One for the Birds



  • @David-Harris From what I can see, those look like swans to me. Old eyes need a bit more zoom. Size looks right. Appear to be black beaks. The few "albino" geese I have seen did not.



  • @David-Harris We have three species of swans that can be regularly found somewhere in North America. Tundra swans can be found in the thousands here in the Sacramento Valley. If one is really into it and looks over an entire flock, then it is possible to identify a Trumpeter Swan, which I first noticed and learned while cross country skiing in Jackson Hole on my first ever snow camp trip in winter 78/79. I was not a birder at the time but they were memorable flying in a V fairly low with the Tetons glowing behind them. Fortunately I never took pictures or owned a camera pre digital era so the memory is that much more burned into me banks.

    Anyway, I digress.... Your neck of the woods have both Trumpeters and Tundras. I try very hard to resist identifying birds from internet photos but I hightly recommend using digital access to compare the head and bill color/length. You will have either the satisfaction of learning a new thing, or become even more frustrated at being unable to be confidant on identification. Either outcome is part of becoming a birder.



  • @Alfalfa said in One for the Birds:

    You will have either the satisfaction of learning a new thing, or become even more frustrated at being unable to be confidant on identification. Either outcome is part of becoming a birder.

    Hi Andy. Thanks for confirming that swans do live in this area. I couldn't think of anything else (other than albino geese) they might be.

    And don't worry about me becoming either excited or frustrated by what I might or might not learn if I dug into it further. As I've explained here before, I divide birds into two categories: those I like to eat, and everything else. Beyond that, well, I enjoy seeing them all around, but that's the end of it...

    ...almost.

    Yeah, I sometimes get into arguments with Basil over where a particular bird fits into my classification system because he (being a cat) finds rather more species than I do in the "like to eat" category.

    Joking aside, one of the joys of living here is hanging out on the cliffs high above the ocean and watching the ravens, eagles, and vultures circling endlessly below.



  • Can any of you bird fanciers identify this guy? (Yeah, shitty photo, but it's a blow-up from a shot taken 30 ft away with my cell phone).

    I first saw it pecking away at an old stump I'd planed off at ground level and which is pretty rotten. Looked like it was thinking there might be bugs in the rotting wood.

    Bird.jpg



  • @David-Harris a woodpecker, Northern Flicker, likely a red shafted form. Yellow shafted flickers are more east.



  • @Alfalfa Thanks. I thought it looked like some kind of flicker, but wasn't sure.

    They're fairly common here. Pretty low-key coloration (no red, for example) except when the fly away and display a bright white patch on their lower backs.



  • American Bittern?
    NKG_4493.jpg



  • NKG_4496.jpg



  • @NickG said in One for the Birds:

    American Bittern?

    Yes, that would be my estimation, fwiw.



  • Caught this sequence whilst shooting my niece's senior prom pics.

    IMG_7387-ducklings01.jpg

    IMG_7388-ducklings02.jpg

    IMG_7389-ducklings03.jpg

    Shot the prom pics with sis-in-law's Nikon DSLR. Shot the ducks w/my trusty lil' Canon ShurShot travel camera because it was handy. Right place, right time. Just goes to reiterate: The best camera is the one you have with you. And most readily accessible. Nikon was tucked away in case. Canon was a quick draw from my front pocket.

    Bye-bye little ducklings. Mind the raptors and best wishes for a good life. 🦆



  • Local Quail

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