Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Dreaming of Spring

Today's downpour and the promise of more rain and cold over the next week have me dreaming of warmer, sunnier days. And nothing warms the soul like the radiant colors of tanagers during spring migration.

Scarlet Tanager - 4/30/2010
Scarlet Tanager (Piranga olivacea)

These two fellows were both life birds for me, seen last spring at Boy Scout Woods in High Island, Texas, just up the coast a couple of hours from Houston.

Summer Tanager - 4/30/2010
Summer Tanager (Piranga rubra)

For more great bird photos from around the world, check out this week's installment of World Bird Wednesday.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Monday, December 27, 2010

Bird Photography Weekly #122

One bird that can almost always be found around the Houston area is the proud Mockingbird, the state bird of Texas. Mockingbirds inhabit parks, suburban neighborhoods, and can even be found around downtown — anywhere that has trees or even shrubs, you can probably hear a mockingbird singing its pilfered songs. We even have one that serenades us year round from the trees in the parking lot of our office building.

Northern Mockingbird - 4/9/2010
Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos)

Mockingbirds reportedly form enduring and faithful partnerships with a single mate and are known to defend their nests and their young with surprising vigor, chasing away cats, dogs, hawks and other larger birds, and even humans who wander a little too close for comfort.

Northern Mockingbird - 9/8/2008

Each mockingbird seems to have a different repertoire, as they learn and mimic the songs of other birds they encounter or that live around them. And as they continue to learn new songs throughout their life, some individuals may have dozens of calls to choose from. Mockingbirds' mimicries are often almost indistinguishable from the original. But if you hear a certain bird song three or more times in quick repetition and then a totally different sound repeated from the same spot, you can be pretty sure you are listening to a mockingbird's medley.

Northern Mockingbird - 1/20/2009

As always, you can click on any image to see a larger version. Also, check out Bird Photography Weekly #122 for more great bird photos from around the world.

Bird Photography Weekly

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Here's wishing you a very

Merry Christmas

from the entire McCreary family!

Have a safe and Christ-filled holiday season!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

World Bird Wednesday: Savannah Sparrow

It's been a year since I have visited the Katy Prairie, but I'm hoping to get out there one Saturday morning before the kids' winter basketball season starts up in mid-January. One of the treats from last winter's visit to the area was this little guy:

Savannah Sparrow - 1/20/2009
Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis)

I pretty much missed fall migration this year, but I am going to try to start posting pics of some of the great birds I saw and never got to blog about from last spring's migration and from the little bit of birding I did over the summer. In the meantime, I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!