Mostly images of birds found in our region of Northampton County, NC.
(Image above is Potecasi Creek at Burnt Bridges)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Red-bellied Woodpecker

The Red-bellied Woodpecker, Melanerpes carolinus, is a pretty common woodpecker throughout the region.  I have a hard time catching them at a decent angle since they are usually high up in one of our pine trees, but this one happened to pose for me in a maple tree only about 30 feet up.  This one is a male, differentiated from the female by the red going over the top of his  head, where the female just has red on the nape of the neck.  The name is derived from a faint red belly, but it is often so faint as to seem white or ivory colored.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Common Yellowthroat

This female Common Yellowthroat, Geothylpis tricas, is the only example of this species I have photographed.   The male is a little more colorful, having a black mask.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

The Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Polioptila caerulea,  is a very quick little fellow.  Seldom seen in our yard, and this is the only acceptable image I have gotten of one.  I didn't notice the mosquito until I saw it on the screen.  He was very busy looking for bugs in the limbs of the apple tree.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


The Killdeer, Charadrius vociferus, is a very common Plover.  They are perhaps best known for their broken wing display when one comes near their nest.  There are no differences in markings between the sexes. 

The courting displays are fun to see since there are a lot of 'fanned' tails.
They often nest in gravelled areas.  This one was nesting in the center of our driveway.  We had to keep a good lookout when driving over the nest.  After they hatch, the chicks are ready to roll.  They don't hang around the nest at all.

Below, is a series of a juvenile possibly catching his first worm.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

American Redstart

This female American Redstart, Setiphoga ruticilla, is the only one of these warblers I have seen.  They are easily identified by the pattern on the tail which it spreads out quite often.  The adult male has red feathers in place of the yellow seen here.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Cedar Waxwing

The Cedar Waxwing, Bombycilla cedrorum, is a uniquely marked bird .  They often appear in groups to decimate trees of their crop such as our wild cherry.  We haven't seen them for a couple years, so don't know if we just weren't here at the time, or they bypassed our yard.  The mature bird, as in the first two images, is very cleanly marked.  They are pretty acrobatic when in pursuit of the fruit.  Bottom two images are of the juvenile stage.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

The Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Archilochus colubris, is the primary hummer for these parts.  They are very territorial and seem to expend a lot of energy in chasing their competition away.  I know they must nest nearby, but I have not had the good fortune to see one.  Some of these close shots were taken with the 200mm micro nikkor lens from a foot or less away.  We had fun a couple years ago getting some of them trained to land on my finger when they were near the feeder.  I locate a feeder at eye level in a window near my computer desk, so it is simple to open the window and hold my hand out there to get them to perch.  They are timid at first, but usually one will decide I am no threat and their desire for food overrides their fear.  Looking through my hummer shots, I find that my favorites are usually the females.  I did put a closeup of a male at the bottom. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Yellow-rumped Warbler

The Yellow-rumped Warbler, Dendroica coronata, is fairly common in the summertime.  They are usually pretty busy moving about in the tree limbs looking for bugs.  The image with the two birds fussing is a Yellow-rumped Warbler trying to chase a female American Goldfinch from her perch.  Wish I had been able to get the entire bird in, but at least the action is interesting.

Bald Eagle

This Bald Eagle. Halieetus leucocephalus, landed in the field west of our house and I saw a flash of white from my window by the computer.  I ran out and grabbed a couple shots before it took off.  This is the only one we have seen near out property.

Spotted Sandpiper

This Spotted Sandpiper, Actitus macularia, was a very rare visitor to our yard.  The only one I have seen.

Brown-headed Cowbird

The Brown-headed Cowbird, Molothrus ater, is an interesting bird.  They are a nuisance around the feeders because they are usually found in groups and they can clean out the feeders quickly.  They are also a parasite bird, in that they lay their eggs in the nest of another species and don't have anything to do with the resultant babies.  It is not unusual to see a Bluebird feeding a Brown-headed Cowbird juvenile half again larger in size than herself.  The males have the distinct brown head and the female is a fairly plain light brown with light streaks on its breast.

Northern Flicker

The Northern Flicker, Colaptes auratus, spends much of its time on the ground rooting out bugs.  Distinctly marked, the male has a black streak on the sides of his neck.  Very common bird throught the US.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Carolina Wren

The Carolina Wren, Thryothorus ludovicianus, is a favorite of mine.  Always looking bright and busy.  Sometimes hard to catch still for a decent pose.

Wild Turkey

The Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo, has really made a comeback in this region.  Folks who have lived around here for years don't recall seeing Turkeys until the last 15 to 20 years.  There are quite a few in small groups within a couple miles of us.  Did you know that a group of Turkeys is called a "rafter"?  The two jakes in the bottom picture are wrestling by locking beaks and trying to push the other around.  They will fuss like this until one has enough and gives up.  Then, they get along just fine.  Interesting behavior to witness.