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  • Don't forget to stop and smell the Roses.
  • Puff & Stretch Cowbird

    March
    20
    2009

    brown headed cowbird photo by Leanne Wildermuth

    Last night, my daughter spotted what she thought was a Red-Winged Blackbird. I was immediately impressed because (1) she’s 12 and looking for birds and (2) she is pulling from the information I’ve learned and shared to try to identify a bird and (3) she ran inside for her camera! THAT’S MY GIRL!!

    While there was this scissor noise coming from a bird on top of a tree, I couldn’t accurately tell her she was correct without zooming in on a photo to check. She’s got a junior version of my camera with a nice big fat viewing screen on the back, it was easy to zoom in and correctly identify this gorgeous male Brown-headed Cowbird.

    (Listen here to the Red-Winged Blackbird, so you can hear the similarities)

    I left her with her camera to explore the yard and returned inside. I heard a new sound coming from the back of the house, so when I peeked out, I saw a squirrel, sitting angrily in the tree and barking at the cowbird every time he would start his song.

    angry squirrel photo by Leanne Wildermuth

    Hilarious! He even went so far as to try to spook the bird off his tree. Catybug got a live video of him yelling, you may be able to see it here (though I’m not sure of her privacy settings).

    Well I decided to try to get a few shots of the cowbird from my angle, and went and grabbed my camera. Halfway through shooting, he decides to do this cute little puff and stretch, fanning out his tail feathers and quickly resuming song. I’m not sure if this is part of a mating ritual or just stretching after a long flight home – but I couldn’t resist sharing the shot!

    I’m thrilled that Spring has “officially” arrived. It’s been a long winter, and I’m more than ready!! It won’t be long before I’m out back getting dirty moving my plants around. Aaaahhh yes – gardening. It can’t get here soon enough for me!

    (ooh nice deal – Spring Hill Nursery has free S&H on orders of $25 or more to celebrate the arrival of Spring! This is not a paid advertisement, I simply buy a lot of bulbs.)

    Don’t forget to enter to win a custom portrait in my weekly giveaway!!

    Bringing on Spring – in Photos!

    March
    4
    2009

    Bird prints in snow photo by Leanne Wildermuth
    I don’t know about you (though I’m sure I could guess!) but I have had quite enough of this white stuff and these cold temps. Sure, the birdie footprints are adorable and suuuure, I squeed like a little girl when I saw them, but c’mon. I’m ready. Are you ready? Well, then, I invite you to join me in calling it quits for winter. Perhaps with enough positive spring-thinking, we can BE the change!

    (Great, now I have that Michael Jackson song stuck in my head.)

     

    Amaryllis bloom close up photo by Leanne Wildermuth
    For starters, you just need to close your eyes and dive your nose straight into a beautiful bloom. Inhale, deeply. Okay you might need to squirt a little of your favorite perfume on your monitor first, then try again.

    * * * * *

    To enjoy the FULL Spring Experience, I have set these birds sounds to open in new windows. Click on each one, open the window, and press play. Leave each window playing while you open a new one, and it will sound JUST like my backyard!!

    * * * * *

    Squirrel in a gourd photo by Leanne Wildermuth
    No backyard experience would be complete without a squirrel getting in your face, and in your seed. That’s okay, he needs love, too!

    Junco photo by Leanne Wildermuth
    We love a little Junco action here in our backyard – their chatter is really enjoyable and they are adorable little puffballs in action!

    downy woodpecker male photo by Leanne Wildermuth
    A pair of Downy Woodpeckers are always nearby, the male has a red patch on the back of his head. Easily confused with the Hairy Woodpecker – you just have to pay attention to their size. Downy’s are petite , just slightly larger than a sparrow!

    500nuthatchground
    The Nuthatch is by far my favorite little bird. He’s curious, and sweet, and always ready to pose! Have a listen to his sweet little eeps! You’ll fall in love too, if you aren’t already!

    nuthatch photo by Leanne Wildermuth
    Another shot of my little Nutty, later in the day – the sun shining on his cute little head.
    (I want to love him and hug him and call him George.)

    House finch couple photo by Leanne Wildermuth
    House finches a plenty – there are three pair visiting my feeders at a time right now. They sound a bit like a confused canary, but their song is always identifiable and the mama’s have such a sweet call to their mates.

    House finch couple photo by Leanne Wildermuth
    Very much a pair, they check on each other from across a crowded feeder. Awwww.

    Red Bellied Woodpecker, Female - photo by Leanne Wildermuth
    This gal – she’s a massive hunk of bird! This is a female red-bellied woodpecker. The papa’s head is all red, mama has a patch of gray on her head. I always know when they’re around, their call echos through my neighborhood! I can step out of my car while I’m still in the garage and know if one of them is on my trees. Lovely, lovely birds to watch.

    I hope you enjoyed birdwatching with me today! Think SPRING!!!

    Don’t forget to enter to win a custom portrait in my weekly giveaway!!

    Waking up to Birdsong

    March
    3
    2009

    Just thought I’d share what I hear when I get up in the morning. Mr. Cardinal is still out there singing up a storm!

    Don’t forget to enter to win a custom portrait in my weekly giveaway!!

    First Sign of Spring – 2009

    February
    23
    2009

    red breasted robin photo by Leanne Wildermuth
    While running an errand this afternoon, I spotted a flurry among a cluster of 3 berry trees. I pulled around for a closer look – and it was completely covered with robins and cedar waxwings! What an incredible sight. I quickly picked up the girls from school and returned so that they could see it. I have only spotted a real live cedar waxwing once, and got a pretty mediocre photo of the pair – but today, today I saw dozens of them flitting about, hanging upside down from branches to reach the berries on another branch. Robins, poofed up – picking at berries and sitting full, perched on the branches of those trees.

    Of course I wish I had my camera to catch some video, but I did not. I did go home for my camera and head back over for a few precious photos of the robins that were still hanging out in the trees.

    Incredible.

    Welcome, Spring. Oh, how I’ve missed you!!

    Don’t forget to enter to win a custom portrait in my weekly giveaway!!

    Morning, Love

    February
    12
    2009

    Morning, Love - Mourning Dove photo by Leanne Wildermuth

    It is so good to see you!

    Fanning the Flames

    February
    10
    2009

    nuthatch photo by Leanne Wildermuth

    The bird feeders are full – and within 10 minutes of filling them, a pair of nuthatches were all over my trees. I love how he’s stretching out his wing, as if to say “it’s been a long winter – I’m ready.”

    Yep, me too!!

    Reeelaaaaax. It’s Friday.

    September
    12
    2008

    sheep baa photo leanne wildermuth
    Sheep says: Mmmmeh.

     

    barn owl trance sleepy leanne wildermuth
    Barn Owl says: Look eento my eyeeees. You are getting verrrry verrrry sleepy.

     

    gibbon monkey relaxing leanne wildermuth
    Gibbon Monkey says: unh. yeah, looking… *yawn*stretch*flops down*

     
    barred owl poof bird sleeping leanne wildermuth
    Barred Owl says: ZzzzZZZ wootWOOOOooooo ZzzzzZZZZ

     
    TGIF!


    Lilac Breasted Roller

    September
    11
    2008

    lilac breasted roller bird portrait photo leanne wildermuth

    Another bird from our local zoo, this is a Lilac Breasted Roller. I am always looking for these cute colorful birds when I visit the zoo, they’re stunning to look at. I rarely get a good photo of them since they’re kept behind plexiglass and their lighting is so blech, every time they move even slightly, the shot is a blur. They’ve recently relocated the Rollers to a better area near a door that has natural light filtering through it, so I’ve got a couple of decent shots now. You’ll definitely be seeing this bird become an oil painting!

    Look! A Pretty Bird!

    September
    7
    2008

    niabi zoo parrot leanne wildermuth
    See how easy that was? Aaaah. Much better.

    In an effort to return the pretty to my blog, here. Here’s a pretty parrot. This is a Blue Fronted Amazon, and wow what a pose. I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. (Since she’s so pretty, she’s a girl. Only in bird world, it’s probably a boy.) I met her at the zoo last weekend along with a few other beautiful feathered critters that I’ll share this week, as I finalize some projects and move into a very special, very big project. Yes, there will be polls involved. I love polls. More than two of you better show up, too. There may be prizes. Or not. I could just be saying that. Unless you like pickles.

    heh.

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