12/24/2008

Christmas time - well almost.....

It's almost Christmas so I figured I'd help get you in the festive spirit. I REALLY like this song even though it's not a traditional song. What Xmas music blows your hair back? BTW they mention that there won't be snow in Africa - what about Mt. Kilimanjaro - that has snow 365 doesn't it? ;-)


12/23/2008

Counting down the days

I'm going owling - raining or not!

Nope I'm not going to see Hawk Owls, Great Grays or Snowy's - I wish! I'm going out for a quick owling trip tomorrow morning to see if I can track down Long eared owls, short eared owls and if I'm VERY lucky a Saw whet. I have a spot in Mercer county where I've seen all three, but last year I was unable to track down the Saw whet, although other birders did see one which hung around for a couple of days and then moved on to another spot. Last year I spent MANY hours going through Cedar trees looking for the Saw whet without any luck. The trips weren’t a bust as I did see Short eareds and Long Eareds on trips in Feb and March. This will be my first trip to the area in December so it will be interesting to see what’s there.

I was thinking about taking my video camera, but it looks like it's going to be raining so I may just take my camera and see if I can shoot a couple of decent pics. As with any owling trip it's the luck of the draw and the LEOs may not be using the roost this year. I'm pretty sure that I should at the very least run into the SEOs which will make the day worth it. I'll keep you posted on what I find. BTW, if you know of any owls in our area (New Jersey) please drop me a comment. I am specifically looking for Great Horned as I was unable to locate a nesting site last year. I will read the comment and not publish it to keep the info private.

12/02/2008

Poll results: Meeting online/cyber friends

Thanks for the awesome response on my poll. The results are in and the majority of people (20) voted that they have met an online friend in person, while 12 respondents said that they haven't. What I really enjoyed about this topic was the amount of discussion and feedback that I got from everyone.

Thanks again for making this poll so much fun!

12/01/2008

Which owlcam should I get?

This post is in response to a Dan Dailey's request for more info on my owlcam. BTW, Dan is based in NJ and he has an owl in his box - I'm green with envy!

Custom vs. play & play
There are many options when you installing an owl cam. If you are technically inclined, have a lot of free time and you like building things then you can create a custom setup like Chris’. Here are detailed instructions on how Chris went about his owl cam construction.

Another option for the less adventurous is to buy a plug and play camera. I decided to go that route because my box was already up in the tree and I wanted to put something simple and easy in the box. I found a camera that offers a full color camera (day time only) with sound. The camera comes with two wires one for power and the other is a combined audio/video RCA cable which simple plugs into the back of your TV. Installation was easy and the longest part of the process was lying the cabling underground. I put a little piece of wood at the bottom of my basement window and drilled a small hole to accommodate the cables.

When to install the camera?
Ideally you should install the camera when there are no owls in the box. I’ve chased an owl out of the box and it never came back that season so I would hate for that to happen to anyone. If you are sure that there are no owls around then I would do the install now. Owls use the box for roosting throughout the year, so regardless of when you install it you may have the privilege of watching the owls. Owls will start looking seriously at your box for nesting in early Spring, so I would do it well before then. Late Fall/early Winter is a nice time of the year to do it because the ground is soggy and it’s easy to cut a path to lay the wiring underground – I just used a spade and ran it along the ground with a pointed edge and then just popped the wiring underneath the grass. If you do it now your Spring grass growth will also cover the ‘cutting’ line.

So what camera did you get and how much is it?
I bought the Hawk owl spycam from their website. You can also search around as there may be resellers that have special deals on. Make sure that you buy enough wiring to run from the box to your viewing site (basement, living room). Make sure you take into consideration the height of the tree/pole and any additional wiring through the house.

If you are comfortable on a ladder you can easily do the install while the box is up. All you need to do, is to drill a hole big enough to run the cables into the box. Installing the camera is as easy as putting two screws in.
The Hawk owl spycam is priced around $90-100 and additional 100ft cabling is around $35.
If anyone knows of any plug and play cameras or if you've used any others, please let me know by clicking on the comments link below. Good luck with your owlcam and let me know how it goes.

11/27/2008

HAPPY Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of my most favorite holidays because it really brings families together. Everyone seems to flock from far and wide to make it back to the nest to spend quality time just hanging out with family! I wish you and yours a festive, relaxing and happy Thanksgiving. I have a LOT to give thanks for this year and I'll be making sure that I take the time to reflect on all the happiness that life has brought me in 2008.

A serious post deserves a corny pic

11/25/2008

Having cheese in your head is bad!

Ok, so Favre’s unretirement would have been a little messy for the Packers to handle. They promised Rodgers the job and then the old guy comes back. Having said that I’ve always thought that the Packers made a mistake when they let Favre leave or kicked him out, whichever version you prefer. When Favre left for the Jets I honestly thought he had lost his marbles. The JETS? Come on these guys have been stinking up the place for years and years. Favre played a few bad games while getting used to the new system and team mates, but now the Jets are at 8-3 at the top of their division!! They have also managed to knock off the only unbeaten team, as well as a multiple winning Super Bowl team.

Nope, not all their success can be laid at the door of Favre, but you can’t honestly say that Chad Pennington would have taken the Jets to this record. ALL the Jets players have commented about how Favre has motivated them and made playing football fun again. Sigh! If you compare the Jets to the Packers you can CLEARLY see that the Packers are missing a key ingredient…….who could that be? All I can say is take the cheese out of your head Thompson and man up that you’ve made a mistake. I think Favre will take the Jets to the playoffs in 2008 and they’ll make a serious run at the Super Bowl with Favre in 2009. I’ve been right this season, so who’s to say it won’t happen again. Remember even a blind squirrel finds a nut.

11/18/2008

Introduce yourself and vote

Just a reminder that if you're new to this blog I'd love to hear from you. Please introduce yourself by clicking here. I'd also love it if you vote on my poll this month. The poll is in the right panel of my blog and the topic is here. To comment on the topic click here.

11/14/2008

Do me a favor and just go away

The media is constantly looking for a story. What do you do if no story exists? You still have to publish or talk about something, so what are you going to do? Hey, let’s just invent a story. Let’s warp what’s left of the truth and make a story out of it. The entire media spectrum is guilty of this to some degree, but sports’ reporting seems to be pretty high up on the list. This season Brett Favre has been the target for much of the speculation and story invention. The guy has one bad game with a couple of underthrown passes and suddenly his arm is washed up. I read news ‘reports’ saying that Favre can’t throw his long bombs anymore because his arm is so sore. This story stemmed from him saying that his arm was a little fatigued the first few weeks with the Jets. DAH, the guy missed practice camp and he was getting used to throwing in an NFL environment again. The funny thing was that Favre threw a zillion passes (including big bombs) in his next game….so much for the washed up arm.

I then saw Terry Bradshaw on Jimmy Kimmel the other night and he flatly said that Favre had come back to the NFL to spite the Packers. REALLY? Anyone who watched the game last night and the performance of Brett Favre must be smoking their sox if they think that this guy is fueled by spite. When asked after the game if this game represented his reason for coming back Favre said ‘Absolutely!’ The guy loves football. Was he annoyed at the fact that the Packers didn’t want him back after sooooo many years and consecutive starts – hell yes, wouldn’t you be? He didn’t come out of retirement to be spiteful, he came back to play football. The fact that he went to the Jets, a traditionally WEAK team shows that he wasn’t interested in revenge. If he wanted to, he could have held out and the Packers would have eventually let him go. There is no way the Packers were going to let Favre stand on the sidelines and pay him the million of dollars they owed him. Also, can you think what a distraction this would have been for the team – no way that happens. He could very easily have held out and the Packers would have released him at the beginning of the season. In that case, he may well have been heading to a conference rival such as the Vikings (men in purple) or the Bears.

Showeee, ok so I vented. I doubt anyone is still there, but I least I got it off my chest. It really bugs me when the media makes up stories about people who just love what they do. If you watch a Favre game, you’ll clearly see that the guy loves football and he has an immense passion and sense of fun for the game. Yes I know, the media often talks about this and people get sick of it. The fact is, he is a big kid that loves throwing the pig skin around. It may not sell papers or spike up the rating for your Fox show, but it’s the truth. Do us all a favor, if there isn’t a story don’t try and make one up – please!

Funny Friday: Gettin' jiggy with it

11/12/2008

Wordless Wednesday: Red tailed hawk

Jets vs. Patriots

Thursday night is the BIG game for Favre and the Jets. On the line is the top ranking in the AFC East. "Until we beat these guys, knock 'em off the top, they'll always be the team to beat," Favre said. "I know exactly what this game means, the weight it carries."
Make sure you catch the game on the NFL channel!

11/11/2008

Poll reminder: Meeting online friends


A gentle reminder to vote on this month's poll, now up on my blog. This month I'm interested to see how many people have met some in person, that they initially met online. Here are more details about the topic.

11/10/2008

The Super Bowl of Birding

It’s very appropriate that someone who loves football and birds as much as I do will be participating in the Super Bowl of Birding. The event is held in Massachusetts in January, so it should be a chilly but exciting trip.

Luckily for me I’m entering the world of competitive birding with an amazingly experienced and talented team:
Patrick from The Hawk Owl’s Nest
Corey from 10,000 birds
N8 from the Drinking Bird (status: definite maybe)
And lastly our fearless leader, Christopher from the Picus Blog

As you can tell our team is made up 100% by bloggers and we are currently working with a NYC marketing firm to come up with an appropriate branding identity. Ok so maybe not so much with a marketing firm, but more a discussion amongst the team members. If you have any cool ideas for a team name please drop me a comment. Another thing you may have noticed is that the team is testosterone loaded, which is a result of availability rather than design. Several female bird bloggers were invited, but couldn’t make the trip.

I am very excited about making my way up to MA to check out all the winter gems. This year appears to be a great irruptive year for Snowy owls and Christopher has already spotted several owls including 3 owls over the weekend. Come on baby, let the games begin!

11/07/2008

Funny Friday: The owl and the ...........

In case you've been living under a rock I have a wacky sense of humor and these videos really appealed to me. Don't worry; no actual owls were harmed during the making of these videos.



11/01/2008

Nature blog network V2.0

In case you missed it, Mike Bergin (10,000 birds, I and the Bird) announced this week that the Nature Blog Network will become an even more effective online resource for finding interesting nature blogs.

What can you expect in the New Blog Network blog?
  • introductions and instructions for the top blog tools and technology
  • focused looks at different members of the NBN community
  • nature carnival announcements and deadlines
  • nature news and special announcements
  • interviews, polls, etc. etc.

Good job Mike, we're all looking forward to seeing the improvements in action!

10/31/2008

Have a Hooting Halloween!

Have a hooting good halloween!

10/30/2008

Have you met a cyber friend in person?

Not too long ago it was considered weird/taboo to meet people in person that you initially met on the internet. I still remember the first time I heard about someone getting married after meeting their significant other online. My first and lasting impression at that time was “That’s strange!” Nowadays online match making is much more common and mainstream. People are not only using online dating sites to meet people but also meeting via chatrooms, social networking sites (Facebook, My Space) and forums. Blogging is also opening a whole new online environment for meeting new people in person. This month I’d appreciate it if you could cast your vote in my online poll available in the right panel of my blog. I’m interested to see whether you’ve ever met a cyberspace friend in person.

In addition to voting in the poll, I’d also be interested to hear your thoughts on this topic. Would you meet any cyber friends in person? If not, why not? If so, where did you meet the person online? What mutual interest brought you together e.g. romance, hobbies, business etc. How did the face to face meeting turnout? Do you think most people still consider online to face to face meeting as weird or is it accepted as mainstream?

Come on share your thoughts click the Comments link now and get typing.

10/28/2008

Favre Gate: Finally a critical look


I finally found an article that discusses the logical implications of Favre's conversation with the Lions. I couldn't agree with the article any more. Check it out here.


Personally I think this is just a case of the media manufacturing a controversial story. Sadly I have to agree with Dave when he says that "for the life of me, even after hours of soul searching, I can't figure out why so many people are so willing, even eager, to believe the worst about Brett Favre."

Snow.....in October??







10/25/2008

My Canon wish list is more expensive now...

Well unless Santa wins the lottery this year my Canon photographic wish list will stay just that. The lens, a 300mm F2.8 is pretty damn pricey at around $4,500 to 5,500 BUT the reviews are consistently amazing. It has been rated as the best birding lens around and it even allows you to add a 2x extender without sacrificing sharpness. Oh yeah, the converter is an additional $400 - $550. Ok now the body needs to be something magical. How about something that can take amazing digital photos while at the same time taking HD video. HD video you scoff! Yip, Canon now makes such a beast. The new Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III takes amazing HD video. Check out this video of a Brown Shrike shot with the Mark III. Ok so Santa must be wondering what this is going to set him back and I’m happy to report that the Mark III will retail for around $2,700. This means for well below $10,000 I can get the ultimate birding setup – hey we may even want to throw in a pair of Leica 10x50 binos…..

10/24/2008

Moving to winter

Coming from South Africa where the weather is pretty predictable and mostly warm to the US was a major change for all of us. The changing of the seasons still remains a source of excitement and enjoyment for me, even after having lived on the East coast of the U.S for nearly 10 years now. I still can’t believe that on January 19th I’ll have been in the States for 10 years –wow. Anyway, I digress.

I have been keeping track of non-scientific barometers of season changes for a couple of years now. This stared with the Tree Swallow’s arrival – my official start of summer and has expanded somewhat over the years. Last year I noticed that the Mulberry tree shed its leaves in one day. Last year mulberry day was the 8th of November and I’m wondering whether this will happen again this year or whether it was just a freak incident that happened. Today I saw my first Juncos in the garden and the little guys are back two days earlier than last year. Does this mean we’re going to have a colder winter with more snow – I hope so!

Say goodbye to Fall

10/23/2008

Video: Political humor - George W. Bush

Well its election season and we'll soon have a new President. I decided to take a lighter approach to politics by tracking down two hysterical videos featuring our outgoing commander and chief. Don't worry these are videos where George W. is intentionally being funny. Both these videos are worth watching - really! Have a relaxing weekend and enjoy the birding.




Solve the birding puzzle - literally

Click to Mix and Solve

10/22/2008

Screech owl pellet

It appears that the Screech owl has moved to a new roost now that the Birch tree is pretty much bear, except for a few die hard leaves. I assume the Screech has moved over to the pines and it would be next to impossible to track it down in the dense foliage. I was lucky enough to find two owl pellets below the old roosting spot which means the little guy was in that spot for at least two nights. I had noticed some whitening on the walk way and thought it was an owl, but never looked up - DAH!

Size of owl pellet in relation to a quarter
World Owl Trust: "Firstly owls have comparatively weak bills and often prey that isn’t too large is swallowed whole which leaves the skeleton of the prey, including the skull, intact. Unlike most other birds, owls have no crop, and the food passes straight into the foregut (they do not posses a true stomach). The acid in the owl’s gut is rather weak with a pH of 2.2 - 2.5 which is the same as vinegar, this compares to diurnal birds of prey which have a pH of 1.3 - 1.8, which is approaching the pH of concentrated hydrochloric acid. This means that owls can only digest the soft tissues. The bones, fur and feathers remain virtually intact. The opening from the foregut into the rest of the digestive tract is small and prevents any undigested material from passing through. Instead, it remains behind where it is compacted into an oval pellet and is then actively regurgitated back up through the oesophagus. Pellets, therefore, contain bones including intact skulls, fur, feathers, the chitinous exoskeletons of insects and even the chaetae (bristles) from earthworms and so discovering what owls have been eating is quite straightforward.

Regurgitating a pellet is a voluntary act on the owl’s part and in the wild most birds will produce one prior to leaving the roost for hunting. Often, another smaller pellet will be produced during the night before the second main period of hunting around dawn. The size, shape and appearance of the pellet is normally characteristic of the owl species, certainly amongst British Owls".

Video: Kestrel vs. Barn Owl

10/21/2008

Building a Screech Owl Box

Design
This is an excellent time of the year to build a Screech owl box if you have the time. If you don’t want to build a box there are a zillion owl boxes for sale on the internet. Screech owls move in around March, so Fall and winter is a great time to get the saw and screw out and put a box together. I’m posting two plans that are very similar. Personally I like the second layout a little better because it has the sloped roof. Based on my personal experience with squirrels, I would recommend a larger roof with more of an overhang. I created a larger light weight roof this year that I screwed onto the existing roof. This will make it easier to take the owl box down for repairs as I can just take the larger roof off.

Plan: http://www.shawcreekbirdsupply.com/plans_screech_owl.htm


Plan: http://magazine.audubon.org/backyard/backyard0201.html

Location
As far as placing the owl box goes, you should pick a spot away from human activity and most especially traffic. Screech owls often fly very low which results in car fatalities. Place the box at least 12 feet off the ground if you can. Most articles recommend picking a spot where the owls have a clear flight path to the box. Further recommendations are to remove all brush below the box as owls seem to prefer an open area below the box. I usually remove the brush in Fall and dump all my leaves below the box. This padding may become useful if one of the owlets falls out of the box.

Box mounting
I would HIGHLY recommend getting someone to help you mount the box onto the tree! Working on a ladder with a large object is precarious, trust me. Many people use pulleys to hoist the box up into the tree and I would recommend using this approach. Something that I’ve used very successfully is to create mounting blocks to screw the box onto. Rather than trying to line the box up and screw it directly onto the tree, screw 2x4’s cut the width of your box onto the tree. Make sure that you have a little bit of space at the bottom and screw a piece of lath onto the 2x4. Now you have a little ledge that you can balance the box on while you screw the box onto the 2x4’s. Using this approach also makes it easier to repair the box as your mounting blocks always stay up and you have your holes predrilled.

Protection

Most sites recommend putting some form of predator protection around the box. You can create baffles with metal flashing or you can simply wrap the tree trunk below, above and around the back/sides of the trunk. Last year I only had flashing around the top and bottom and I think the squirrels simply landed on the exposed ‘sides’ and climbed into the box. Squirrels can also very easily drop onto the roof, which is why I recommend a sloped larger roof. There is a down side to adding these protection measures that I need to mention. Owlets are notorious for jumping/falling out of the owl box before they are capable of flying large distances. This seems to be the modus operandi of most owls not only Screech owls and many people collect owlets and take them to rehab centers incorrectly assuming that they were abandoned. Bearing in mind that you’ve added all the squirrel guards it will be next to impossible for the owlets to return to the box. Many sites recommend that you place brush piles or sticks next to a couple of adjacent trees to aid the owlets in climbing up the trees. Obviously once they are off the ground they are less likely to fall prey to critters and the parents will continue feeding them.

Now what?
Once the box is up and you’ve added all the predator/nuisance deterrents add some wood chips to the bottom of the box. Owls may add a few down feathers for comfort, but for the most part they leave the nesting and comfort options to the landlord. I would recommend adding 2-3 inches of wood chips to the bottom of the box.

Now comes the hard part. Waiting patiently to see if anything happens. I am obsessive compulsive about my owl box so I had to add an owlcam to see what’s going on inside. Prior to getting the owlcam I was up on the ladder once a week to check if there was anything going on. This is NOT a very conducive approach to being an owl landlord and if you’re anywhere as curious as I am, then I would recommend getting an owlcam. I would LOVE to hear about your efforts, so please drop me a comment if you have an owl box or if you’re thinking about building or buying one.

10/20/2008

Great Horned Owl Info

If you're fascinated by Great Horned Owls you need to check this out:
http://ruralchatter.blogspot.com/2008/10/great-horned-owls-who-knew.html

I bet there's at least one fact in there that you didn't know! Awesome post Beverly - well done.

Screech owl roosting in my garden

Yesterday I nearly had a Golden Crowned Kinglet land on my head! I was out in the front yard working when I heard a pair of Kinglets in the River Birch. The birds love the Birch and it’s a magnificent but immensely messy tree. I stood still and watched the Kinglets get closer and closer, with each wing beat I kept thinking that if I had my camera I would be taking some amazing shots right now. Well to drive the point home the male Kinglet landed so close to me that I could see the golden crown with my naked eyes. He spent a good 3 minutes just hanging around me and I literally thought he was going to land on my cap.
Eventually I couldn’t stand it anymore and I ran inside to grab my camera. By the time I got back, armed with my Canon the Kinglets had moved much higher into the tree. I did manage to snap a couple of shots - none of them showing much detail.

While I was watching the Kinglet I saw something that looked out of place. You’d think that someone with the pseudonym of Owlman would realize straight away what it was. Well this was not the case. It literally took me a full minute to realize that I was looking at an owl.



As you can tell the Screech was all puffed up and he was pretty high up in the tree sitting right up against a branch. I tracked around the tree to see if I could get a better view, but for the most part this was a futile exercise. Later in the afternoon the owl became more active and I managed to snap some half decent pics, including a wing stretch.






I was amazed that the owl was so close to the house and he/she didn’t seem to be at all worried by the noises including screaming kids, lawnmowers, cars, fire trucks etc. Even when I moved my mower, the owl literally didn’t bat an eyelid. I checked on the owl periodically and it left the roost at about 6:30 last night. I checked the box periodically throughout the evening but no sight of the Screech.

Given that this is a red phase Screech owl I’m hoping that it’s the same owl that was in the box last year. Hopefully the owl will start using the box for roosting and food storage over the next couple of months. Either way, it was fantastic having a Screech owl so close to me for a whole day!

10/18/2008

Do you know of any owlcam/owl box sites?

I'd like to add some links to my blog to other owlcam and owl box sites, so if you know of any please leave me a comment.

Soulful Sparrow

If music be the food of love, sing on Song Sparrows!



10/17/2008

Sparrow ID



Any takers on this Sparrow ID? Please click to view a larger image and add your thoughts on an ID in the comments box.

Owl box V3.0

Owl box version 3.0 is ready to roll. This year I focused on improving my squirrel determent system. I had squirrels in the box this summer, which wasn’t a big deal because they weren’t competing with the owls. Having said that, they made a mess of the inside of the box and even took my handy dandy owl perch out of the box. They did such a great job of it that I haven’t found any traces of the perch. So the short story is that they made me mad, so I added more flashing around the middle of the tree and I actually tacked it onto the box. In Owl box V2.0 there was just the 20" flashing around the top and the bottom of the box, nothing in the middle. I also added a much larger roof which has flashing on it too. The theory is that if they come from the top of the tree, they will land on the roof and either slide off or it will be harder to enter the box given the new overhang. The new roof was tacked onto the old roof and I just framed out the roof with lath and then added a small support piece in the middle. I then wrapped the roof in flashing metal. This design makes it light weight and easy to remove. To take the eye sore factor out of the metal I sprayed it with spray paint to disguise the flashing a little.

I don’t think I’ve ever really posted the dimensions of the box so here goes:
The bottom of the entry hole is just over 12 feet off the ground. The entrance hole is 3” x 3”. The floor is 8” x 8” and the box is 15” deep. The new roof is 21” by 15 ½”.

These dimensions were taken from various site and modified to my specific needs. If I ever rebuild the box I would make the box a little deeper to allow me to place a really nice big roof on it. In order not to block the entrance hole too much I had to place the roof with the longest piece across the box. If I rebuild the box I will put a 21 x 21 roof on it with more of a pitch and then have the entrance hole a little lower down so the roof doesn’t obstruct the entry. I would use the same light weight design for the larger roof and tack it onto a smaller existing roof. This makes it easier to get the box up and down the ladder as you can just take the larger roof off. That’s probably the only major change that I would recommend based on my current design. I guess it really depends on your local squirrel population.

10/16/2008

Yellow rumped Warblers

As promised here are some pics of Yellow Rumped Warbler. I found them in a Cedar stand which is a great way to snap some photos of these little guys, as they were a little distracted by all the food. They were eating Cedar berries as well as some cream colored berries from another tree. Any ideas on what it is?





What berries are these - I love 'em?

Fire prevention: You can help!

October is fire prevention month and I want to encourage you to change the batteries on your smoke and CO detectors. In New Jersey these are now mandated in all house and if you don’t have them in your house I would HIGHLY recommend that you run out to Home Depot or Walmart and purchase a couple. Smoke detectors have been so successful that it’s led to a high majority of both volunteer and paid departments’ call being “smells and bells”. Fire departments are running a lot more calls and luckily the majority of these are alarm activations from fire alarms. For most of us in the fire service the thrill is getting on the truck and hearing the siren and air horn blow, so we don't mind the positive change. Yip, we’re all kids that haven’t grown up and we love it! For some more information on smoke detectors here’s the link to Wikipedia, which includes some placement tips. Stay safe and enjoy Fall everyone!
Who needs boots, bunker pants and helmets when you can wear fashionable pink all the time?

10/15/2008

Welcome to Fall

Gratuitous photos of Fall. Last year the leaves were pretty disappointing so I’m making up for it this year. This is officially my 250th post - thanks for reading and commenting!





A Kinglet morning

If you haven't had an opportunity to watch Kinglets they are amazing. They are little birds that move around like they're on speed. This morning I took the ultimate photography challenge trying to get some half decent photos of these little guys. Although I missed a couple of decent shots while my lens was focusing I’m relatively happy with the results. I also took some shots of Yellow Rumped Warbler with also came out ok, I’ll post those in a bit. The photos I’m attaching are all Ruby Crowned Kinglets (I think) although it can be pretty tough to tell them apart from Golden Crowned Kinglets. This site outlines some of the major differences.

I was hoping to get a picture of a Ruby Crowned with its crown up, but alas no dice. I briefly saw a crown up while the lens was focusing, while the Kinglet zoomed off……damn! By the way, my next post will be number 250!!