Friday, 29 April 2016

Bluebirds and Raptors

     A member of our local naturalists'club, fairly new to birding, had never seen an Eastern Bluebird Sialia sialis so I offered to find one for her. Yesterday, Miriam and I went out looking in some of the places where we have located this species for several years, and were successful, seeing in total four males and one female. None of them were especially positioned for good shots, but photography was not our principal goal, which was to locate the bird for Francine.

     This bird is perched on a tombstone in the cemetery next to a Mennonite meeting house. The rows of grave markers provide attractive perches for these birds and they perch atop them scanning the earth below for insects and beetles. There are a couple of nest boxes nearby and in some years a pair has raised a brood there.
     On the way home we spotted this Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis perched on a pipeline sign and approached the bird very slowly and were able to get a picture or two before it took flight.

     It must have been the day for raptors to perch cooperatively for a little farther on we spotted this Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura also perched.

     I am happy to report that this morning we were able to take Francine and her husband Jim to see Eastern Bluebirds and they were rewarded with several sightings. It was our pleasure to help them find their first sighting of this evocative species.


  1. The Bluebirds are beautiful! It was my spark bird, I am always happy to see them. Congrats to Francine. Happy Friday, enjoy your weekend!

  2. Hi. Stunning pictures. Real nice colored little bird.

  3. Glad it all worked according to plan. I can never get near enough to the birds of prey :-( they are gone almost before I see them. I wish I had of had a good camera when I lived in RSA, maybe one day we will get back there and disappear into the game reserves. Have a great weekend Diane

  4. Thank you David! We were delighted with our outing. Bluebirds are, in my opinion, absolutely gorgeous! Thank you for your time! (Next time, I won't be wearing yellow, lol!)

  5. Hi David, The Eastern Bluebird is an outstanding colorful bird, the opposite being the Turkey Vulture, somewhat ugly, but we can't all be beautiful. Regards John

  6. Hi David,
    Nice birds ! The Eastern Bluebird is very amazing. I photographed the Common Rock Thrush a week ago, he looks like him.
    Hugs David and have a good week

  7. Tres fotografías fantásticas de tres especies maravillosas. Un fuerte abrazo desde España mi amigo David.

  8. Good captures of the birds. I do love that bluebird - the colour of blue is very pretty.

  9. Hello David,
    Oh I would ask you the same thing, the Blue bird is one of the most exquisite bird.
    Blue is also quite an unusual color in nature and makes it somewhat special.
    You were lucky to get close to those raptors and get these nice shots :)
    Keep well, warms hugs to share with Miriam and enjoy your WE!

  10. Hi David.

    Lovely blue bird.
    And Hawk really super nice.

    Groettie from Patricia.

  11. Great pictures, David. Have a nice weekend.
    Gr Jan W

  12. Your Bluebirds really remind me of the Red Flanked Bluetails we get in Eurasia..........

  13. Fine!!! Great images .. Congratulations ..

  14. Great post David,love the Bluebird,but,your Turkey Vulture is my favourite.

  15. Lovely blue bird and when you others are nice to see.
    Greetings Tinie

  16. My favourite is the Bluebird, love it.

  17. It's good when we can find a bird promised to another. Sods Law often takes over with the bird playing hard to get. Like the hawk.

  18. Hello David, I would love to see a Bluebird as well they are so beautyful. But allas I will have to cross a big ocean for it. The raptors are very impressive as well.

  19. It's always a great pleasure to find a bird for someone else's enjoyment, David, as was brought home to me in 2015. But it can be very frustrating to fail, or 'dip', as we say here - a most apt term in the situation I'm thinking of!

    In my own two brief encounters with Bluebird (Western and Mountain), I was not only struck by the blue color, but also how that color disappeared virtually completely in some lighting conditions.

    Best wishes to you both - - - Richard

    1. We will find Eastern Bkuebird for you next year to complete the trio.

  20. Your photo's are lovely -
    That bluebird is stunning.

    All the best Jan

  21. Really cool to see this beautiful blue bird. The Eastern Bluebird does not live in the Netherlands, but unfortunately it's a great moi bird with beautiful oil colors. Buzzard've also photographed quite nice. Class!

  22. Beautiful captures! I love the hawk.