bald eagle, barn swallow, barnegat lighthouse, Edwin B Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, great egret, Long-billed Dowitcher, mourning dove, photography, postaday, ring-billed gull, sanderling, year of the bird
2018 is the Year of the Bird, as declared by the National Audubon Society, National Geographic, BirdLife International, and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. I didn’t know about that until now, but here are seven photos I took recently of birds around New Jersey.
On a short trip to California, I came down with the flu last week and have not gone out to take any picture after coming home. Hopefully soon, as I am feeling better today. In the meantime, here are some pictures of Mourning Doves taken since 2017, including one taken at the beginning of this year.
The following birds are regular visitors to our backyard, and here are some shots of them near the bird feeder.
This year a band of Blue Jays have come swarming in our neighborhood. You can tell when they come as all the smaller birds have to scatter out of their way. Fortunately, they don’t eat everything at once and they leave enough food for others.
Turtle (or Mourning) Doves are always there also, not as aggressive as Blue Jays, but persistent. They will perch on high branches and patiently wait their turn. The one below flew down to our deck to check out some scattered sunflower seeds.
The Downy Woodpeckers are also always there, no matter what season it is.
A regular summer visitor is the Ruby-throated Hummingbird, very small and very territorial. The following female will attack attack any other hummingbird that tries to use the special feeder I put out for hummingbirds. It even tried to shoo away bigger birds.
The male Ruby-throated Hummingbird either comes out in late evening, or when I am not home. So far I have seen him but it’s been too dark to photograph him.
I took the following two photos last year, forgot about them, and only today got the time to review and process them.
First a Mourning Dove seemed interested in the flowers of a Desert Rose kept in a planter.
The same flowers after a rainy night.
This last shot of a Cosmos is from this morning, when temperatures were still below 90 F(32 C).
The link for this challenge is: https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/eye-spy/
When I photograph birds and animals, I try to get a good eye expression, or at least get their eyes in clear focus. Here are my entries for the challenge, all from photos taken this year, some as recently as yesterday.
A family of mourning doves has been coming to our backyard, two parents and two children, assuming the larger ones are the parents and the smaller ones the kids. One of them landed on a magnolia branch, as captured in the following photos.
This dove then proceeded to sit on that branch for at least half an hour, only moving its head once in a while.
Yesterday, we drove on Wildlife Drive at the Edwin B Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge as the sun was setting. The sunset was not terribly exciting, but as soon as the golden orb dipped below the horizon, the sky lit up in wonderful shades of vermillion, orange, yellow, and purple.
Today, we woke up to a light snow falling gently over everything, including our deck. This mourning dove sat on a rail covered with snow for a long time, probably asking why I had not yet replenished the bird feeder.
Last September, flocks of red-winged blackbirds were swooping up and down around me at the Abbott Marshlands. A few landed close by and I took the following shot of a juvenile blackbird. Note the more mature bird with more brilliant coloring beyond it.
Many mourning doves live in our area, and here are two examples.
In early October, I was hiking at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge when a skunk crossed the road and scurried toward me, coming as close as 30 ft. Uh, oh! I stopped and squeezed a few shots, including the one below. Fortunately, the skunk went back into the bushes and did not spray anything. However, it was an omen. The following day, I was told that my job had been eliminated.