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Bird Watching: More Bluebird photos

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

January 10, 2009
5:30 AM

Post #5987854

Well, the previous thread has reached 144, so it is about time to start a new one. These first ones were taken yesterday.

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

January 10, 2009
5:31 AM

Post #5987856

...

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

January 10, 2009
5:34 AM

Post #5987866

xx

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

January 10, 2009
5:36 AM

Post #5987870

zzz

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

January 10, 2009
5:39 AM

Post #5987876

A couple of the female

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

January 10, 2009
5:41 AM

Post #5987879

another

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

January 10, 2009
5:46 AM

Post #5987886

Here's two females (and a blurry Carolina wren)

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

January 10, 2009
5:48 AM

Post #5987890

More of the males

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

January 10, 2009
5:50 AM

Post #5987894

Last one for tonight

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pelletory
Marlton, NJ

January 10, 2009
8:14 AM

Post #5988030

Love all the shots Dave!

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

January 10, 2009
6:51 PM

Post #5989550

ah, someone likes blueberries.

:D
ducbucln
Kelseyville, CA
(Zone 8b)

January 10, 2009
9:26 PM

Post #5989981

Beautiful photos!! I really liked that one with the Wren in the center.
2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

January 12, 2009
5:30 AM

Post #5995139

Hello friends.

Got back home this afternoon and the birds were waiting for me. I got out there first thing with some worms and got more than 500 shots before it got dark. Here are a few.

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

January 12, 2009
5:33 AM

Post #5995143

A wee bit mad?

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

January 12, 2009
5:35 AM

Post #5995169

One more

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

January 12, 2009
5:38 AM

Post #5995174

Nearly all the shots were of the males.

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

January 12, 2009
5:40 AM

Post #5995199

This is the one exception.

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

January 12, 2009
5:41 AM

Post #5995202

Another male.

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

January 12, 2009
5:44 AM

Post #5995203

Last one for tonight.

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

January 12, 2009
1:55 PM

Post #5995667

Well, it's still early in the morning and I hate to shoot in the morning sun, but the birds are here so I shoot anyway, knowing I will delete many of them.

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

January 12, 2009
1:59 PM

Post #5995680

Hopefully they will be back in an hour or so.

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

January 12, 2009
1:59 PM

Post #5995682

The sun should be better then.

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

January 12, 2009
2:01 PM

Post #5995689

One more

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

January 12, 2009
2:03 PM

Post #5995696

Usually you see the house finches hanging around the BBs. Lately its been this goldfinch.

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

January 12, 2009
4:06 PM

Post #5996162

I am always on the lookout for seasonal props. I just got this clover-shaped bowl in anticipation of St. Patty's Day. Very limited success so far, since it is very slick and the birds slip and slide when they perch on the sides and also it is a bit too deep so they wind up jumping into it which is cute but doesn't give me the picture I am looking for.

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pelletory
Marlton, NJ

January 12, 2009
9:11 PM

Post #5997447

Beautiful pics Dave! Shame the clover dish didn't work out, it's a nice one.
bjf826
panhandle, FL
(Zone 8b)

January 12, 2009
9:44 PM

Post #5997627

Hi Dave... great pics! Regarding the St. Patty's Day dish, fill it part way with a fine gravel/sharp sand and put the food on top. Just thinking out loud here... might work.

Barb
JuneyBug
Dover AFB, DE
(Zone 7a)

January 12, 2009
10:45 PM

Post #5997928

Wonderful pictures, as always. Thanks

luvsgrtdanes

luvsgrtdanes
(Ronnie), PA
(Zone 6b)

January 13, 2009
12:56 AM

Post #5998512

Absolutely stunning pictures!!
2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

January 13, 2009
2:36 AM

Post #5999035

Thanks everyone. Good idea Barb. I'll try it.

Here are a few more from this afternoon.

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

January 13, 2009
2:38 AM

Post #5999040

xxx

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

January 13, 2009
2:39 AM

Post #5999044

Another shot. same bird

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

January 13, 2009
2:40 AM

Post #5999049

Two females

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

January 13, 2009
2:44 AM

Post #5999069

This one took a bath. It must have been chilly because she then spent several minutes in the sun, trying to dry off

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

January 13, 2009
2:45 AM

Post #5999075

Here are a few of the more interesting shots.

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

January 13, 2009
3:33 AM

Post #5999252

Another

This message was edited Jan 12, 2009 10:36 PM

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

January 13, 2009
3:34 AM

Post #5999258

And another

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

January 13, 2009
3:46 AM

Post #5999301

...

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

January 13, 2009
3:51 AM

Post #5999320

...

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pelletory
Marlton, NJ

January 13, 2009
12:57 PM

Post #5999897

Those 2 female's are so sweet.

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

January 13, 2009
1:14 PM

Post #5999938

ha. too cute. Do they wing wave this time of year?
2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

January 13, 2009
2:12 PM

Post #6000095

Oh, sure they do. Especially when they are defending their nest box.

But I'm sure you realize she wasn't wing waving in these shots. She was twisting and turning, even rubbing herself on the warm railing, trying to dry off as quickly as she could. In some shots you could barely tell she was a bluebird. Like so.

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

January 13, 2009
2:14 PM

Post #6000106

And Marna, here are a couple of one of your favorites.

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

January 13, 2009
2:15 PM

Post #6000110

A second later

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

January 13, 2009
2:21 PM

Post #6000123

One more...

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

January 13, 2009
4:15 PM

Post #6000574

Back to the bluebirds

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

January 13, 2009
4:17 PM

Post #6000580

Next move

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

January 13, 2009
4:20 PM

Post #6000598

One more..

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

January 13, 2009
9:43 PM

Post #6001781

More from this afternoon.

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

January 13, 2009
10:00 PM

Post #6001880

Most of my shots are of the males. Here is a female

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pelletory
Marlton, NJ

January 13, 2009
10:25 PM

Post #6001970

Love all the shots and the Titmouse is adorable!

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

January 18, 2009
2:21 AM

Post #6018136

Awww, thanks Dave. They are just too darn cute with those dark little eyes.
2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

January 18, 2009
4:30 AM

Post #6018586

I agree. I have four of them that come for meal worms several times each day since it has been so cold.

I have several new bluebirds too, which brings my total up to nine. They must be hungry. Papa chases the males if he sees them, but doesn't seem to bother the new females.

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crazybirdlady51
Wilmar, AR
(Zone 8a)

February 21, 2009
4:09 AM

Post #6168085

I've had some bluebirds checking out my nesting boxes and the other day I saw these two males displaying for each other, or so it seemed. One was perched in a sycamore tree and the other was on a utilility line just a few feet away. They did not look happy! I apologize in advance for the lack of quality in these pictures.

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crazybirdlady51
Wilmar, AR
(Zone 8a)

February 21, 2009
4:13 AM

Post #6168100

Sorry, I thought I had a pic of the bluebird on the utility wire but I guess I deleted it. :( But you get the idea. :))
JuneyBug
Dover AFB, DE
(Zone 7a)

February 21, 2009
12:52 PM

Post #6168790

Fighting over ownership of your yard?! Glad to see this sign of spring!
2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

February 21, 2009
2:03 PM

Post #6168968

I guess house hunting is happening almost everywhere these days. I hear reports the BBs are already nest building as far north as Georgia. Not quite here as yet, since winter is not over and I would hate to see the blues start too soon, only to lose a clutch in the cold. I expect it will be another month before mine really get serious.

But Papa has chased away the youngsters that stayed around over the winter. However, they keep coming back. And he keeps chasing them when he is not chasing house sparrows that are very interested in "his" house. Not surprising they would keep hanging around since food is still scarce and will be for a month or so when insects start moving around. This is the time the blues should be subsisting on berries but the mockers and the starlings have cleaned all the fruits and berries off the trees and shrubs.

I have been wanting to get some better pictures of the blues in the snow but we have had very little of it this year. Here are a few shots from back on Jan 27.



This message was edited Feb 21, 2009 9:04 AM

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

February 21, 2009
2:07 PM

Post #6168985

Another. And none too happy it seems.

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

February 21, 2009
2:08 PM

Post #6168991

Here's one in fight

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

February 21, 2009
2:14 PM

Post #6169013

Well, I have more and I want to update you on my nestboxes too, but for some reason this DG server will only accept 3 or 4 images, then it simply refuses. Most frustrating.

I'll try again later.

Dave
pelletory
Marlton, NJ

February 21, 2009
3:24 PM

Post #6169336

Beautiful shots as always Dave! Glad the Bluebirds are doing well!
JuneyBug
Dover AFB, DE
(Zone 7a)

February 21, 2009
5:43 PM

Post #6169905

Great pictures, I can't wait to see more!
2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

February 21, 2009
6:22 PM

Post #6170022

OK JB let's try it again.. A couple more snow shots.

This message was edited Feb 21, 2009 1:22 PM

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

February 21, 2009
6:23 PM

Post #6170024

next shot...

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

February 21, 2009
6:25 PM

Post #6170037

The male on the left was waiting for a chance for some meal worms. Papa decides he wants to perch there...

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

February 21, 2009
6:27 PM

Post #6170042

Final snow shot... at least for now.

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pelletory
Marlton, NJ

February 21, 2009
7:35 PM

Post #6170280

So beautiful Dave!
2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

February 22, 2009
1:44 AM

Post #6171574

I have been thinking for a time that I would like to try one of the Kentucky style nestboxes that feature an opening that is slotted rather than round. Some say they are less attractive to house sparrows. I also wanted to get a nestbox camera so I could monitor without going out to the box everytime. I ordered the slotted box but when I tried to install the nest cam I found the pitch of the roof was not steep enough to allow the camera to be tucked up out of the way and the bird would likely bang into the camera each time it flew into the box.

My old traditional style box with the 1 1/2 inch round opening was beginning to fall apart. The back board was split top to bottom and the front part was badly warped . But the roof pitch was sufficient to allow clearance for the little camera. So I went to Lowe's and got a one inch white cedar board, took the old nest box apart, copied each piece and cut it with my table saw. I took down the slotted box, put up the box I made and the blues didn't seem to know- or care about the difference.

But still I was not satisfied. I really wanted to try that slotted style opening. So I removed the door, cut a new board of the same width and installed it on the box, dropping it down far enough to leave a slot across the top.

And still, the birds don't seem to mind.

I still have the door with the round opening and can change back in a few minutes if I run into a problem.

This message was edited Feb 21, 2009 8:44 PM
2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

February 22, 2009
1:47 AM

Post #6171585

Well, let me fast forward to today and show you a few from this morning.

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

February 22, 2009
1:53 AM

Post #6171604

One more.

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pelletory
Marlton, NJ

February 22, 2009
2:04 AM

Post #6171652

Dave, The House Sparrows didn't bother with my slot style house last year except to look

it over but the

House Wrens loved it and raised a brood last summer. Do you have House Wrens around your place? If not I don't think it will be a problem. Glad they didn't mind it.

Love the first pic! Both are great.

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

February 22, 2009
2:30 AM

Post #6171750

Dave, what about that Gilbertson birch/pvc house you have? Will you put that up?
2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

February 22, 2009
4:36 AM

Post #6172237

No, Pelle, I am not bothered by house wrens, thankfully. Lots of Carolina wrens, but they are no problem for the blues.

And no Marna, I probably won't put the Gilbertson up. I only have room for one box and I don't know if I could mount the bird cam in the Gilbertson. To be honest, I think it would be so cute to have a picture of two or more of the nestlings, side by side, peeking out of the slotted box on fledge day.

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pelletory
Marlton, NJ

February 22, 2009
10:18 AM

Post #6172652

Beautiful shot!

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

February 22, 2009
1:44 PM

Post #6172962

Ah, I don't blame you for wanting a nest cam.
linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

March 3, 2009
3:34 PM

Post #6215909

Dave, any 'Mad Bluebird' photos yesterday ?
2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

March 4, 2009
4:48 AM

Post #6219058

I tried, Charlie but with little luck. The seemed more confused than anything.

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

March 4, 2009
4:49 AM

Post #6219060

Another try

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

March 4, 2009
4:51 AM

Post #6219069

last one

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

March 4, 2009
4:57 AM

Post #6219082

OK , a few regular shots

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

March 4, 2009
4:59 AM

Post #6219090

Seems most of these are of males.

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

March 4, 2009
5:02 AM

Post #6219098

Maybe it's because I have more males than females.

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

March 4, 2009
5:05 AM

Post #6219104

One more, then I'll look for one of the females.

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

March 4, 2009
5:07 AM

Post #6219111

As promised.

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

March 4, 2009
5:09 AM

Post #6219118

Here she is again.

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

March 4, 2009
5:14 AM

Post #6219137

One more.

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

March 4, 2009
5:19 AM

Post #6219145

One more, then I'll switch to today.

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

March 4, 2009
5:21 AM

Post #6219151

Here's Papa today, hanging on to what little snow is left on the post.

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

March 4, 2009
5:24 AM

Post #6219157

Here he is this morning. I think he's mad about the 15 degree temperature.

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

March 4, 2009
5:28 AM

Post #6219162

Last one for tonight..

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linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD
(Zone 7a)

March 4, 2009
11:59 AM

Post #6219530

Fantastic photos, Dave. I felt a little confused myself out there in the blistering cold.
pelletory
Marlton, NJ

March 4, 2009
12:12 PM

Post #6219547

Same here. Great shots Dave!
JuneyBug
Dover AFB, DE
(Zone 7a)

March 4, 2009
2:08 PM

Post #6219849

Funny to see those sleek birds all puffed up in the winter cold.
Rose1656
Oquawka, IL
(Zone 5a)

March 5, 2009
1:40 AM

Post #6222741

Beautiful photos! We don't get bluebirds here. I've been told that they don't like wooded areas...and we are surrounded by woods! I guess I'll just have to enjoy your photos.
dellrose
The Ozarks, MO
(Zone 5b)

March 5, 2009
9:53 PM

Post #6226230

I feel sorry for the birds in the cold but they sure are beautiful Dave...thanks for the update. Have yours started nest building?
2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

March 6, 2009
1:03 AM

Post #6227004

No, not yet, Rose, and I am really glad they aren't. One of the hardest things I have done was to remove a nest after she sat on it for 20-some days. (As you know they should hatch on the 13th day). That happened 2 years ago after we had an early Spring, followed by an unexpected week-long freeze. Five eggs never hatched.

Weather is starting to warm up here. 50 degrees today and they expect high 70's Saturday and Sunday. A lot of the snow is gone already.

I'm not complaining but I do have a bunch of house sparrows to deal with.

Dave
crazybirdlady51
Wilmar, AR
(Zone 8a)

March 6, 2009
12:01 PM

Post #6228410

I'd been trying to get pics of the bluebirds sitting on this post with the new growth of this tree in the foreground because I loved the colors but my camera couldn't seem to focus on both, so the birds came out blurry but this one isn't quite as blurry as the others. I have a few that are checking out nesting boxes again now that the temps are getting warmer

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

March 6, 2009
1:44 PM

Post #6228719

It really is a nice setting, CBL. I personally wouldn't worry about getting everything in focus. With a point and shoot camera you are limited as to how much you can control things like the depth of field. So much will depend on available light, how far you are from the subject and how much zoom you use.

I look at it this way: If you are shooting a picture of the bird, make sure it is in focus. Everything else will then complement the subject. The slightly blurred leaves will serve to draw your eye to the part of the picture that is in focus. If the leaves are too overpowering, crop it a bit to where they create a nice frame around your principal subject.

Of course, this photography stuff is totally subjective. I personally try to eliminate most of the surrounding distractions. As a result, my pictures tend to look like something from a bird book. But that's just me and I am OK with that. If the bird I am shooting is in the cherry tree with a cherry in its mouth, I may back off and let you see more of the tree; maybe even some cherries still hanging on the tree. But the final presentation will be created by editing: sharpening, lightening, cropping etc. Rarely if ever am I satisfied with an image as it comes out of the camera.

Dave
2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

April 3, 2009
10:18 PM

Post #6360757

Well, after a significant layoff (from posting, not photographing), I will revive this thread and bring you up to date on my pair.

Earlier in this thread, on Feb 21, in fact, Mrs Ed asked if I was going to put up the Gilbertson PVC box I have had for many years but have never used. I told her no because I wanted to see how the blues would respond to the slotted opening I had installed in my regular box, and also because I had just installed the nest cam in the slotted box.

A few days later, when I was certain the blues would nest in the slotted box, I decided to put up the Gilbertson too, in hopes that the chickadees or the titmice would nest in it. The only place available was just outside the kitchen window. Much too close to the house for bluebirds, but I hoped the dees wouldn't mind.

As soon as I put the PVC model up (and I mean within 5 minutes), Papa went to check it out. And he fell in love with it! He would go inside for a few seconds, then come out, perch on the roof, then go back inside. He kept this up for 10 to 15 minutes at a time, all day long. Mama was still perching on the wooden box. He would go get her and bring her to the PVC model. After about a week of this, she built her nest in the PVC house, although to this day they still will not allow anyone else near the wooden box, either.

I had installed the nest cam in the wooden box and had even buried the cable leading back to the basement where I had it hooked up to a TV. I wanted to move the nest cam to the Gilbertson PVC but it is so small inside I feared the birds would hit the camera when they entered the box. Some one suggested I cut a hole in the roof, which I did, and aimed the camera down through the hole. I covered the camera and the hole with a 3 inch PVC cap and caulked around it to hopefully keep the rain out. It looks pretty sloppy but it seems to be OK. There are five eggs and she has been incubating since this past Sunday. Through the nest cam the inside of the nest box looks very small. It should be pretty crowded when the five of the nestlings start jumping around flapping their wings.

This first shot is of Mama in the nest box. I appologize for the lack of quality but it is a dark day.

Thumbnail by 2dCousinDave
Click the image for an enlarged view.

2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

April 3, 2009
10:20 PM

Post #6360762

Here is a better shot.

Thumbnail by 2dCousinDave
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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

April 3, 2009
10:28 PM

Post #6360802

Here is a shot while Mama was taking a break. She was perched on the shepherd's hook when Papa decided to land there. As usual, she vacated.

Thumbnail by 2dCousinDave
Click the image for an enlarged view.

2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

April 3, 2009
10:36 PM

Post #6360835

Here in the next shot, he prepares to land.

Thumbnail by 2dCousinDave
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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

April 3, 2009
10:53 PM

Post #6360868

Been raining here for 2 days. Here are a couple taken before it started.

Thumbnail by 2dCousinDave
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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

April 3, 2009
10:54 PM

Post #6360871

Mama

Thumbnail by 2dCousinDave
Click the image for an enlarged view.

JuneyBug
Dover AFB, DE
(Zone 7a)

April 3, 2009
11:02 PM

Post #6360903

Glad that you have revived the BB thread!
2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

April 3, 2009
11:05 PM

Post #6360908

Guess what! The SUN just came out! Unfortunately, most of their favorite perches are in the shade.

Thumbnail by 2dCousinDave
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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

April 3, 2009
11:12 PM

Post #6360929

Here Papa moves to the sun

Thumbnail by 2dCousinDave
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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

April 3, 2009
11:16 PM

Post #6360958

And Mama, wing-waving, no less.

Thumbnail by 2dCousinDave
Click the image for an enlarged view.

2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

April 3, 2009
11:23 PM

Post #6360980

Anothe shot of Mama in the shade

Thumbnail by 2dCousinDave
Click the image for an enlarged view.

pelletory
Marlton, NJ

April 3, 2009
11:51 PM

Post #6361077

Beautiful shots Dave!

Is she done nest building?
2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

April 4, 2009
12:46 AM

Post #6361267

She completed the nest several weeks ago.
There are five eggs in the nest and she has been incubating since this past Sunday.

Dave

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

April 4, 2009
1:21 AM

Post #6361392

Have you been able to get a picture of the eggs (with the nest cam)?
2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

April 4, 2009
1:48 AM

Post #6361522

No Marna. I haven't even tried. The picture quality is poor and there is not enough light in there to even give the eggs color. I am not big on videos and besides, I don't have time right now to figure out how to hook up the VCR. It is worth it just to be able to check things out without going out there, disturbing her and taking the box down.

No matter what, I plan to take it down after this nesting. Hopefully they will just move to the slotted box for their second.

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

April 4, 2009
2:29 AM

Post #6361673

Now that I have that box, I know that it's not easy to take check out the nestů Good to have that camera in there to monitor, as you said.

Mine had a chickadee hole reducer. No chickadees have checked it out to my knowledge. Some house sparrows have been interested, but they can't get in the hole. ha ha!!
2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

April 4, 2009
3:00 AM

Post #6361788

And they say HOSP don't like it because the inside isn't big enough or deep enough for them. I watch it very closely and I haven't seen any HOSP around it yet. But wait til the summer. My neighbor is raising a flock of them and they will be looking for anything to nest in.

Here is Mama from a couple of days ago.

Thumbnail by 2dCousinDave
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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

April 4, 2009
3:01 AM

Post #6361794

Another shot... same sitting

Thumbnail by 2dCousinDave
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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

April 4, 2009
3:03 AM

Post #6361801

Papa bathing in the sundial.

Thumbnail by 2dCousinDave
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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

April 4, 2009
3:04 AM

Post #6361814

And then preening

Thumbnail by 2dCousinDave
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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

April 4, 2009
3:05 AM

Post #6361817

More

Thumbnail by 2dCousinDave
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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

April 4, 2009
3:07 AM

Post #6361820

Leaving

Thumbnail by 2dCousinDave
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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

April 4, 2009
3:09 AM

Post #6361828

One more of Papa

Thumbnail by 2dCousinDave
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pelletory
Marlton, NJ

April 4, 2009
3:34 AM

Post #6361924

I love these last shots of Mama; she is so pretty and Papa is such a handsome fellow!
reddirtretiree
Norman, OK

April 4, 2009
10:15 AM

Post #6362509

I just wish I had that many bluebirds. I had a couple of pair that wintered around the house, but I haven't seen any of them in a couple of weeks.

This message was edited Apr 4, 2009 5:16 AM
ducbucln
Kelseyville, CA
(Zone 8b)

April 4, 2009
7:28 PM

Post #6364097

These photos are just breathtaking Dave. Every one of them is a keeper. The one of papa leaving is just gorgeous.

Maybe I missed you mentioning this, but how close are you standing to the birds on an average?
crazybirdlady51
Wilmar, AR
(Zone 8a)

April 4, 2009
9:33 PM

Post #6364538

It seemed that my bluebirds had left for a time because of a stray cat hanging around but I saw a female coming out of one of my nest boxes so my hopes are once again bolstered that i will have some baby blues before long. Here's a pic of Daddy BB in the tip top of a tree.

Thumbnail by crazybirdlady51
Click the image for an enlarged view.

huggergirl
Columbia City, IN
(Zone 5b)

April 5, 2009
1:54 PM

Post #6366890

just put up my 1st bluebird house,had a pair cking out the other houses a week or two ago,so iam hoping they will find this one soon!
2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

April 6, 2009
2:19 AM

Post #6369922

ducbucln, In the shot you liked with Papa leaving with mealworms I was about 15 feet away. In most of my shots I am closer than 10 feet, so close I have to step back to get all of the bird in the frame. Lets you get some amazing detail, but at that distance, its very hard to catch them in flight. In a split second they are out of the frame. Or at least, part of them is. You get a lot of stuff like this one, which is a throw away.

Thumbnail by 2dCousinDave
Click the image for an enlarged view.

2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

April 6, 2009
2:24 AM

Post #6369948

But if I keep trying I sometimes get a good one. They give very little warning as to when they are about to fly, or in which directon they are likely to go. I took 67 shots of him perched before I got this one.

Thumbnail by 2dCousinDave
Click the image for an enlarged view.

2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

April 6, 2009
2:27 AM

Post #6369958

But some of the ones of him perched are OK too. The sun was bright today and the camera really picked up his colors.

Thumbnail by 2dCousinDave
Click the image for an enlarged view.

2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

April 6, 2009
2:34 AM

Post #6369998

Notice how in some shots, like this next one, his throat is bulged out a little. He is talking. If they open their mouths at all, they just barely do.

Thumbnail by 2dCousinDave
Click the image for an enlarged view.

2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

April 6, 2009
2:38 AM

Post #6370023

Here he is looking at me. Wondering what I did with the meal worm feeder.

I was working all day on the patio below where they normally eat, so I moved the feeder to the other side of the deck.

Thumbnail by 2dCousinDave
Click the image for an enlarged view.

2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

April 6, 2009
2:41 AM

Post #6370036

Finally he sees it. This is the shot just before the good in-flight shot I posted a few minutes ago.

Thumbnail by 2dCousinDave
Click the image for an enlarged view.

2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

April 6, 2009
2:46 AM

Post #6370064

Oh, we don't want to forget Mama. Notice her belly feathers are somewhat mussed up from sitting on the eggs.

Thumbnail by 2dCousinDave
Click the image for an enlarged view.

2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

April 6, 2009
2:48 AM

Post #6370074

Here is a shot cropped closer.

Thumbnail by 2dCousinDave
Click the image for an enlarged view.

2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

April 6, 2009
3:01 AM

Post #6370146

In this shot you may be able to see the reflection of our house in her eye.

Thumbnail by 2dCousinDave
Click the image for an enlarged view.

2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

April 6, 2009
3:04 AM

Post #6370161

Here is a closer view.

Thumbnail by 2dCousinDave
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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

April 6, 2009
3:08 AM

Post #6370182

The titmice were checking out the bluebird house today.

Thumbnail by 2dCousinDave
Click the image for an enlarged view.

2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

April 6, 2009
3:14 AM

Post #6370202

And even though the blues are nesting in the PVC box and this one is empty, Papa is keeping his options open.

Thumbnail by 2dCousinDave
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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

April 6, 2009
3:21 AM

Post #6370231

Another visitor to the meal worm feeder

Thumbnail by 2dCousinDave
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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

April 6, 2009
3:22 AM

Post #6370238

Always on the alert.

Thumbnail by 2dCousinDave
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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

April 6, 2009
3:24 AM

Post #6370246

Another visitor.

Thumbnail by 2dCousinDave
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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

April 6, 2009
3:30 AM

Post #6370271

Here Mama shares the shepherd's hook with a female cowbird.

Thumbnail by 2dCousinDave
Click the image for an enlarged view.

2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

April 6, 2009
3:33 AM

Post #6370280

Here she chased the cowbird away. Not a good angle on the cowbird.

Makes you wonder how the birds instinctively know which ones are their enemies.

Thumbnail by 2dCousinDave
Click the image for an enlarged view.

shirleyd
Starkville, MS

April 6, 2009
11:21 AM

Post #6371058

What a treat-----all these fabulous blue bird pictures! Thank you so much for sharing. I now have a blue bird nest with 4 eggs in it----and hoping for more.
I have had trouble over the years with critters getting into my box. Finally I learned to put a metal baffle on the post to keep out raccoons-----but snakes some times managed to get in. Soooooo, I have a great remedy for them-------since I am plagued with deer I bought deer netting at Lowe's ($15 for 100 feet). It is very light weight and almost invisible. When it was in a pile on the ground I noticed that snakes kept getting caught in it----------so,if you twist a piece of this at the base of the pole, you will never have a snake in your box. How you dispose of the snake is left up to you ( I normally use a hoe and then dispose of that piece of netting.

Shirleyd


pelletory
Marlton, NJ

April 6, 2009
11:37 AM

Post #6371096

Excellent pics Dave! Mama is so beautiful! Love all the other little birds that visit. Hope the Titmice take up residence in the other box!
huggergirl
Columbia City, IN
(Zone 5b)

April 6, 2009
11:43 AM

Post #6371110

shirleyd,lucky you ,eggs already,i just put up a bluebird box,but its snowy today ,they were cking out other houses during some nice weather we were having a week or two ago,my friend also hoes snakes,lol

This message was edited Apr 6, 2009 7:44 AM

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