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The resident birds take our crazy Nor’easters in stride…I wish I could be this nonchalant about a storm that dumped 2 feet of heavy snow, downing branches and snapping my Coral Bark Maple in half . 😦

"Snow Sparrow" (White-throated Sparrow, Zonotrichia albicollis) Nikon D300, 200mm, F/5.6, 1/125s, -0.3EV, ISO 640, Silver Efex Pro Vignette

I shot this from the shelter of my sunroom before I had to bundle up and head out to shovel. This is going to be a long winter… 😦


Update…I lied in my response to Karma’s comment! Well, not really, I simply forgot that shooting in RAW means all the color data for the image is available even when the camera is set to ‘monochromatic.’ I just need to process the image through Capture NX to retrieve the color version.

So, per Karma’s request, here is the color version of the image, sans vignette:

"Snow Sparrow" (White-Throated Sparrow, Zonotrichia albicollis) Nikon D300, 200mm, F/5.6, 1/125s, -0.3EV, ISO 640

Personally, I prefer the b&w version as it mutes the background and focusses attention on the bird. Also, for me there is not enough ‘color’ going on here to make any sort of statement. 🙂


  1. Sparrows are my favorite birds.

    • Is it because they are so damn cute? 🙂

      • And they’ve got PERSONALITY galore–if you’re lucky enough to have a resident cluster nearby, you can distinguish one’s chatter/voice from another.

      • Oh, yes – personality galore for sure!

        We certainly do have a ‘resident cluster’ and in the warmer months I will have to take note of the ‘chattering’ to see if I can distinguish differences. Thanks for the sparrow lesson! 🙂

      • All you have to do is listen and pay attention to which voice belongs to which sparrow–and behavior–alpha birds stand out first.
        Better than silent fish in a tank for relaxing….Have fun. LOL

  2. Trade ya? 😉 It was bitter cold here today, too. In the 20’s for most of the day with freezing cold wind… but no snow.

    So sorry to hear about your maple 😦
    Cute little sparrow.

    • I’d trade you in a heartbeat! WHAT a day! I’ll actually have to go out again tomorrow since we’ve received a few more inches and of course, the city plows have dumped a pile at the end of the driveway. I HATE the city plows. I think they really enjoy coming by just as you’ve shovelled the end just so you have to do it again!

      Thanks, M. I’ve applied a ‘fix’ to the maple with the hope that it might be able to heal itself (has worked in the past on smaller branches that aren’t completely off). This one is large so not sure if it will be able to. If the branch dies, we’ll have to replace the tree. So sad. It is a 7 year old tree with beautiful red bark that was just coming into it’s own. I bought it as a sapling with a strange ‘lean’ and it took years of staking to get it upright and strong. Then this happens. If it is a goner, it will take some time getting over.

      I wish I could be as nonchalant about it as the sparrows.

  3. I love puffed up wintertime birds! Any chance of seeing the color version?
    Our snow out this way was fortunately light and puffy.

    • Me, too! 🙂

      No chance as I shot in b&w today. (I was telling my students in yesterday’s class that it is ‘really cool’ to shoot snow in b&W so I decided to follow my own advice!)

      Our snow was deceiving. It ‘appeared’ to be light and fluffy in the air, but once it hit the ground seemed to become dense. Or perhaps it was just the sheer volume of it that made it condense on itself into a heavy, back-breaking mass. Dunno. Just sooooo over it and I hear there is another storm coming…sigh.

  4. Nice seeing both versions, but the B/W is the way to go IMO! Conveys the feeling of cold and winter a bit better I think.

    When’s summer going to be here?!

    • I agee! Thanks, Derrick!

      No idea on summer but if you see it, send it along quick!! 🙂

  5. Funny thing is this, one would probably say that the color version is better, but feeling the same way you do about this winter the b&w vignette one fits my mood better.

    • You’d think after all the winters we’ve been through, we’d get used to it. Sigh…

  6. Yeah, but I wonder what he is thinking. 😉

    • “Great food spot but who’s the crazy chick with the camera?” 😉

      • Quite possibly, milkay! I swear my little ‘cluster’ left a scout behind whenever the feeders were empty and they foraged elsewhere. Within minutes of replenishing the seeds it was chatter chaos galore–and then the feeding frenzy commenced. I’m sure THEY know ALL about YOU.

      • ALL the backyard critters know about me! Every morning, when they hear the slider open, the squirrels and bluejays come running! (well, and er, flying) because they know the first thing be tossed out will be the peanuts in the shell. Next, comes the black oil sunflower seeds followed by the sunflower heart/cracked corn mix. Once the frenzy of the peanuts is over, the other birds come in to feast.

        Yes, they are completely spoiled! 🙂

  7. awe so cute

  8. i agree with your opinion about the b/w version for all of the reasons that you said. except, the green pine needles poking out from the little pile of snow in the bottom right are so cool. but still, that’s not what the photo is about.

    you have to admit, as much trouble as it may cause, snow makes for an entire new world to take pictures of. *jealous.* (though i’m definitely not complaining about our summer-in-winter over here.)

    • Stephen, I find it incredible the details you pick up on! Nothin’ is lost on you! I also very much like the green spikey needles and thought about bringing them back in to add some subtle color. But, that would have been more work. 🙂

      Ugh, if you were here now you’d be singing another tune! We now into ‘too much of a good thing’. Just trudged through 2-feet of snow trying to make piece with it and get some outside shots but all I got was COLD. And more snow is on the way…fantastic.

  9. Very nice. Looks like it might do with a tad more contrast, though. Just my opinion, of course.

    • Thanks, Dave!

      Yep, I agree. This shot is from over a month ago and I remember when I took it, I was in a horribly grumpy mood, tired of the snow and just wanted to get something posted. It is good to look back now, a month later and see that I’m doing far better these days!

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