Friday, July 10, 2009

Mysteriously Mute

My observation of birds is a relatively new endeavor with serious study. The photography of them has become especially fun. An idea I had a couple of years ago when I had the inclination to start this blog was to have the birds appear to do the talking. From an image standpoint, what you will see are birds that appear to be doing just that in their languages. However, what I've found surprising is that the birds I'll watch, often for extended periods, are for the most part completely silent. They will sometimes surprise me by squabbling amongst themselves or on occasion make a call of warning. My bird species sightings are predominantly shore and wading birds that as a group represent about a third of the total migratory bird species or those that have a permanent presence here in Florida.

The Black-bellied Plover above was observed at Lovers Key State Park.

While you may especially have an interest in observing birds yourself in the wild, it's become a passion of mine to capture visually something interesting or even unusual. I've found photography of the subject to be extremely time consuming in capturing an image to achieve that level. The representative images for blog entries that you will see here will include when the bird was typically yawning in my observation of it. Hopefully to capture your attention nonetheless.

I'm especially envious of bird observers that can master the identification of a bird species based on hearing it without its sighting. Tim Rucci, not too long ago, told me of a humorous story mentioning his friend, Ken Conger, whom apparently can do just that.

David Sibley's mastery of birds is appreciated in his National Audubon Society Guide to Birds which I reference very frequently. His book of Bird Life and Behavior, as a companion guide, is a must have resource as I've recently discovered where he describes red lores and feet on a Snowy Egret which are typically yellow. This information is completely missing in the former book for some reason.

Keep your glass clean and have patience.

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