Thursday, November 13, 2008

Skywatch Friday: Bird on a Wire

Bird on a wire in Coolidge, AZ November 2 at 5:09 PM by Kathie

Click on photo to enlarge for the best view.


Taken with the Nikon D80 set in Programmed Mode and the 70 to
300mm lens with VR reduction.
Focal length 300; 1/400 sec - F/5.6
Photo was brightened, sharpened and color boosted in Picture Project which only changed it slightly.

It's autumn and the cowbirds, blackbirds and grackles are all gathering on the utility wires around agricultural areas and wetlands. I photographed these two just before sunset on November 2, in Coolidge, AZ. I've been experimenting with trying some other settings on my Nikon D80 since Troy of Ramblings Around Texas and I had a long conversation on the phone one day. So, I've moved off of Auto Mode and into Programmed. This photo and last week's Eurasian Collared Dove were both taken using the Programmed Mode. I like the golden light cast by the setting sun. It makes even the utility pole look inviting. While the golden light distorts the color of the birds somewhat, I believe these are brown-headed cowbirds due to the shape of their beaks. Blackbirds have a more pointy beak and grackles are much larger.


We were in Coolidge so Gus could watch the Giants play the Cowboys with my son. Me, I went looking for birds once again. I eventually ended up in the dusty and scrubby field where my son had told me he had seen a "little owl." I suspected it was a burrowing owl, and when I gave him my bird guide to look at, he picked the burrowing owl out of all the entries. Now as I wandered in the gloaming and dust I started to think the owl had moved on to other territories. I had my bins and my camera at the ready but still was not fast enough to catch the image of the little rascal as it flew away from me. It saw me before I saw it and so I never got the coveted photo of it standing on the ground. I now have a goal to capture a photo of the little owl in the scrubby, dusty field in Coolidge before it, too, gets developed into more housing.

Please Visit Skywatch Friday for more amazing views of the sky.



Somewhere out here a Burrowing Owl waits for me!

Please visit Kathie's Poet Tree to view my other Skywatch Friday entry, Swainson's Hawk.

23 comments:

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Playing around with a new camera is lots of fun and sometimes frustating.I find too that sometimes there is only so much one can do with a photo once it has been taken.Have fun,maybe the next time the Owl will pose for you.

Kathiesbirds said...

Thanks Ruth, I will try again!

Deborah Godin said...

Well, you seem to have reall good "bird karma" so I bet you do catch that little owl sunning him/her self! And I love the bird on the wire in Coolidge, too. I have a CD of Rita Cooldige singing "Bird on a Wire" which I think I;'ll go listen to in honor of the occasion. Great post!

Kathiesbirds said...

Debrorah, How ironic is that! I have never heard of that song, but I do know of the Meg Ryan/Mel Gibson movie, "Bird on a Wire." Now you've got me curious. Do you know of any place I can go to listen to it?

Louise said...

The composition of the "Bird on a Wire" photo is wonderful. It reeled me in immediately!

Shellmo said...

Looks like you are mastering your camera very well!!

bobbie said...

Burrowing owl or not, the picture is great. And I do love the bird on the wire!

Mary said...

Oh, I hope you get your shot of that owl -- I'd love to see it! Happy SWF. :)

fishing guy said...

Kathie: Nice capture of the bid on the wire, I alao liked your scrub scene.

Dewdrop said...

Love your birds on a wire. Those shots are so cool.

Burrowing owl... ? REALLY?! How cool is that?!

Your EG Tour Guide said...

I've never heard of a borrowing owl. I guess they burrow to get out of the hot sun? Makes sense.

Kathiesbirds said...

eg tour guide, come back in a day or two and I will do a post about burrowing owls!

Jim said...

Hi Kathie, you have a classic photograph, 'bird on a wire'. I don't know much about the burrowing owl but I hope you find one soon.
Happy SkyWatch, I'm doing it again this week (Little Photo Place). Not nearly as pretty as your desert sky but I did find sky.
:-)
..

gina said...

very nice. i hope you find that burrowing owl. :)

nina said...

Oh, would love to find burrowing owls!

Your bird on wire is very good.

Nina at Nature Remains

Grammy said...

Great photo's & amazing colors. I love the bird.
We have red in sky here tonight.
Happy SWF!

Robert V. Sobczak said...

I'm assuming you've heard the Leonard Cohen song of the same title ... it's a classic.

Texas Travelers said...

Nice photo. I agree, it looks like a Brown-headed cowbird. Always check to see if it has a red eye. The Bronzed cowbird has a red eye and heavy bill also, and I do believe you have the Bronzed cowbird in your area.

Great 'almost' photo of the owl. Did you see where he flew from? Locate the burrow and next time advance really slooooowwly. They are hard to sneak up on.

Keep practicing with the settings on the camera. Both photos are really nice and sharp. Great job.

Your Texas friends,
Troy and Martha

dAwN said...

nice sky with bird on the wire....good luck finding your owl..

Wren said...

Oh, yeah - I want a burrowing owl photo, too.

Great shots - keep on skywatching!

Deborah Godin said...

The song isn't on iTunes, but if you do a Google search for Rita Coolidge, bird on a wire, a couple of sites come up - one is the "Last.fm" one. It's only about 25 seconds of the song, but you can get an idea of it. I love her voice.

Ces said...

I enjoy reading about you and the birds. However, I cannot find the owl. Is it there?

Denise said...

I am just catching up Kathie, and so glad I didn't miss this post for Skwatch. The bird on the telephone line is a splendid one. You're right about that glow. I also hope you find your owl. Great photos as always.