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Blue & Black

“Blue & Black” (Brown-headed Cowbird, Adult Male, Molothrus ater) Nikon D300, 1000mm (600mm w/1.7x teleconverter), F/6.7, 1/200s, -0.7EV, ISO 640


 
When I photographed this bird at one of the birdbaths, I thought it was a Common Blackbird. Nope. Okay…Grackle? Nope. 

Crow? Nope. Too small. 

Starling? Nope. No spots. 

Hmmmm

I finally was able to identify my mystery bird. Ladies and Gentlemen, what we have here is the Brown-headed Cowbird! 

Strange name, isn’t it?

I’ll concede the brown head, but, hard as I tried, I couldn’t find a single udder on him… 😉

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A goal of mine is to photograph all the wild birds in the yard.

Easier said than done.

Some birds, like the sparrows and wrens, don’t seem to mind being photographed. Others, such as cardinals, orioles and goldfinches (aka, the “pretty” birds), are rather shy for the camera. They require research and strategic planning. A little luck doesn’t hurt either. 😉

Like clockwork, every afternoon the goldfinches visit our sunflower birdbath. I’ve already tried on several occaisions to get a good shot; however, none have been successful. It was time to give it another go.

The first to arrive was an adult male with his bright yellow plumage and black stripes. He was instantly startled by the sound of the shutter, so I only got one (poor) shot off before he flew away. Next to visit was an adult black-capped chickadee, who also didn’t like the camera and retreated quickly. Damn. Was this how the day was going to go?

Nope. 🙂

Less than a minute later, a juvenile goldfinch arrived! How lucky! The juvies aren’t yet experienced enough to be so easily spooked by the camera, so I was able to get off a few shots.

"Earning My Stripes" (American Goldfinch, Juvenile) Nikon D300, 550mm (200-400mm w/1.4x teleconverter), F/5.6, 1/50s, -0.3EV, ISO 640

"Earning My Stripes" (American Goldfinch, Juvenile) Nikon D300, 550mm (200-400mm w/1.4x teleconverter), F/5.6, 1/50s, -0.3EV, ISO 640

This is most likely a juvenile male, but one can never be sure at this age.

Tell your dad, I’ll be ready for him next time! 🙂

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