Monday, May 7, 2012

Wildlife Photos

Here it is, as I promised, another installment of wildlife photos. Instead of waterfowl, I'm bringing this one closer to home and into the backyards. Blackbirds are quite common everywhere, yet little is seemingly known in the difference between the species. Here are some of them found in the Racine area...

Above is a male Red-winged Blackbird. Picture taken at Pritchard Park. Red-wings are often found anywhere there is tall grasses and marches, especially among the cattails were they thrive. While the females tend to be a dusky brown in color, the males have red plumage on their wings. Red-wings are omnivorous, feeding mostly on seeds and wheat grains, however they'll snack on insects.

Above is the Common Grackle. Picture taken on a front lawn on Charles Street. These icterids can be easily found on lawns and open fields, often in flocks. This robin sized bird can be identified by a long tail and feathers that are appear black with purple, green or blue indescence on their heads. They'll eat most anything-often seen on the ground foraging for bugs, especially after a lawn trimming.

Above is the Brown-headed Cowbird. Picture taken at Roosevelt Park. Found where ever there are open fields and lawns, often foraging with Starlings and Grackles. Cowbirds are brood parasites, meaning they'll lay eggs in other bird's nests. The young Cowbirds are taken care of by the host parents in expense of their own young.

Above is the European Starling. Picture taken at Roosevelt Park. Commonly found on lawns and parks everywhere. Identified by the metallic sheen plumage and white spots. Often they are found foraging for insects among other blackbirds. This invasive species was introduced to the Americas by the English settlers in the late 1800's. Since then, they have adapted and multiplied to a point where they have become a nuisance.

All pictures here were taken by Tender Heart and me using either a Sony DSC-H2 Cyber-shot or a Sony DSC-W350 Cyber-shot. Wildlife photography is not easy. Animals don't pose for pictures, nor even stay still. Most often, they are gone before the camera is ever focused. For every good shot, a few are missed completely.

Here is a partial list of complete misses for last week...

A Red Fox with cub. (You know about that already)
A Green Heron at Trout Ponds (I finally got him this afternoon)
A Baltimore Oriole at Trout Ponds
A couple of Eastern Chipmonks at Sanders Park.

Never fear, I've a few dozen pictures ready to be posted and more coming as I head out there with armed with a camera. Some pics will SURPRISE you....

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