March 5, 2005 [LINK]

Bird photo bonanza

Costa Rica birds montage I have literally dozens of fair-to-very-good photos from our trip to Costa Rica, and this montage is merely a preview. They are, clockwise from the upper left: Great kiskadee, Blue-gray tanager, Silver-throated tanager, Red-footed honeycreeper, Scarlet-rumped tanager, Scarlet macaw, Pacific screech owl, and in the right center, an Coppery-headed emerald hummingbird. More details on where I saw these birds and all the others are yet to come... I wanted to include the Elegant trogon in this montage, since it was one of my big photographic "prizes," but it is hard to distinguish the bird from the background foliage unless the photo is at a larger scale. All the above photos are still images from our Canon digital video camera. After I finish with editing those I will move on to capturing freeze frames from the many video clips I took. For faster-moving birds such as hummingbirds, it is almost hopeless to get good still images, so taking video is the only way to go.

With four or more inches of snow on the ground right now, our backyard bird feeder has been attracting a large number of juncos, goldfinches, sparrows, cardinals, etc. That makes it prime hunting territory for hungry raptors, and indeed a Sharp-shinned hawk collided (feet first) with the window in Princess and George's room while I was standing there about an hour ago. I think his prey got away this time, but Princess and George panic flew all around in a panic and are still nervous.