Sunday, December 23, 2012

Birds in Winter

Every year when we have snow I make a point of getting outside to take some photos of the birds. I have a gang of chickadees that follows me around when I'm outdoors now because they know I keep peanuts in my jacket pocket. As a matter of fact, at least one chickadee has wised up to the fact that I keep the peanuts in my left pocket...during this last session of feeding them from my hand, some impatient little birds actually started digging in my pocket for peanuts!

I usually have so many of these chestnut-backed chickadees following me around that I can run out of peanuts pretty quickly so now I bring a mug full with me. I keep peanuts in a tin mug that I bought in Costa Rica. The chickadees jump in and grab peanuts for themselves whenever I put the mug down.

I love to walk around our place with the flock of chickadees happily chirping and zooming all around me. I suspect some of them of stashing their peanuts instead of eating them because there are so many birds, I figure I must be feeding some of them  twice in a row. Here's a shot of one of them waiting in a nearby cedar tree...

The Steller's Jays almost always break up the party by flying in and intimidating the chickadees. I usually feed the jays a little too just as I'm about to wrap things up. If I feed them any earlier, you can guarantee there'll be a gang of them disrupting everything pretty quickly. O.K., I admit it, I'm biased...chickadees are my favorites. But the jays are quite beautiful too...

Happy holidays to you all, and may the new year bring you many delightful surprises. I'll leave you with a Christmas message from me and the chickadees.

winter birds art

Friday, December 14, 2012

Bull Elk Sighting

I come across elk herds quite often while out hiking with my dogs but the bull elk remain elusive...until the fall, that is. Recently I came across two bull elk in one morning, which was quite exciting. You have to be careful to keep your distance though because they can be aggressive during mating season.

Here's a photo of one of my sightings. I discovered this bull grazing with two female elk. The females spotted me right away and stood there watching me.

Eventually Mr. Big raised his head and I could see that his antlers had six points. A six-point bull elk is really an impressive sight to see!

Here's another shot of him as he casually strolled into the forest. Magnificent, isn't he?

Roosevelt Elk Bull

The lighting was terrible but I did my best. I don't get the chance to photograph the males all that often, so I take what I can get!