Back To Frozen Birds

A personal triumph for me:

Digiscoping an almost completely in focus ruby-crowned kinglet. How the heck did I manage that? Perhaps I am finally becoming one with my digiscoping equipment.

Holy cow! I think this is the most media that I have ever done in one day! I woke this morning just after 6am to a call from Darci, the producer of the Ian and Maregery show asking if I had a few minutes to go on air, after that at 6:45am, I got a call from the producer of Showcase MN, asking if I could fill in as guest host and this afternoon after 4:30pm, I have an interview on WLTE to promote the book--I'm all over the place.

I got a kick out of the crew at Showcase calling me the new diva because the show was just pretty much all about me. I was originally scheduled as a guest this morning and they decided to keep that segment, so I had to film teases for my segment and host--I didn't end up interviewing myself but I was all over--it was fun. They are so nice on that station and Corbin (one of the other hosts) was really sweet to tell me where to stand, making suggestions on what do--it's a real team effort which makes it fun. And what was the best part of my morning--my first interview was for Surdyk's--a local liquor store Non Birding Bill and I frequent! Their chef cracked open a bottle of champagne in the middle of the segment. Champagne at 10am! My goodness I have a glamorous lifestyle for a birder.

Okay, back to the original intent of this entry: frozen birds--and I don't mean frozen as in cold, I mean frozen as in just plain not moving.

This titmouse photo was taken a couple of weeks ago. The bird had been flitting around Mr. Neil's feeders and then just stopped here for several minutes and I got all sorts of fun photos of it. When birds stop moving, that is a pretty good sign that a predator is nearby. When bird's aren't moving, they know something is near that could eat them. I started to scan around the yard and noticed other birds not moving.

SIDE NOTE: I just looked out the window while typing this entry and noticed that it's snowing. Sigh.

You can almost hear this female downy woodpecker saying through pursed bill, "If I don't move, you can't see me at all." Now This strategy might work well if she were against a tree trunk, however, up against a finch feeder filled with Nyjer thistle and sunflower chips--she kind of sticks out like a sore thumb.

I mentioned earlier that the idea of a chickadee souped up on sugary donuts is a scary thought--a chickadee frozen in place is just as unnerving. Above this black-capped chickadee and white-breasted nuthatch doing their best statue impersonations. Some further scanning around the woods did reveal a small sharp-shinned hawk lurking in the trees. The hawk eventually moved on, but I'm sure if one of frozen songbirds had moved, it would have stimulated an attack from the hawk.

After the sharpie moved on, normal bird activity resumed and birds began flitting around like crazy. So keep an eye on those feeders. If you ever see a house finch stock still on a feeder, scan the trees, chances are that there is a hawk nearby.