Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Spring Cardinal

Well, my luck with birds seems to be continuing. I really do have to give a lot of credit to the new camera for pictures like these. But to get the pictures I have for you today, I had to search patiently through the trees for the sounds I was hearing.

A problem I've had is that I have trouble telling one bird from another by the sounds they make. But I think I made a small breakthrough with this cardinal in the pictures. A cardinal actually has a very distinctive call if you listen closely, and I've been lucky enough to hear a great many of them lately. It always helps to have enough birds around making noise to be able to learn from.

After listening to the calls of this bird for several seconds, maybe even minutes, I began to realize it wasn't coming from just my everyday robins. This was a distinctly different sound, almost like a quickly up and down slide whistle. I guess you'd have to hear it to understand.

Anyway, it was different than a robin, okay? The important thing is that I think I'm finally beginning to hear and understand the different bird calls. It may not seem like much, but for me it's a huge breakthrough. Listening to a bird is really the only way to find them in the trees, and knowing which kind of bird you're looking for helps a lot.

I actually stood there taking more pictures than you'd believe. I've told you before that I've taken anywhere from 50 to 100 pictures of the same subject at a time. It was probably about the same here. I do it like that because a digital camera makes it easy to save that many, and I want to make sure I get at least one good picture out of that mess!

Trust me, it's not at all easy to get a picture of a bird. They don't really like to sit very still, especially when they notice you watching them!

People like to use the term "bird brain" to refer to a stupid person, but we are finding out more and more that some birds are very intelligent. I don't know how intelligent a cardinal would be, but I do know that this guy was watching me right back. He knew I was there, but I think he felt relatively safe at the top of the huge tree he was in.

He turned out to be confident enough to stay there until I left. I didn't leave because I was tired of him though. There happened to be a strange big bird flying by. I tried to get video of it, but there were too many branches in the way. When I turned back to the cardinal, it had decided to make an exit as well. There will be more cardinals one of these days.

Do you notice that the pictures above are a little dark? I like them that way this time, but I know how to brighten them up, and even improve them quite bit, thanks to Diane. Do you want to learn how to do this? Go to Nature Center Magazine today for Diane's nice lesson on beginner photo editing, and to learn who the mysterious Diane is. Some of you actually know her well.

Update: I've been a little absent from the web the last few days, but I'll try to visit some of your blogs later today.

23 comments:

  1. Exactly. Its not easy to take birds picture. Takes a lot of patience an stroke of luck to get the perfect angle. You've done it well Ratty :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. When I tried taking pictures of birds in trees, they always flew away or else there were too many leaves so I couldn't see them well. These pictures are really good! For your next challenge, how about trying to take a picture of a bird in flight. This is really hard, at least it was for me. I couldn't get nnything.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great shots! You are doing great with the birds. The added zoom is working well for you. Interesting about the sound they make. I think they like to sing in the weee morning hours around here.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I think you must be very patient. Getting good bird pictures requires a steady hand, a good eye, and waiting for the right moment. Congratulations on recognizing different bird calls. This will aid your enjoyment of the adventure.

    Bill:www.wildramblings.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great cardinal pics! I see and hear them around here this year, but can't seem to catch one on camera! But it sure is loud! They mostly say two different things: Cheer, and Wheat-a, wheat-a, wheat-a.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Nice shots Ratty. Now that you can identify their call, you'll enjoy your adventures even more. Through observation I have learned to identify the cardinal call. First it red-winged black birds and house finches followed. I hear a house finch now just outside my office.

    ReplyDelete
  7. love the nature photos,
    you go pro...
    smiles!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I always enjoy seeing a cardinal. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  9. You are tired of the bird, I think the bird is thinking the same too.

    ReplyDelete
  10. these are some superb shots...I wish I was able to see birds in such beauty...maybe you could throw a little of that luck my way Ratty!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'd never seen a red cardinal before coming over to America. then saw one on the balcony of the apartments I was staying at and it quite blew me away. Stunning sight, so bright and soo nice.

    Your photos are wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Nice photos of your new subject. It isn't easy taking photos of a moving object or one that can fly away at any time. Digital cameras are great for allowing us to take 100's of photos, but it's the job looking through each one to find the best one that is painstaking. :D

    ReplyDelete
  13. I love cardinals, but very rarely spot them. You got some great shots here. I love the last one he seems to be looking at you like are you done yet?...lol
    I do know Diane, I'm a regular visitor to her wonderful blog

    ReplyDelete
  14. woww thats a pretty cardinal. I get them when I put wild bird food in my birdfeeder. saw a pair last week. they are beautiful when you seem them together.

    very nice indeed

    ReplyDelete
  15. Wow Ratty, these are phenomenal shots. I used to see cardinals all the time in Ohio, and I just saw one here in Florida yesterday. They are splendid creatures.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh, these are so awesome! I LOVE LOVE Cardinals...you were so lucky! Thanks for sharing these, Ratty.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Ratty, All your Cardinal pictures are outstanding! I am just learning all their songs...but their call has a distinct clip.

    ReplyDelete
  18. As a highly experienced bird watcher, I can assure you that they are not dumb. At least not usually - that hawk that got stuck in the enclosed patio here a few weeks ago may not have been that bright.

    I visit Diane's site quite a bit. She is a very talented photographer, and her son seems to be following in her footsteps. Plus she's got nice looking kitties and has some very pretty shots of them in her Esty store.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Those are beautiful pictures of the cardinal..I see some here, but they were very fast, and just a tease.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Wow you pics are great. It's amazing you were able to get so many! Great job!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I think cardinals are such magnficently beautiful birds - except that females ( as do the ladies of many species ) get short changed in terms of beauty! Great photographs.

    ReplyDelete
  22. That's such a beautiful and proud cardinal. And true, it's no easy task taking pics of birdies.. and taking many is indeed a feat.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Fantastic shots Ratty, I'm always chasing birds around so I am in awe of those who can capture them so well on camera.

    ReplyDelete