GRATEFUL BIRDS, HAPPY PHOTOGRAPHER – Marilyn Armstrong

RDP Thursday – GRATEFUL LITTLE BIRDS


I had my doubts about shooting pictures of the birds and I was right. There were a dozen birds flying around. I got the door open and there was a naked bird feeder. I waited outside for a while. Which was a big deal because it can’t be more the 10 degrees  (Fahrenheit), but I thought if I waited, they would show up.

They didn’t.

The Massachusetts state bird — the Chickadee!

I closed the door and went back into the kitchen and sure enough, they flew back. I went back to the other room to get a longer lens and when I came back, I shot through the very dirty kitchen window and hoped for the best.

The best was better than I expected. Talk about grateful!

Top of the woodpecker

While I was getting the other camera, a big red-bellied woodpecker (even though all the red is on his head!) landed. I didn’t get great pictures. The window was dirty and the birds were moving, but I got three pictures that are at least acceptable.

I was also observing that we now have fat birds. Garry asked what they usually look like and I said “Skinny.” They really love our birdseed and are eating up a storm. This is the roundest woodpecker I’ve ever seen!

Back part of the woodpecker. Between seeing him and snapping the shot, he moved. But the colors are close to normal, even if it’s a bit blurry.

Gratefully eating birds … and a grateful photographer. I still can’t figure out how to clean the outside of the window. There’s no place out there to stand or even put a ladder. Something to ponder during dinner.

Happy holiday to one and all, whatever you celebrate and however you choose to enjoy it.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.

33 thoughts on “GRATEFUL BIRDS, HAPPY PHOTOGRAPHER – Marilyn Armstrong”

  1. Um, APPARENTLY (and I’m not recommending either you nor Garry do it) someone opens the window, (if there’s a screen remove it), and sits on the window sill to clean the window. If it doesn’t open and you don’t have a really tall ladder? I’ve no idea? Hose it off? All those ideas should occur in the summer obviously….

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      1. You know, you can’t really tell there’s dirty window’between’, but then I don’t have a photographer’s ‘eye’. That woodpecker does look round. Round and quite satisfied. Good for you for feeding the feathered ones… 🙂

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      2. I cleaned, as requested, your ‘boid shooting” window. Thought it looked okay. Hope boids don’t try to fly through it.

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  2. this is, btw, a red bellied woodpecker, not a red headed. No idea why, but apparently the red headed woodpecker got to the bird book first and this was given a default name. We saw our first one of these (red bellied) this summer, and I was surprised at the name…and frankly getting any woodpecker to hold still for any picture is a bonus. You did good

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    1. Red-bellied Woodpecker who has a bright red head. Right. Okie Dokey. These guys have fallen in love with the bird feeder. If I could go outside and get a picture, it would probably be sharp, but as soon as I get on the deck, they fly into the trees. It is frustrating. If it were warmer, I could wait quietly outside for longer, but I was in my bathrobe, so it was a bit nippy. Next time, I’ll bulk up. But it was sheer luck getting the redhead he landed while I was focusing and I just grabbed shots quickly and was surprised anything came out.

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  3. Great capture of the seed in his mouth! Yes, it is a red bellied, a Red Headed has a completely red head. I love their call- they are noisy, but it is my signal to get up and look out the window! Also, their feather puff up to keep them warm when it is bitter cold 🙂 hence the weight gain(and your seed of course!)

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    1. This guy eats half the seeds in the feeder each time he drops around. He didn’t seem too puffy today. Mainly, he hung on to the feeder and would not let any of the chickadees near it.

      We also have a really BIG woodpecker — no red — and I’d have to look him up. I’ve only seen him twice and they are rather rare, but apparently live in the woods.

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        1. We have these guys, but I’ve only seen one a couple of times. There’s an even bigger version who might actually be extinct. They look almost identical, but the other one is much bigger. I think the one I’ve seen a couple of times was a female and they are quite big … bigger than a crow.

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