Archive for Blakeslee

The Brown-Headed Cowbird

Posted in Backyard, Bird Photography, Blakeslee, Blind, Brown-Headed Cowbird, Molothrus ater, Poconos with tags , , , , , on May 4, 2012 by bobshank

I observed another new bird at our backyard feeder today. I was photographing out of my blind again and this bird just came in and landed on the deck railing. It has a brown head with an all-black body. After clicking a few shots it flew down to the ground and started eating seed that had fallen from the feeder. Then a similar looking female joined in the action.

It turns out that this bird is called the Brown-Headed Cowbird. What a name! I love it!

This bird typically walks on the ground to find food and often holds its tail over its back while it is foraging. Diet consists of insects, fruits, grains, and seed. It is found in Pennsylvania throughout the year. The female does not sport the brown head but is all an off-gray color.

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Two Eastern Towhees

Posted in Backyard, Bird Photography, Blind, Eastern Towhee, iBird Pro, pipilo erythrophthalmus with tags , , , , , on May 3, 2012 by bobshank

Today I photographed two Eastern Towhees — a male and a female which came to our backyard!

I first spotted a male Towhee yesterday for the first time this year. I actually heard many of their unique calls over the past few weeks but didn’t see one until yesterday. Their call sounds like they are saying, “drink you tea.” I could mimmick the call with my own imitation whistle and repeatedly received a call back.

The Eastern Towhee is basically a large sparrow. The male is mostly black with rusty sides and a white underbelly. Another distinguishing feature is two white corners of its tail. I spotted the red eyes, just as the description states in my iBird app. This description also explains that the name “Towhee” is an imitation of this bird’s call and that a group of Towhees are called a “tangle” or a “teapot” of towhees. (iBird Pro, Eastern Towhee)

Not long after I captured one decent photo of the male Towhee, I saw a female come in to for lunch. It didn’t take long before it snagged a mealworm from a log, which it proudly displayed from it’s tightly clamped beak.

The Eastern Towhee is an active bird with a unique and inviting call. It’s red eye is unmistakable. Listen for its call and look for one the next time you are outdoors. The Towhee is a wonderful bird to watch and photograph!

Broken Beak

Posted in Backyard, Bird Photography, Blakeslee, Broken Beak, Cardinal, Poconos, Wildlife Photography with tags , , , , , on April 7, 2012 by bobshank

I am sure many birds show the wear and tear of daily living, but this Cardinal caught my attention with what looks to me like a bit of a broken beak!

We’ve been watching a pair of cardinals coming to our feeder over the past month and we enjoy seeing these red beauties. Their color is bright and brilliant!

But look at his beak. Doesn’t it look to be broken on his left side? At the very least it is well-worn from breaking open a lot of seeds.

Here’s another perspective. Look at that beak!