Seeing Red

Figured it was about time to tear myself away from robotics and animatronics for a bit to at least get a quick post out.  I’ve been spending a lot of time working up some new Halloween prop structures to add to my Haunted Trail collection next year.  I know, I know it is a long way from now (Linda reminded me of just that fact earlier today), but my new PVC form structures design is now fully jointed and just begging to have some servos added to it.  I haven’t worked with this stuff since college so a little rusty on – watching a lot of videos and reading what I can to figure out what options are out there.  Tomorrow is a run to Menards to get some materials to make a few motion sensors as a start.  When I noticed it was suppose to snow (again) tomorrow including our first accumulation. I thought it was fitting to feature a post on one of my favorite Winter subjects.


That’s right, the Northern Cardinal.  There are a few things I always find very pleasing from a composition perspective and one of them is photographs of Cardinals in the Winter months.  Typically the Winter days can range from a rather drab day to an all out white out depending on how the season is going.. oh sorry, maybe I should refer to it as “how the ‘climate change’ is going” just to fit into the cool crowd that doesn’t realize climate is suppose changes when you move out of California.  The best part of photographing Cardinals is it doesn’t matter how bad the weather is, the Cardinal always stands out against whatever backdrop you happen to be around.


These happened to be taken in our backyard a year or so back.  If there is one bird we have plenty of here in the Midwest it is the Cardinal.  I think my record for number of those fiery birds is 26 at one time.  They definitely like our feeders with Sunflowers.  By nature, these birds tend to hit the feeders, grab some seed and then fly back to the safety of the branches in the trees just off the porch – definitely not at the same skittish degree as the Nuthatches or Chickadees).  It is always better for us nature photographers when you have a predictable subject.


Hit the jump to see some more shots of this beautiful bird .. and maybe I’ll throw in bonus bird!


Project Chekov: Wren and Woodpecker

Greetings everyone, we are back on the highly underestimated Project Chekov.  Definitely having fun doing it, but it is a struggle to stay on top of.  Speaking of that, this little bird on top of a birdhouse has caused a little bit of a headache.

Back in June 2011 (told you I was behind) Linda and I went to one of our favorite local birding sites in Jubilee College State Park.  They have a pond there that tends to attract a wide variety of birds and dragonflies and animals and hell spawn MOSQUITOES – all good things come at a price I guess.  While we were there, this little bird decided to come out and pose for the cameras.  Want to know beside Sparrows what other birds I have difficulties with?  … you guessed it, this bird!

They are small and brown with some gray – yeah, normally I would call it a Sparrow and move along but these are smaller, have a more tapered/thinner tail and probably more distinguishable thin down turned bill.  This is the point where I throw up the Wren sign instead.

Hit the jump to see a few more shots of this Wren and the other featured bird for this post!


King Pecker (Part 7 of Many)

It’s bird time again.  Today I bring you probably my favorite bird captured in my lens so far.  I According to my little guide, it is a Red-Bellied Woodpecker.  In case you are confused, he is the larger guy on the right.

Red-Bellied Woodpecker

He is the largest bird that visits my feeders and although this picture appears to contradict this statement, when he is around, most other birds stay away.  I am guessing the chickadees didn’t see him because they are a little jittery anyway and he apparently scares most of the other species.  This is an assumption, but I have never seen him be aggressive to any other bird and generally stays in his own little world.  That massive weapon of beak he has definitely commands some respect.

In case you are unsure if it is a male or female, the following shot makes it pretty clear.