As of today, I have a heightened respect for wildlife photographers. They not only tend to spend a great deal of time waiting — waiting to capture the potentially elusive pose of some member of the animal kingdom. But very often they’re patiently waiting under uncomfortable — if not extreme — conditions.
I really shouldn’t complain, then, that it took me four hours to capture a few decent shots of this hummer, which I believe to be a female Ruby-Throated Hummingbird. I stood the entire time, inside an enclosed sunroom, quietly watching the feeder that this hummingbird has claimed as hers the entire summer. CLICK to see a few more photos of The Hummer
I suppose you could say I’ve become obsessed with him. I always look for him whenever I pass the place where we first met. And just catching a glimpse of him continues to cause my heart to flutter.
Yes, a little redbird has become a bit of an obsession for me. Almost two months ago, I discussed meeting the redbird I call “Red” in Birds of a Feather and Just Curious. I had initially spotted “Red” hanging around the POW-MIA monument at the Veterans Memorial in Shallowford Square.
Since that first encounter, I’ve caught a quick glance of “Red” at the Square numerous times when I’ve simply been driving by. And I’ve seen him every single time that I’ve taken a few moments to park and walk closer to the Veterans Memorial.
The Latest Sighting
Yesterday was no exception. I was keeping my little niece and nephew for the weekend, and they wanted to swing on the swings at Shallowford Square. After they’d swung for a while, I suggested that we walk over to look for the redbird. And, honestly, just like clockwork, “Red” made his appearance only minutes after we’d begun observing the area around the POW-MIA monument!
See for Yourself
If you’d like to experience a bit of the wonder of this little creature, try stopping by the Square sometime and observing the area around the POW-MIA monument from a distance. I think it’s likely that you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the appearance of a bird named “Red.”
If you do see him, please be sure to report back here in the Comment section. It’d be fun to hear from others who’ve spotted “Red.” CLICK for another photo of the redbird at Shallowford Square
Allow me to introduce you to “Mother Bluebird.” She was getting ready to feed her little peeps inside the weathered birdhouse, when she noticed a stranger about 40 feet away. She’s not very used to having visitors at the house. Most of the time, folks just keep on driving by in their big cars.
I could almost hear her thoughts as she eyed me intently. Her babies were hungry, but should she leave them unprotected while a stranger lurked nearby?
More than the other birds I’ve photographed in recent weeks — the redbird and the goldfinches — this bluebird appeared to be very unsettled by the nearness of a stranger. (For more on those previous encounters, read Just Curious and Farewell to the Finches.)
But then it occurred to me that maybe the bluebird’s jitteriness had more to do with the protective nature of a mother than with her particular species.
Taking a Chance
The ever-increasing cries of her hungry brood were more than Mother Bluebird could bear. “I’ll take a chance,” she thought. “I’ll fly away for food and return as quickly as possible.” In an instant, she was out of sight.
Nearby, sitting almost motionlessly with my camera aimed at the birdhouse, I waited for Mother Bluebird’s return.
To read more on the encounter with Mother Bluebird — and to see a few more photos — please continue to the NEXT SECTION. CLICK for more on Mother Bluebird
Where Have They Gone?
It’s a lonely sight these days — the bird feeders that once were the focal points of so many famished goldfinches. Anywhere else, their constant chatter and all-out gluttony would have been fodder for endless gossip.
Now, the bird feeders just hang in a sort of sad silence. All that’s left are the memories of avian fellowship and, of course, the occasional feathered feud. (Remember Backyard Brawl?)
But then there was also the outrageous thistle seed expense. Unfortunately, no stimulus money whatsoever was allotted for goldfinches. For swine and rodent studies, yes. But none for the noble goldfinch. Not even a billion dollars.
What’s a Gal to Do?
Alas, the goldfinches’ departure has left such a void that I found myself digging through my goldfinch photos and staring longingly at them. In case you’ve missed the goldfinches, too, I thought I’d share a few more photos with you in the NEXT SECTION.
To our beloved goldfinches: May you flourish and be well-fed — wherever you are.
CLICK for a few more goldfinch photos