Category Archives: Perching Birds

Eastern Kingbird

Since I walked this path a month ago the water has been drained out of the pond behind this Eastern Eastern Kingbird.

Eastern Kingbird
Eastern Kingbird

Dragonflies were hovering over the mostly dry pond bed and the Kingbird was taking advantage. He had a nice snack of what looked like an Eastern Pondhawk between these two images. Unfortunately swaying reeds on the bank ruined all images of that!

Eastern Kingbird
Eastern Kingbird

A chick joined the adult calling to be fed. The adult didn’t seem impressed and soon they swooped off together. Time for the juvenile to catch his own lunch.

Eastern Kingbird and Chick
Eastern Kingbird and Chick

Grackle Feeding Chick

I was busy watching a Green Heron when I realized there was a commotion going on in a nearby tree top.

Grackle Feeding Chick
Grackle Feeding Chick

The juvenile Grackle was calling out his hunger in a big way.

Grackle Feeding Chick
Grackle Feeding Chick

After delivering a good size insect the chick continued to call for more.

Grackle Feeding Chick
Grackle Feeding Chick

The adult was not persuaded to go after another round of food and stayed put, listening to the chatter.

Grackle Feeding Chick
Grackle Feeding Chick

Eastern Kingbird

The Eastern Kingbird is a perky flycatcher known for being tyrannical. These two entertained me as they called and flitted along a tree line running between two ponds.

Eastern Kingbird
Eastern Kingbird

There may have been a third one, it was hard to tell the way they were moving around.

Eastern Kingbird
Eastern Kingbird

At least this one was behaving like a juvenile waiting for food to be brought.

Eastern Kingbird
Eastern Kingbird

He made a few forays out over the water after bugs but I’m not sure he caught any before getting safely back to his perch.

Eastern Kingbird
Eastern Kingbird

Male Summer Tanager

Yesterday I spent some time in a quiet corner of Magnolia Plantation where pine forest and marshland come together. There is a small field that is kept mowed around a few scraggly trees, perfect for a Summer Tanager to hunt for bugs.

Summer Tanager
Male Summer Tanager

I watched this one flit back and forth in the higher tree branches until he took a break down closer to the ground.

Summer Tanager
Male Summer Tanager

Grackle Bath Time

There had been a heavy rain the night before and the leftover puddles of water made a great bird bath. This Common Grackle showed off his iridescence before he jumped in.

Common Grackle
Common Grackle

Head first, he splashed some water around.

Common Grackle Bathing
Common Grackle Bathing

Grackles tend to hang out in flocks and make a lot of noise. This one was off on his own and quietly went about his bath ritual.

Common Grackle Bathing
Common Grackle Bathing

Splish, splash.

Common Grackle Bathing
Common Grackle Bathing

This wider view shows the trail and a Squirrel ignoring the bathing proceedings.

Common Grackle Bathing, Squirrel Watching
Common Grackle Bathing, Squirrel Watching

Northern Mockingbird

His animated behavior brought my attention to this Northern Mockingbird perched in a well clipped hedge. He seemed to have an itch and something to say.

Zoom in on this first image to see theĀ papillae or spines on the roof of his mouth, something I rarely see in my bird photographs.

Northern Mockingbird
Northern Mockingbird

He was not at all concerned that I was watching.

Northern Mockingbird
Northern Mockingbird

All fluffed up after his scratching episode this fellow looks like a youngster. It was the last day of October and the references say Mockingbirds can have up to three broods a year.

Northern Mockingbird
Northern Mockingbird

Finally, he struck a Mockingbird pose then went about his business down the hedge.

Northern Mockingbird
Northern Mockingbird

Cardinal: A Classic

Despite seeing Northern Cardinals pretty regularly, I found it a challenge to get a good image of one. This one surprised me landing over my head as I was watching warblers at ground level. He had a lot going for him: classic pose with his crest up, aligned to the sun for the catch light in his eye, his feathers tidy and uniformly colored and oh, yes, that red.

Northern Cardinal
Northern Cardinal

Most of the leaves had fallen off the tree where he perched giving me a clear view. Cardinals in our area tend to be quite skittish; this one didn’t seem to care that I was watching him.

Northern Cardinal
Northern Cardinal

Blue Grosbeak

It was easy to see this Blue Grosbeak flitting along in the grass of a roadside field, although I wasn’t sure what it was. I eased out of the car and was able to get an image with a clear view of his head.

Blue Grosbeak
Male Blue Grosbeak – click image for larger view

Grosbeaks are in theĀ Cardinalidae family along with Cardinals, Buntings and Tanagers, all identifiable by their prominent bill. The Blue Grosbeak is slightly larger than an Indigo Bunting and breeding males have chestnut wingbars.