1-2-3 Birds and Berries – #2

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Here’s the second post of my new series of three bird species that have the added bonus of berries (seeds) in the capture, whether around them…..or in their mouth!

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Yellow-rumped Warbler

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European Starling

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Ruby-crowned Kinglet

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Tundra Swan Fly-by

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How lucky to have a few Tundra Swans delight me in a close fly-by!

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Tundra Swan

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Wingspan 60-72 inches (152-183 cm)

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Gorgeous wingspan!

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While in flight, the Tundra Swan’s wings make a rhythmic humming or whistling sound that carries more than a mile.  It is believed this may help the birds communicate with each other. 

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1-2-3 Cute As Can Be – #11

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My little back yard cuties are such a delight.  If they only knew!  😉

Here are three more of my recent favorites.

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Downy Woodpecker (male)
Length 5.5-6.7 in (14-17 cm)
Weight 0.7-1.0 oz (21-28 g)
Wingspan 9.8-11.8 in (25-30 cm)

(photo taken in my back yard, December 2021)

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Yellow-rumped Warbler
Length 4.7-5.5 in (12-14 cm)
Weight 0.4-0.5 oz (12-13 g)
Wingspan 7.5-9.1 in (19-23 cm)

(photo taken in my back yard, December 2021)

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Song Sparrow – check out those big feet!
Length 4.7-6.7 in (12-17 cm)
Weight 0.4-1.9 oz (12-53 g)
Wingspan 7.1-9.4 in (18-24 cm)

(photo taken in my back yard, October 2021)

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Five On The Wing – #24

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Let’s go flying with five different bird species!  Enjoy!

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Bald Eagle (immature)
Wingspan 69-90 inches (175-228 cm)

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Double-crested Cormorant
Wingspan 44-48 inches (112-122 cm)

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Snow Geese
Wingspan 55-59 inches (139-150 cm)

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Tundra Swans
Wingspan 60-72 inches (152-183 cm)

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Northern Harrier
Wingspan 40-46.5 inches (102-118 cm)

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Tundra Swans Ice Takeoff

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I was watching several birds from afar for a while, including several Tundra Swans spread out on the ice.  Everyone was resting, not a care in the world.  I was hoping for a swan takeoff.

And I almost missed it!  Looking elsewhere, I caught the movement out of the corner of my eye.  A pair were suddenly on the run across the ice.

Averaging about 3 feet tall, 13 to 20 pounds, with a wingspan of 5 to 6 feet, that’s a lot of bird to get in the air.

Here’s how they do it!  I stayed with them and took 10 photos for the airborne shot.

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Tundra Swans beginning their takeoff

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It takes a lot of distance….

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With a lot of wing strides…..

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And a lot of running…..

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To lift that body…..

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Into the air!

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Airborne!

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Photos taken 1/11/22 – Private Farm, Starr Rd., Queen Anne’s County, MD

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Leucistic Canada Geese

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Single sightings of a Greater White-fronted Goose mixed in with Canada Geese are reported around the mid-Atlantic; and it’d be a new lifer for me, so I’ve got this habit now of scanning flocks of Canada Geese.  🙂

Still no sighting for me, but two days ago when scanning, something different did catch my eye.  I did a u-turn and went back to investigate.

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Leucistic Canada Goose with its species

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I have never seen a white Canada Goose!  Last night, I searched the internet to read about leucistic and albino coloring.

Leucistic is a genetic change that keeps some or all of a bird’s feathers from getting their usual colors.  It happens in several species of birds.

Bird expert, David Sibley, wrote an article, “Abnormal Coloration in Birds”, that discussed in great detail the differences in leucistic versus albino that I found quite interesting for more in-depth understanding, you might too.  (click highlighted article to read, it will open in another window for you)

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Leucistic Canada Goose (normal Canada Goose behind it)

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Leucistic Canada Goose

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I was along a busy road so I rolled on.  Passing more of this huge flock, I saw another Canada Goose with just its head affected.  Another pullover!

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Leucistic Canada Goose? Possibly more like a hybrid Snow x Canada Goose

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I thought these were pretty cool to share.  Have you ever seen a leucistic Canada Goose?

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Another New Lifer

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Wowza!  Last night I stumbled on forgotten photos of a bird I took several of back in September that needed identifying.

I should have ID’d it 2-3 days sooner and my last post could have been “Five New Lifers”!  😁

Welcome to my bird lifer list #253 Blue Grosbeak!  🤗💃😊

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Blue Grosbeak (female) – My Lifer #253

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Another so-so photo, but I just had to throw it out there for my count!  😉

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Four New Lifers

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This past week, I picked up four more new birds for my lifer list!   🤗💃😊

Several days ago, I stopped for a flock of Tundra Swans resting on a farm field, where a couple of cars had already stopped.

A guy walking past my car said if I was interested, there was also a flock of small birds foraging midway in front of the swans, Horned Larks, Lapland Longspurs, and a single Snow Bunting.  I quickly got my binoculars on them so I knew where to start aiming my camera.  They were so far away and the 20+ mph winds did not help.

Not my standards in quality for sharing, but, hey, they are lifers!  😉

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Horned Lark – My Lifer #249

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Lapland Longspur – My Lifer #250

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Horned Lark and Lapland Longspur

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I am cringing on sharing my next cropped photo, but I did get the delight of watching the Snow Bunting through my binoculars.  It just would not come forward in the flock for any closer shots.

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Snow Bunting – My Lifer #251

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Then yesterday, I decided to do a quick run to Eastern Neck NWR to see if there were any Tundra Swans at the causeway, but no luck.

I decided to drive through anyway, just for a couple minutes.  haha

Hour and a half later 😏, I spotted and stopped to photograph several White-throated Sparrows, when a ‘different’ bird popped out and onto a branch.  Seconds later it was gone.  But I got it!  😉

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Hermit Thrush – My Lifer #252

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Whew!  I’ve been about to explode wanting to share these; but those first three were such awful shots, lol.  Yesterday’s Hermit Thrush made this post quickly happen!  😉

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1-2-3 Birds and Berries – #1

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Here begins another series to share the added theme berries (seeds) in the composition of three bird portraits.

I have three juniper trees entwined with four American holly trees off the far end of my backyard deck, loaded with lots of red and blue seeds.  My practicing is paying off with some ‘berry-good’ photos for my favorites’ files.

Here are three of my favorites from the past month to begin this new series!

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Northern Mockingbird

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Carolina Chickadee

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Yellow-rumped Warbler

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1-2-3 Medium Bird Jubilee – #3

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Continuing with my series of the handsome medium-sized birds, here are three more of my recent favorites.

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American Robin
Length  7.9-11.0 inches (20-28 cm)
Weight  2.7-3.0 oz (77-85 g)
Wingspan  12.2-15.8 inches (31-40 cm)

(photo taken in my backyard, December 2021)

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Cedar Waxwing
Length  5.5-6.7 inches (14-17 cm)
Weight  1.1 oz (32 g)
Wingspan  8.7-11.8 inches (22-30 cm)

(photo taken in my backyard, December 2021)

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European Starling
Length  7.9-9.1 inches (20-23 cm)
Weight  2.1-3.4 oz (60-96 g)
Wingspan  12.2-15.8 inches (31-40 cm)

(photo taken in my backyard, December 2021)

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