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Important Announcement

From this point forward postings will be made on the main page, but the photos will also be added to the gallery. To see the written information about the photo do a search for the number (the first number, if it is a set).

1021
West Cliff Drive – Santa Cruz, California – November 22, 2011
This bird holds the reputation of being the worst parent in the bird world. They lay their eggs in the nests of other species and that’s the end of their parental obligation. The species that hatches the egg raises the cow bird until it fledges. Then the bird flies out into the big wide world and searches for others of their species. This is the male of this species, so he does even less, as a parent, than the female. Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300 VC zoom at 210mm, ISO 400, f/5.3, 1/500 sec

1019
West Cliff Drive – Santa Cruz, California – November 22, 2011
Where there are people and cars, you are likely to find Brewer’s Blackbirds hunting for people scraps. This female found a piece of bread – no doubt an offering and not an accidental spill.
Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300 VC zoom at 300mm, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/2000 sec

1008
Moss Landing State Beach, California – November 21, 2011
Wow! I just realized I hadn’t posted a bird photo on the blog since January 28. I guess I let life get in the way and have been concentrating on other projects and family issues. I’m back in California again for my spring 3 month stint, but I’m still posting photos from the fall. This photo was a little unusual for me. I had never seen a Western Meadowlark down on the lagoon/bay (whatever you call the inland body of saltwater at Moss Landing). I see them a lot up at Moonglow Dairy in the tall grass. This is not a great photo, but the bird posed for a moment and I got one photo. Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300 VC zoom at 300mm, ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/500 sec

964
Moonglow Dairy – Moss Landing, California – October 14, 2011
On the way out of the dairy I took an opportunity to grab a photo of the Western Meadowlark. This is my best photo of this bird. For some reason I’ve never been able to photograph this species. As you know, luck has something to do with it. The second photo is not that great, but it shows the yellow under the neck. We also saw a few birds of prey on the way out of the dairy. I don’t remember what we saw, except for a Kestrel. I’ve seen a lot of dairies in my day (my grandfather had one), but the Moonglow is a mega dairy. It is gigantic. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 360 mm, f/6.0, ISO 200, 1/200 sec, handheld

924
Seacliff State Beach – Aptos, California – March 31, 2011
It was a sunny quite warm day, and many of the blackbirds were feeling the heat. Shown above is a male bird. The second photo shows a very warm female trying to get as cool as possible. Nikon D80, Nikon 70-300 zoom at 210mm, ISO 100, f/5.3, 1/50 sec., handheld.  Photo 2:  This was not the only blackbird that was panting away in the sun. The bird looks like it is near death, but I assure you she is flaring her wings and panting because of heat – not injury.

899
Theler Wetlands – Belfair, WA – March 23, 2011
These two photos of the female Red-winged Blackbird came out pretty good. At the beginning of the main trail there is a marshy area with a lot of cattails – the perfect place for this species. Theler is a bird walk better suited for the digiscoper, but not in this particular case. The cattails are close to the trail. However, I usually have my digiscope gear ready to go and my D80 in my backpack. That’s why I digiscoped this photo. I like the blurred background. The bird really stands out in such a setting. Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod – f/6.1, 1/380, ISO 50

862
Theler Wetlands – October 27, 2010

767
Carmel, Maine – July 14, 2008
A few postings ago I put up a photo of a Common Grackle on the blog. This photo was taken on another day, but still is not a great photo. I did, however, enjoy seeing a bird we don’t have in Puget Sound. These birds look very intimidating with their beady eyes.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, ISO 320, 1/100 sec, f/6.3, tripod

763
Carmel, Maine – July 12, 2008
Though not a good photo, it is a record of observing this bird. I don’t see this species in Western Washington, so any time I get to see a bird I don’t see often, it’s a real treat. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, ISO 200, 1/200 sec at f/6.3, tripod

698
Elkhorn Slough National Wildlife Refuge – California – April 2, 2008
This blackbird was found on the trail that goes from the Great Blue Heron rookery to Hummingbird Island. There are a lot of these tall bushes on either side of the trail and I’ve seen RWBs in this area on more than one occasion.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 440 mm, tripod

691
Salinas River National Wildlife Refuge – March 31, 2008
There two photos were taken at a great distance and are very poor in quality. I include them because this is a lifer sighting for me. Ok, I saw these birds all the time as a kid, but a lifer nonetheless since I’ve started keeping a bird log.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500mm zoom

681
Moss Landing, California – March 31, 2008
When you go to Moss Landing you usually pull over as soon as you enter the state park to check out the bay and lagoon on each side of the road. While parked, this female Brewer’s Blackbird hopped right up to the car. While not as pretty as the dark black of the male, this particular bird had a lot of class. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, f6.3, 1/500 sec, ISO 200, Manfrotto tripod

673
Theler Wetlands – Belfair, Washington – March 22, 2008
Theler Wetlands is a real magnet for this species. This female posed for me for a few moments.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

527
Cliff House – San Francisco, California – July 13, 2007
I believe this is a female or young Brewer’s Blackbird. There were many around and I happened to get close to this particular bird while I was photographing a Red-tailed Hawk. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, Manfrotto tripod

503
Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge – Ridgefield, Washington – June 2, 2007
This photo is for documentation purposes only. The bird was too far away to get a good shot, but since this was a lifer, I want to include it as proof that I saw this bird. Taken from the bird blind. The second shot was digiscoped.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 450, 1/160 sec, Manfrotto tripod

496
Theler Wetlands – Belfair, Washington – May 28, 2007
I found this blackbird next of wee ones near the water’s edge. I couldn’t get a better view because I did not want to disturb the mother bird any more than she already was. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, 1/60 sec, Manfrotto tripod

489
Theler Wetlands – Belfair, Washington – May 28, 2007
This female blackbird was standing in tall grass. I don’t know what she was doing, but I do know there were nests of babies all around. The bird against the grassy backdrop motivated me to take the photo. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, 1/200 sec, Manfrotto tripod

465
Vaughn Bay, Washington – May 12, 2007
A few cowbirds have arrived to the backyard this spring. For those who don’t know, this species lays eggs in other birds’ nests. They have nothing to do with raising the young. Unfortunately, the larger cowbird fledgling often pushes smaller species out of their nest and hogs all the food. It is very strange to see cowbirds raised by House Finches, etc. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, 1/50 sec, Manfrotto tripod

457
Juanita Park – Kirkland, Washington – May 6, 2007
This is the last series of the blackbirds.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 350mm, 1/200 sec, Manfrotto tripod

456
Juanita Park – Kirkland, Washington – May 6, 2007
Here is the 2nd series of 3 photos. The first shot shows a blackbird standing on a lilly pad. Maybe he thought he was a frog.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 410mm, 1/125 sec, Manfrotto tripod

455
Juanita Park – Kirkland, WA – May 6, 2007
Juanita Park appears to be a great place to photograph the Red-winged Blackbird. I got so many great shots I had trouble narrowing it down to what I would post on the website. This is the first set of 3 photos. There are 3 sets. The first shot is a female.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, 1/60 sec, Manfrotto tripod

370
Rio del Mar, California – April 3, 2007
We occasionally see a Brewer’s Blackbird up in Washington. I’ve seen a couple in parking lots. Down in Oregon and California these birds are everywhere. There were many at every rest stop on the way down to Santa Cruz.

346
Northern California Rest Stop along I5 – April 1, 2007
This was the most common California bird we saw during our trip. They were everywhere. The poor lighting affected my ability to get a great shot, but part of it is in focus! I’m keeping it because this is my first photo of this species. I saw this bird in a couple of parking lots in Washington last summer, so this wasn’t a lifer.

Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 380mm, 1/60 sec, Manfrotto tripod

318
Theler Wetlands – Belfair, Washington – March 3, 2007
Here are 5 shots of this bird. Pick the one you like best. I don’t think I have ever been to Theler Wetlands when I didn’t see at least one blackbird. Recently there have been several. They like the reeds at the beginning of the trail that meanders over the levees.

Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 330mm, 1/60 sec, Manfrotto tripod

274
Theler Wetlands – Belfair, Washington – January 14, 2007
As you first enter the trail that leads out over the wetlands, you can almost count on a Red-winged Blackbird being in this location.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, 1/100 sec, Manfrotto tripod

102
Vaughn Bay, Washington – October 22, 2006
Occasionally a group of Red Winged Blackbirds visit my backyard. I think this is a young male bird that has not yet turned black. It has different coloring than the drab females I’m used to seeing.

040 – 041
Theler Wetlands, Belfair Washington – September 30, 2006
This was my second trip to Theler. At the beginning of the trail there is a marshy area with a lot of reeds. This is a bird haven. Nothing better than beginning a day of birding and seeing so many birds in one spot.