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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I am a rank amateur birdwatcher and avid amateur bird photographer living near Conway, NC. Being retired allows me plenty of time to devote to the hobby/obsession. Most of my bird shots are taken in our yard near Burnt Bridges. I shoot with a Nikon D300 and D200 using the 500mm f/4 and 200-400mm f/4 VR lenses. The 500mm lives on a Wimberley head on a sturdy carbon fiber tripod. I have recently, June, 2012, purchased a 600mm Nikon f/4 which is now my main birding lens.