Views 119: Birds of Montezuma

Spring and another Sunshine day saw me traveling to the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge near Seneca Falls, New York over the weekend  The Nikon 80-400VR lens brought back a nice group of avian photographs to share with you today.

For the third year in a row I am featuring a photo of a Song Sparrow.  The males arrive before the females and sing to defend a nesting site.  Later their song turns to love to lure a mate.  It is a bit early and I didn’t see to many of them but this guy was eyeing me.

Song sparrow (Melospiza melodia) at the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge.

A Song sparrow (Melospiza melodia) eyeing the author at the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge.

Using what I learned at Webster’s Pond earlier this year, I captured a Canada Goose and Osprey in flight over the refuge.

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  flying over the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge.

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) flying over the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge.

An Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) soaring over the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge.

An Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) soaring over the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge.

Montezuma is in between a couple of migration periods as the huge flocks of Snow and Canada Geese have moved north and the shore birds have just begun to arrive.  Instead, I found some residents of the refuge: White-breasted Nuthatch, Black-capped Chickadee and Tree Swallow.

White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) forging for food along the Esker Brook Trail at the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge.

White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) forging for food along the Esker Brook Trail at the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge.

Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) at the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge.

Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) at the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge.

Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) on a nesting box near the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center.

Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) on a nesting box near the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center.

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34 Responses to Views 119: Birds of Montezuma

  1. milkayphoto says:

    Absolutely STUNNING shots of birds, Scott! That Canada Goose couldn’t look more elegant in flight. Since spring finally has sprung, I am so enjoying our backyard birds and wildlife antics. Your images have inspired me! 🙂

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    • The Canada Goose shot is the weakest one of the set when it comes to focus. It’s a bit soft but his positioning and outstretched wings over the leafless trees and marsh was just too good to pass up. I did my best in post but want to go back when I have time to just sit and wait for such an opportunity as that was as fun to see as it was to photograph.

      You know, I’ve been inspiring a lot of people lately. Wonder how much an once of inspiration goes for these days? 😉

      Like

  2. Kathy says:

    Your bird photos are gorgeous, Scott. Love the close-ups. You HAVE been inspiring lots of us lately. Doesn’t it feel good?

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  3. Great bird shots Scott. I especially liked the White Breasted Nuthatch and the Tree Swallow. There are several people here in Florida that like to shoot (photograph) birds. I haven’t given it a try yet, but your photos are inspiring me to maybe give it a go. The longest lens I currently have is a 200mm, so that may not be quite powerful enough. I’ll have to rent or borrow a longer lens soon and see if some of my friends can teach me how to photograph birds properly.

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    • Florida has many locations where you can get close to birds. This time of year is prime time for it. Check out Morningjoy’s Weblog in my blog list for some of the places in Florida she has photographed birds.

      200mm is a bit short. Renting is an excellent and cost-effective way to get long lenses to use. Check local photography stores and see if they rent. I have used and highly recommend LensRentals.com for Canon, Nikon, Sony and other camera systems.

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  4. I REALLY like the first one.

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  5. pearlz says:

    They are wonderful pictures of birds (:I love the Osprey and the Song Sparrow, he looks so plump and contented (:

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  6. Anna Surface says:

    Oh wow! What great shots each of these are! Bird photography is hard and you had done an excellent job. I really like the White-breasted Nuthatch and Tree Swallow photos.

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    • I stalked the little Nuthatch. Every time he would move to the other side of the tree, I would take a couple of steps closer and then freeze when he’d reappear. Did that three times before I was close enough to photograph him.

      The Chickadee, on the other hand, stalked me. I heard he to my left as I was photographing the Nuthatch and he waited for me to take his picture and then he took off. Amazingly, that was the only photo I got of him.

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  7. karma says:

    I echo the sentiment about the difficulty of bird photos! I love trying to photograph them but my camera and my skill level limit me. Nice job. I do have some cute pictures of only-days-old bunnies, however; another very nice sign of spring.

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  8. Karen says:

    Scott, you KNOW I loved this post. Thank you for showing so many examples from the refuge. My favorites are the White Breasted Nuthatch and Tree Swallow. You caught the Osprey just right. Now I know where our winter birds went! You are one of the most well-rounded photographers I have seen. Is there anything you don’t photograph well? I doubt it.

    Like

    • I thought you might, MJ. The Nuthatch is my favorite next to the Osprey. The Tree Swallow has gotten a lot of fans. The way the feathers shimmer in the Sun is what I like about it the most.

      I seem to be a JOAT (Jack of All Trades) when it comes to photography. No one subject or technique has captured me so far. I like doing it all and why not?

      Like

  9. montucky says:

    That’s an incredibly great group of shots! Excellent work!

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  10. cindydyer says:

    Nice shots, Scott!

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  11. Nye says:

    Incredible shots Scott, I hope to get a better zoom lens one day, would love to be able to capture images like yours.

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  12. flandrumhill says:

    Wow Scott! What excellent images! You really know how to capture a bird’s good side 😉

    The osprey image is my favorite. What a beautiful creature.

    Like

  13. truels says:

    Oh, I enjoyed looking at these nice bird-photos, it must require a lot of time and patience – although you have the right gear – and experience – for it.

    Like

    • Some of the photos did. The refuge has a wildlife drive where I took the photo of the sparrow and flying Canada Goose. The birds are used to the cars. They nest and sing within 5 to 10 feet of the road.

      The others were taken along a trail and I had to be patient and vigilant as birds would appear and disappear quickly.

      The Tree Sparrow was the easiest. The nest box he is on was about 8 feet from the parking lot and they ignored me and a few other photographers as they went about feeding their young.

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  14. Pam says:

    Wow, what gorgeous photos! Thanks for letting me know about your blog, Scott! I’ll be back!

    Like

  15. davecandoit says:

    Great shots, Scott. I think I recognize that Canadian Goose. His name is Bill. 😉 It’s actually my fav’ of the bunch and not just because I’m from Canada.

    By the way, I’m changing my blog and was hoping you could update my URL address in your blogroll. My new URL is:

    http://www.lazyphotographer.ca

    Right now it’s pointing to my current blog but will change once the new one is complete.

    Thanks.
    Dave

    Like

  16. An amazing series. Though I don’t do Bird photography, but am planning to go to a bird sanctuary the next week w/ friend. Good to have find your blog

    Like

  17. Ryan says:

    Some very nice shots! The Canada Goose one is my favorite of the series, but they all are great!

    Like

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