I have a tendency to pick up hobbies at a whim and go all out. That is part of why I started this blog. Some things stick around a bit more than others. Reading has always been constant. Writing. Photography. The real fun is when I can combine my interests.
One of the things that I have started to do lately is try and take more bird pics. When I was gardening earlier this spring I noticed that there are so many birds in my neighborhood! I got a few feeders because I enjoy having them here. It also allows me to do weird things like stalking birds in my pjs and slippers. Naturally, the neighbors are always around to see that.
When I took my A Walk on the Prairie, I captured a few pictures that have really triggered my lust for bird pictures. They are not easy subjects to capture!!
There is nothing that beats the thrill of capturing them, though. In order to gain more opportunities, I put a few feeders in the yard and every time I go outside I marvel at the singing. There is something so beautiful in knowing that you are surrounded by nature.
Over the weekend, I added a few more bird feeders in the yard. I was outside messing around when I saw an insect that I wanted to take a picture of. I went inside to grab my canon powershot. I walk outside and turn the camera on. Ugh. The battery is dead. I traipse back inside to get another battery. I turned on the camera to make sure it worked. It did. Til I got outside, where the insect was still waiting for me. But the second battery was dead.
Back in the house for another battery. (Don’t ask why I didn’t bring the camera bag the first go round.) It was too much for the insect. It took off. But I turn around with my fully loaded camera and I see this bird chirping at me. This weird looking bird! I snap a few photos and I was really struggling, so I didn’t think that I got many shots. Imagine the immense feeling of satisfaction when I see this one on my camera:
I have no idea what kind of bird this is. I go into the house to send this to people I think might now. My mom’s suggestions: “Looks like a female cardinal that was rode hard and put away wet.”
I start scrounging the internet but it is not that easy to identify birds on the internet. Which I realize is a surprise. What I really mean, is that I do not know of a good internet resource. Til now! (See Below)
I finally land on Cornell’s Ornithology website when my friend Greg sees the picture and texts me back that he thinks that it is an immature baby cardinal. I download Cornell’s FREE bird app identifier (MERLIN) and lo and behold…my friend Greg knows birds!
This app is great. Not only because it is free, but because I was able to put my picture in and it identified it based on the picture. I used it to figure out what another bird I have seen in the yard was. An immature Common Yellowthroat! Now to get a photo of it! This app has also taught me there are 319 birds in the Midwest. So far I have photographed five of them.
Most importantly….this app includes bird songs and calls. Now I can try my hand at identifying the birds in the yard by their song. When I get bored of freaking out my cats, that is.
Stay tuned as I attempt to photograph more birds! As always you can follow my photography at Instagram! I can also be found on twitter! Where I don’t think I have posted much photography, but this post feels like the perfect place to mention it!