Getting High in Black and White – Bird Weekly Photo Challenge #40

The Bird Weekly Photo Challenge Week #40 by Lisa Coleman is all about birds in black & white, sepia, monotone or you can add a bit of selective color. Your choice of birds this week. She aligned this with Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge this week in case you wanted to add any flying birds to this challenge. Cee’s theme is Anything in Fight. Thanks again to Cee Neuner for the lovely featured blogger award for last week. It’s such an honor. Also, Terri with Sunday Stills offered a theme of Best Black and White Photos on 3/14 and her challenge runs until Saturday if you want to link to her challenge as well.

I am following suit with Lisa and linking this to all three photo challenges.

Since I am still a total neophyte with birds, some of you will have to help me with bird names. I found the Australian birds listed on Wikipedia complete with pictures. Wow! There is another site for North American birds as well, but I don’t even know where to start.

Birds on Watson Lake Peavine Trail

These beauties currently live on Watson Lake on Peavine Trail in Prescott, AZ. There are lots of happy ducks scooting across the water, but these don’t look like ducks. I love the shadow of the bigger bird onto the smaller bird’s side. I didn’t notice it in the color shot, so that was a beg advantage.

Australian plumed whistling duck in Melbourne, AU park.
Maybe plumed whistling duck

Speaking of ducks, this Australian quacker has a lot to say to Carol and me about our photographic etiquette. Apparently, we forgot to ask him to sign a media release. He has kind eyes, though, and that tells the rest of the story. He was happy to sign for a fee, just a little bite of quacker, I mean cracker. Don’t tell other birders, though. (PS, birders, don’t worry, this story is almost 100% fiction. No birds were fed).

White cockatoo in Melbourne
Australian White Cockatoo also known as Umbrella Cockatoo, yes?

These birds love to pose. It’s like they know how beautiful they are. It does help to have a camera with a zoom lens, however.

My Reading List

These participants in Lisa’s challenge finished before I did. I’m sorry I missed others who are flying in on the red eye. 🙂

Here are some of Cee’s friends. I may not get to all of you this week, but I’ve got your number.

Terri’s participants.

I’ll be hosting Sunday Stills for two weeks, March 28 – Respect Your Cat and April 4 – Volunteering. I hope you’ll join me.

Bitmoji Essential B & W

Have a great week!

#Sunday Stills: Feeding Birds in Australia

Australian Trip #21

Today in Sunday Stills Terri from Second wind leisure challenged us to feed the birds. I whined to Janis about never having any beautiful bird pictures. But after searching in my files for birds, up came some files tagged “bird.” Tags are so cool.

Australian King Parrot
I’m not sure if this is a female, but females are a little less colorful.

Four years and a month ago Glen and Carol took me to the Bunya Mountains to see amazing Australian wild life. Feeding time for these colorful time was exact and we got there in time to watch the birds fly from the trees and land near the food bowls, which you could purchase.

Australian crimson rosela bird
Very tame

It did not bother me at all that we had not purchased a bowl of food. The beauties had plenty.

Australian crimson rosela bird
A little nervous

Not ever feeder was equally excited about having the birds in such close proximity. Some of them had to be coaxed and coached by their adult supervisors to get them to step up to the plate.

Australian King Parrot
“Could you hold the tin steady, Ma’am?”

After a little demonstration, feeding time got calmer. The people, not the birds. The birds were as excited as ever, though you can’t tell by their expressions.

Australian crimson rosela bird
Sunday Stills Bunya Mountain Treasure

“These colorful parrots from Australia are in the genus PlatycercusPlatycercus means “broad-tailed” or “flat-tailed”, reflecting a feature common to the rosellas and other members of the broad-tailed parrot tribe. Their diet is mainly seeds and fruit.”

Wikipedia
Australian crimson rosela bird
The ground works, too.

The rosella parrots did not mind picking their food off the ground. The thirty second rule applied here.

Australian crimson rosela bird
How am I supposed to tell which is the most nutritious?

It took about a half hour for most of the food to disappear. I wonder if any of it germinates and produces its own food for the birds.

I hope you enjoyed this short walk down memory lane in the Bunya Mountains with Glen, Carol and me.

SS Logo
Sunday Stills Logo

Wow, look at all the other brave souls that got close enough to shoot bird pictures. (or had a long lens). This is my reading material for tomorrow. Join me, would you?

I missed these wonderful entries until 2-28.

  1. Now At Home
  2. Cee’s Photo Challenges
  3. Pictures Without Film
  4. Our Eyes Open
  5. Stevie Turner
  6. 365days Blog
  7. Bend Branches
  8. Easin’ Along
  9. Idaho Bluebird
  10. Light Write Life
  11. Mazee Puran
  12. hold-fast-to-dreams.jpg (1920×1440) (wordpress.com)
  13. The Day After
  14. The World is a Book
  15. Travel with Me
  16. Women Living Well After 50
  17. Woolley Muses
Bitmoji

Have a great week. See you Tuesday for the Summary of Story Chat.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: My Favorite Things Blackbirds

When Tule Fog hits the Woodlake Valley, the best thing to do is stay home until visibility is better. By ten o’clock this morning the fog had dissipated some, and I wanted to do something fun.  I grabbed my camera and walked around the yard with no intentions, but to have fun in the fog.

Black BirdsI found this black bird on the spoon handle waiting for the four-and nineteen others to join him to bake in the pie. Little does he know what awaits him. We learned this song in nursery school, and sang it to the next generation.  Do you remember it? I found two tunes. Which did you learn?

Sing a song of sixpence,

A pocket full of rye.

Four and twenty blackbirds,

Baked in a pie.

When the pie was opened,
The birds began to sing;
Wasn’t that a dainty dish,
To set before the king?
The king was in his counting house,
Counting out his money;
The queen was in the parlour,
Eating bread and honey.
The maid was in the garden,
Hanging out the clothes,
When down came a blackbird
And pecked off her nose.
They sent for the king’s doctor,
who sewed it on again;
He sewed it on so neatly,
the seam was never seen.
Bird Encounter
This doggie scarecrow that guards our garden didn’t fare so well with his nose.The birds chewed his ear, too. Invisible seams didn’t happen. Maybe the doctor couldn’t see in the fog, or maybe he, like the brave pup, was a little rusty. Hard to tell. 
For a more adult chorus to illustrate these pictures try Leonard Cohen’s “Bird on a Wire.”
Click the icon for more of Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge Entries. 
cees-fun-foto1

Speaking of Bird Eggs

Today I am my own guest bloggers.  I got the idea from Cathy, better known as ShareChair, who reposted some of her earliest posts.  I posted this one year ago, one of my first posts.  Since very few people have ever seen it I thought it was appropriate to republish it to show you another variety of bird we have in Tulare County.

We can’t believe that they are not extinct, but the sites I found on Google insist that they are common.

This mama or dad, they look alike, has been sitting in 100 degree heat all day to cool these four future killdeer.  Her choice of nesting site is the reason we question the statistics on their abundance.  Those rocks are our driveway.

She/he did the Killdeer feigning dance for me until the cat came over to investigate.  I carted the cat safely away, and snapped these pictures one-handed as I left the poor stressed mother/father to get back to work sitting on the now-shaded eggs.

Sorry to say these pretty eggs didn’t make it either, in spite of their mother’s constantly chasing off predators.  Most likely our cats were the culprits as they had their eyes all over those eggs.  Vince and I felt very sad when the nest was empty.

And speaking of eggs did you all get a chance to name the new flamingo chick?  You have until June 3.

A Word A Week Challenge: Angle

I was inspired by a new blogger friend, Bambang (Bams) Triwoko, to create a post for this Word a Week Challenge:  Angle.  I don’t know whether I can put a new angle on it, but I will come at it from my perspective.  Angle makes all the difference in photography.   When I’m just looking at something, I don’t necessarily walk around checking all the angles like I do now when I want to take a photograph.

Last week my husband brought me a present – a bluejay egg that had fallen out of its nest in our trellis.  It felt surprisingly heavy for such a tiny egg.  I decided I should take pictures of it, so I took it outside and began my search for just the right angle.

Looking down - the shadow tells my angle, or is it the angle tells the time of day?
Looking down – the shadow tells my angle, or is it the angle tells the time of day?

The first angle I always resort to is whatever hits my eye level without having to climb up onto a rickety ladder or lay down on the ground, or sit in a cow pie.  Then I do the lazy thing, and adjust the zoom lens.

This gives you more of an idea of size of the egg.  It was tiny.
This gives you more of an idea of size of the egg. This is about how big it really was.  It was tiny.

However, there next thing I think of is shooting up at an object, preferably getting an angle with something else interesting in the process.  In this case the little bistro table on our porch made the perfect angles you see in this picture, but it wasn’t particularly interesting as far as the bird was concerned.  Then as I was looking up at the egg from underneath the table, it seemed like the egg moved.

Next, I started walking from one side to another, and in this case I could also manipulate the egg.  When I started doing all that I noticed the holes in the egg that I had not noticed when Vince gave me the egg.  That, along with the rocking motion, made me look at the egg from an entirely new angle.  What if this bird hatched?  What would happen to it?  Would the parents take care of it after I had touched it?  What do baby birds eat?  I moved the potential baby to the bark chips under the trellis.  From this angle you can really see the size of the egg compared to a small bark chip.

Practice time with my tripod - a new angle on this egg.
Practice time with my tripod – a new angle on this egg.

With the knowledge that “this egg was alive” angle in mind, I raced to the computer and googled baby blue jays and found out that you can soak cat food and hand feet it to newly hatched blue jays (and other birds).  Someone else fed oatmeal to baby birds.  One comment gave the number for  Southern Calif. wildlife hotline: 866-945-3911.  When I called that number I got three numbers for the Fresno area, and I called the first two and they were off for the weekend.  The third number was a Click and Clack kind of wildlife guy.  He should have his own radio broadcast.  He was so helpful, AND funny.  I laughed out loud as we talked about this poor bird’s possible fates – sorry Autty, some of them were not too positive.  Actually from almost any angle, this baby’s prospects were not good.

See the new hole on the top?
See the new hole on the top?

What I did learn from Click was that blue jays have no sense of smell.  They aren’t going to ignore their baby bird because I touched it.  Birds won’t know the difference.  His advice to me was to put it back in the nest.  So I did.  Inside the nest was hair, lots of it – probably mine!  It was soft inside the nest.  I felt good about the angle I had taken on blue jay restoration.

I’d just saved a precious life.  Way to go, Marsha!  Chalk up points!  Vince came in the next morning to inform me that he found a broken egg.  I climbed up on my rickety ladder to check the nest – empty.  Bad angle, and I didn’t photograph it.