When I was at Treverton I raised an orphan Black Crow and since then I've had a soft spot for these SUPER intelligent birds.
The NFL has this cool effect in some of their broadcasts were certian parts of the picture are in color and the rest is black and white. I was wowed when I first saw it and I've been meaning to try it on birds. My first attempts came out ok, what do you think?
I was reading up on my latest garden bird addition and I was surprised that the Indigo Bunting is in fact black! It turns out that "diffraction of light through their feathers makes them look blue. This explains why males can appear many shades from turquoise to black". I have to say it looked VERY blue to me ;-)
Personally I am happy about the optical illusion as they are a stunning blue. I turned the Indigo to black using Photoshop and it now looks more like a Junco - isn't color or rather our perception of color AMAZING!
I was shocked to see a little Indigo Bunting sitting on my new ground platform feeder when I got home a couple of minutes ago. In fact I was so excited that I snapped a picture with my autofocus set to off....hmm, I guess there's a reason for that little switch.
I did manage to snap some quick pics of him before he bolted off. I hope this guy is here to stay. Wow, lotsa nice new garden birds this summer. I think this takes my garden list to somewhere near the 70's. My ultimate goal is 150, which is a long way to go.
ID'ing bird nests can be a little tricky. It's pretty straightforward if you've seen the bird around the nest, but if you just open a nesting box you may not be 100% sure what you're looking at. In order to help with nest ID's I'm going to post some pictures from the more common nest box visitors. Round 1 goes to the AMAZING Eastern Bluebirds - enjoy!
Eastern Bluebirds build beautifully neat nests. In this area they generally use pine needles and they build a perfectly cup-shaped nest. If you look carefully, you'll see the wood shavings that I put at the bottom of the box.The male is constantly zooming around the box, protecting the box against the local Tree Swallows.
Generally Blue birds will lay an average of 4-6 eggs. They can have up to 3 broods in a season although 1-2 are most common. Normally my Blue birds will start early and raise two broods. They don't seem to reuse the same box, rather they'll move to another one.