2015 Challenge, Week 15 : OUTDOOR PHOTOGRAPHY – MIGRATING BIRDS

The Spring bird migration is finally in full swing and will hit the Northern States and Canada this weekend. While the Northern Hemisphere is in Spring Migration, Fall migration is taking place in the Southern Hemisphere. This week we’ll focus on the newly arriving species for each of our very own localities.

For those of you who are new to this, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology has you covered in the USA with their migration forecasts : http://birdcast.info/forecast/regional-migration-forecast-10-17-april/ I’m sure similar information is available on the web for just about every region in the world

Large birds of prey to the minuscule hummingbirds are in route to their summer nesting grounds. Some have a yearly migration route as far as Argentina to Northern Canada and back. In the Greater Montreal Area Owls, Red Polls, Juncos, etc… head north in Spring to make room for their Southern Cousin’s arrival.

Red-winged blackbird - First migrant
Red-winged blackbird – First migrant

One of our early migrants is the Red-winged blackbird. They huddle by the bird-feeders hoping for a warmer day. They usually get caught in unpredictable weather from late winter storms to extremely cold nights.

Black duck fending off Mallard Duck
Black duck fending off Mallard Duck

The most common ducks are quick to follow. With Spring fever in the air territorial conflicts are quick to come about.

Canada Goose Feeding
Canada Goose Feeding

Geese aren’t far behind. These large water fowls not only look for water but feed on grass and the remains of last year’s crops until a new vegetation starts to flourish.

Great Blue Heron landing
Great Blue Heron landing

As soon as a creek melts open the Great Blue Heron makes its presence known. One of the last herons to leave in December, it promptly makes its way back in early Spring.

Black-crowned night heron
Black-crowned night heron

I was however very surprised to find this Black-crowned night heron perched in a tree so early on in the season.

Great egret
Great egret

Even more surprising was this Great egret. All of these herons have an inherent fear of man. Your presence may spook them, so be careful. If they fly away, just settle in and be patient. If there’s food they will be back. Just avoid loud noises and jerky movement.

Mating Lori parakeets
Mating Lori parakeets

Some birds are already mating and nest building. It’s important to keep a respectable distance to totally minimize our impact on these birds. We don’t want to stress them to the point where they leave their nesting grounds, especially if eggs are already in the nest.

Please show the up-most in respect for our feathered friends. We want to capture a natural looking image of a relaxed bird. A stressed animal will show in your images and lower the appeal all together. Take time to observe the birds and get familiar with them. Birds are curious in nature and if you’re patient, still and quiet, you’ll be rewarded.

This Photo Challenge is entirely about having FUN OUTDOORS! PLEASE KEEP MAN MADE ITEMS OUT of your image as this theme is entirely NATURE based.

The rules are pretty simple:

  • Post one original (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to Google+Facebook, or Flickr (or all three). Tag the photo #photochallenge.org or #photochallenge2015.
  • The shot should be a new shot you took for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2015 Photo Challenge is fun and easy.
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