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Outside Today

 Watery sun and bitterly cold (9 degrees F or about -13 degrees C) temps seem to be bringing out the birds (even this one! ::g::).  Two pictures below the cut.




This Pileated Woodpecker was feasting on frozen crabapples in lieu of bugs - I never knew they ate fruit, but I guess when you're hungry you'll eat things you wouldn't normally, if that's all that's on offer.  I think I'll hand a couple of mealworm suet cakes there for him or her.



This juvenile Red Shouldered Hawk is part of a family which has its territory in our woods.  I think it needs to learn to be a bit more subtle - right on the feeder is not likely a productive spot from which to mount an ambush!

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( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
lash_larue
Jan. 22nd, 2011 07:27 pm (UTC)
Wow! Magnificent birds, and great pictures, too.

We have a few Pileateds about, they're fun to watch, they drive the cats nuts.
L
albalark
Jan. 23rd, 2011 03:18 pm (UTC)
We have a lot of woods around our property (saw a fox out hunting this morning!) and so while we hear their drumming and their 'mad monkey' call, we don't see them much as they tend to keep to the big trees. I'm hoping the suet cakes will draw them out again.

The hawks we see and hear all the time, but rarely this close. He or she is one of this year's brood (our mated pair has been here for about 6 years and has produced a brood each of those years), and this one is uncharacteristically bold. I can't figure out if that means he (I think it's 'he' because the males tend to be smaller than the females, and this guy is small for a Red Shouldered) is very intelligent and attempting to satisfy his curiosity or a bit on the dim side and doesn't know any better! But that makes it easy to take pictures from our kitchen window! Mr. L gets the hawk photocredit, I took the shot of Woody from near our barn.
dickgloucester
Jan. 22nd, 2011 07:30 pm (UTC)
What amazing photographs! Thank you!
albalark
Jan. 23rd, 2011 03:19 pm (UTC)
You are very welcome - I'm glad you enjoyed!
kellychambliss
Jan. 22nd, 2011 07:34 pm (UTC)
Wow! These are impressive, that glorious hawk in particular. Look how perfectly blended the background/foreground coloring is. You could win prizes, seriously. Or Mr L could -- whoever is the talent responsible.

Yeah, it's pretty cold here, too. But at least it's not snowing!
albalark
Jan. 23rd, 2011 03:33 pm (UTC)
Mr. L took the hawk from our kitchen window (that's how close he was!); I took the woodpecker picture right near our barn.

Mr. L is a seriously good amateur photographer who has taken some truly spectacular pictures. I've taken one or two good ones, but most of mine are pretty boring. I got lucky, as I was in the right spot at the right time and was lucky again when the bird stayed put while Miss M went to get the camera!

Still viciously cold and snowing - got another inch last night. It's only January and I am *so* done with this!! :-P
(Deleted comment)
albalark
Jan. 23rd, 2011 03:38 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you enjoyed them - definitely the perfect antidote to plastic! ::g::
r_grayjoy
Jan. 22nd, 2011 09:29 pm (UTC)
Ohhhh, gorgeous! Wonderful photos! (They're nuts for being out in these temperatures, though. Gah, bears have the right idea...)
albalark
Jan. 23rd, 2011 03:53 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Yes, I agree with you on the bears . . . hybernating until it's warm again is sounding really, really good about now!!
methleigh
Jan. 22nd, 2011 11:26 pm (UTC)
Wow, that shot of the hawk is particularly good. I think he is not mounting ambush so much as waiting to pose for you! 8^)
albalark
Jan. 23rd, 2011 03:54 pm (UTC)
Mr. L took that from our kitchen window, and he stayed a long time, so you just might be right! :-D
therealsnape
Jan. 23rd, 2011 09:05 am (UTC)
Spectacular shots, both of them. And how fascinating that both birds are against a background that reflects their natural colours!
Compliments for the photographer - Mr. L., I presume? Since he's the usual taker of pics?
albalark
Jan. 23rd, 2011 03:56 pm (UTC)
Mr L did indeed take the hawk - from our kitchen window no less. I took the woodpecker, but only because I was in the right place at the right time and was able to send my minion to fetch the camera without giving away my cover!
cranky__crocus
Jan. 24th, 2011 07:20 am (UTC)
Ohhh, beautiful pictures of beautiful birds. (: I love how profoundly visible the feet and spot above the beak are due to the contrast of otherwise rather muted/natural hues on the hawk. The woodpecker's posing makes me smile.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )