lab to reference my bird information and identification.