Backyard Critters 2011

Canon EOS 7D with 100-400 zoom lens

This page is going to be devoted to pictures of "critters" taken in my backyard throughout the summer and autumn of 2011. The newest pictures will always be on the top of the page. Even with the zoom at 400, the birds are so tiny so the pictures are highly cropped. I hope the birds eventually get used to me enough to allow me to get closer.

December 2013

This red-bellied woodpecker was at the feeder on the tree outside my kitchen window. It is the first time I have had one come this closs to the house. The picture was taken from inside the house through the double-paned window.


June 17 - 18

This silhouette of the chipmunk reminded me of a chipmunk praying. He was probably praying to figure out a way to get up to the birdfeeders!


I was really excited to actually get a couple of photos of the white breasted nuthatch. They move so quickly and only stayed at the feeders for less than a minute. I have only seen them 3 times.




I find the grackles to be fascinating. I had always assumed they were black but they most definitely are not. And they have such a stern expression. I love all of the colors of their feathers.





I created a birdbath using a clay pot and 2 clay saucers (the top one is glazed). I needed a short birtd bath and this worked perfectly.


Cardinals give such a nice, bright color at the birdfeeders.




The female red-winged blackbird is often mistaken for a Grosbeak or meadowlark.


European Starlings found the feeders a couple of days ago. The fledlings are basically shades of brown and they are ofen very aggresive toward each other.











The red feathers of the red-winged blackbirds seem to be getting more intense as the summer wears on. I think the redder the feathers the more dominant the bird.


June 7 - 13

The following photos were taken with a high ISO and most at 1/1000 second. I found that even this high shutter speed was not fast enough to stop movement of the birds in flight. Next time I will have to use an even faster shutter.

Male Cowbird


Female Cowbird



Male Red Winged Blackbird


Female Red-Winged Blackbird






Sparrows feeding the fledglings



Morning Dove


Morning Dove and blackbird - Eye to Eye



Blue Jay



House Sparrow


Female Grackle and Female Red Winged Blackbird (right)



Male Grackle and male Red Winged blackbird


House Finch


Male Cardinal


June 3, 4, and 7

Black Capped Chickadee



Female Cardinal


Male Red-Winged Blackbird





Female Red-Winged Blackbird






Male Cardinal



Male Grackle



Female House finch








June 1 and 2

Male House Finch


House Sparrow


I've got a secret!


Fledgling House Sparrow




These 2 pohotos of the robin were taken in the early evening when the bird was in shade.



Female Downy Woodpecker


I can't do a thing with my feathers on a windy day!



Who you looking at?


Looking for seeds




May 29, 30 and 31

House Sparrow



Female Common Grackle with the yellow eyes has a very striking appearance.




Here it is behind a red-winged blackbird.





Two female red winged blackbirds.



Male Brown headed cowbird



I think this is a female brown headed cowbird.


Male Housefinch




May 28

The weather was very overcast today. I saw the nuthatch and chickadee again today but wasn't fast enough for a picture. These 2 photos were taken at ISO 2000.


Male Cowbird


Immature female red-winged blackbird. The mature females don't have the yellow.

May 27, 2011 - Memorial Day weekend

Here are my bird feeders. They are up on the hill garden which is about 4 feet higher than the rest of my backyard. They are probably about 25 or 30 feet from my deck where my camera is. The location keeps the seeds out of the grassy area of my backyard. I actually have to get to men by going through my neighbor's side yard. The white siding is the side of their house.

I think this is a female house finch.


The red winged blackbirds have a habit of being nasty. I think they are chasing away the other birds.


The robin was in a tree next to the bird feeders.


Not a critter, but a gazing ball in the backyard. The reflection is the back of my house.




May 21

I just put up birdfeeders in my backyard. This squirrel (and some chipmunks) kept climbing up and eating the suet and seed so I now have baffels under the feeders and so far, they haven't figured out a way to get to the food.


I love how colorful the goldfinches are. Most of the birds around here aren't very colorful.



The house finch has some nice touches of orange.



A sparrow-I will have to find out which kind it is.