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Tag Archives: Birds

Snow has been hard to come by this winter. We had a brief snow squall last week and I was able to capture a few birds before it ended.

Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

House Sparrow

House Sparrow

Northern Cardinal

Northern Cardinal

Hairy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker

More bird photographs from Canadian Hill Farm can be found on my website.

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My main interest is photographing birds while it’s snowing out but I do shoot at other times. These are a few birds seen at my feeders in the last few weeks.

Blue Jay

Blue Jay

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker

White-breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch

We had, what has turned out to be, a rare snowfall earlier in the week. Unfortunately I was out getting a Measles shot because of some nut cases refuse to get their kids vaccinated. As a result I missed most of what was a beautiful snowfall consisting of large flakes drifting out of the sky. This brought the birds out in full force.

Northern Cardinal

Northern Cardinal

House Sparrows

House Sparrows

Dark-eyed Junco

Dark-eyed Junco

 

As I mentioned in an earlier blog I had a family of House Sparrows show up this summer. Earlier this winter they brought all of their relatives and friends. At first they were feeding off of the ground which didn’t bother me too much but now they have moved to the feeders.

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I think I have my mother’s gene because she used to feed the birds and squirrels and then get mad when they ate too much. I feel this way about the House Sparrows.

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Since there isn’t much I can do about it I might as well make the most of it and try and get some good photos of them. I could probably become a Republican and remove all of the food from the feeders but that would just hurt the rest of the birds.

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The weather was nice so we decided to take another road trip along the Mississippi River looking for birds. The main goal was to find Bald Eagles but Trumpeter Swans and ducks were also fair game. Our first stop was Wabasha but we didn’t see any. We can usually find them in the trees on the east side of the river but there wasn’t a single bird.

Our next stop was Reads Landing. We spotted six Bald Eagles all flying. On pair was performing  synchronized acrobatics. We watched them for quite a while. Unfortunately they were too far away for photographs. This is the first time we haven’t seen any Trumpeter Swans in the area. This is a photo from last year.

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We headed for Red Wing and Colvill Park. Unfortunately we only found a single eagle sitting in a tree. He looked a little disheveled.

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So far things hadn’t gone all that well so we decided to drive up to Miesville, Minnesota and try and find Kings Bar and Grill. A friend said they had great burgers. It would have made things easier if I remembered the name of the town or the name of the restaurant. All I could remember was that the name of the town started with M and the restaurant might be Kings and it was on highway 61 north of Red Wing .

Fortunately we found the place. It was mid afternoon on a Sunday and the place was packed. Luckily we found a table. The service was fast but it took a while to decide on a burger because there were so many choices. Once we ordered we had our meal in a short time. The burgers were great making up for a lousy day of bird watching. Would highly recommend Kings Bar and Grill. We have added it to our places to stop when we are in the area.

We were in Hudson, Wisconsin on business and decided to stop and check on the Trumpeter Swan population. It was late in the day. When we left home is was cloudy but by the time we reached Hudson the sun was out and it was a beautiful, relatively warm late afternoon.

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When we arrived we were the only ones there. Before long a crowd had gathered. Apparently the swans fly off late in the afternoon and folks wanted to watch the evening flight out. Trumpeter-Swans-Hudson-Wisconsin-15-1-_2891

There were also several people feeding the swans. Everyone was lined up to get some food.

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I started talking with another photographer who was working with a long lens and tripod. Turned out to be Art Juchno who I had worked with at Stout. I didn’t recognize him all bundled up in his winter gear but he recognized me. I’m not sure what that says about my sartorial efforts.

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I spent about an hour watching the birds. There were a lot of ducks and geese but only about fifty swans. Last time I was photographing there were over three hundred. Apparently colder weather brings them into the area.

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More Trumpeter Swan photos can be found on my website.

A friend mentioned that there was a Northern Hawk Owl hanging out in a neighborhood on the south side of Eau Claire, Wisconsin. A non-birder first saw it and took a photos. A birder identified it as a Northern Hawk Owl. They are rarely seen in this area.Northern-Hawk-Owl-15-1-_2831

My wife and I were in Eau Claire on business earlier in the week. When we finished we headed down to the neighborhood where the Hawk Owl had been spotted. We weren’t optimistic that we would find it unless there were birders around or it was being harassed by crows.

We drove around all of the roads and couldn’t find him. As were leaving a bird flew in front of the car and landed in a pine tree. It was Lars, so named by the locals because he was hanging around Lars Road. I grabbed the camera and managed to get one shot before he few off.

I made a second visit to watch the Trumpeter Swans along the Saint Croix River in Hudson, Wisconsin. On the first visit the weather was relatively warm and the swans and other birds were really active. There were so many of them it the water that it was difficult to get photos of single birds.Trumpeter-Swans-Hudson-Wisconsin-15-1-_0648

On this visit it was well below zero and I was the only one dumb enough to stand out along the river to photograph birds. My wife stayed in the car and said a number of cars came by and people either watched from their car or jumped out to take a quick photo.

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Because it was so cold the birds were not very active. The smaller number of birds in the water made it much easier to photograph individual birds or smaller groups of birds. Most of the swans, geese and ducks were on shore trying to keep warm. In all I counted in excess of 250 Trumpeter Swans in an area about half the size of a football field.

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There were also a number of ducks around. This one just came in from the water.Mallard-Duck-15-1-_0653

Right behind the duck this Trumpeter Swan walked onto the ice to take a nap.

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It looks like these two Trumpeter Swans are harassing the duck but they were just interacting and the duck seemed undisturbed.

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After swimming around for about an hour this swan returned to the ice to take a nap in the cold weather.

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I think I mentioned in an earlier blog that I rarely have House Sparrows at my feeders. This past summer a pair of House Sparrows turned up at my feeder along with their young. This was quite a novelty and I enjoyed having them around. Unfortunately there can be too much of a good thing and this winter I have been overrun with House Sparrows. Fortunately most of them seem to be bottom feeders so they are cleaning up under the feeder. I hope it stays that way or I won’t be able to keep them in food.

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House Sparrows

House Sparrows

 

During the recent snowstorm I managed to capture a relatively large number of photos showing two birds. Generally I photograph single birds but there were so many birds around during the storm that they were packed around the feeder.

Northern Cardinal and House Sparrow

Northern Cardinal and House Sparrow

White-breasted Nuthatch and Downy Woodpecker

White-breasted Nuthatch and Downy Woodpecker

Black-capped Chickadee and House Sparrow

Black-capped Chickadee and House Sparrow