Posted by: The Arcadian | December 10, 2014

Winter Birds: Woodpeckers, Foggy Cranes and Cardinals

Now that the leaves have dropped, I can see all the pretty winter birds that don’t migrate south for winter. I’m still learning how to use my telephoto lens and caught these woodpeckers and cardinals on a foggy day. Fog wasn’t my friend when taking these photos of the birds. Low light, fast-moving birds and low contrast makes it hard to get a good crisp shot of them. A more skilled photographer could use the fog to increase dramatic effect (plus they would probably have more sophisticated equipment with a faster shutter speed.)

 

There is a mating pair of cardinals that live somewhere in our alley. I try to keep my feeders full for them.

Cardinal pair. female on the left.

 

Cardinal male is on patrol. His mate is in the same tree but so very well hidden.

Cardinal: On guard.

 

 

I saw the red bellied woodpecker again but today’s bonus sighting is this downy woodpecker.

Downy woodpecker enjoying a feast on the insects in my slow-dying tree.

 

Downy woodpeckers look just like hairy woodpeckers, except for their shorter bill.

It’s possibly a hairy woodpecker but the guidebook lists the size of the bill as the only difference between these two species. In this shot it looks like a short bill.

 

And then there was this death-defying squirrel. he navigated all throughout the cable and rural electric infrastructure.

 

Then there were honking cranes circling for a landing. I could hear them long before I could see them (it was really foggy).

 

When the sun came out in the afternoon I tried to photograph the woodpecker again, but he’s just so darn fast. When I looked closer, I think it’s a third species—a golden fronted woodpecker. This means that the tree in our yard, that is dying a slow death, is also full of insects, which is feeding all these woodpeckers.

Golden fronted woodpecker.

 

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