Sunday Stills: Kinda Backyard #Birding

This week’s Sunday Stills’ post is partially inspired by Lisa’s Weekly Bird Challenge. What kinda birds live or visit in your backyard?

As you read in my post last week, I have enjoyed my backyard as a happy place. Not a huge backyard, but it does the job with the 5 redwood trees I planted which attract a variety of birds. The sunflower seeds and various bird feeders also attract a nice variety of birds and offer a treat to boot!

Blue jay contorts to get some yummy treats!
Bluejay contorts to get some yummy treats!

The Backyard Hums

My hummingbird feeders sing their sweet siren call to the local hummers who nest here most of the year and offer a syrupy sip.

Hummingbird ready to feed
Hummingbird quartet at feeder

In the above image, four thirsty hummingbirds manage to share the feeder.

I tried my hand at the image compare feature of the block editor to show that the squared version for Becky’s KindaSquare challenge doesn’t look as good as the original as seen above, since it cuts out one hummer.

Hummingbird enjoying his shower
Hummer after the rain
Puffed up hummingbird enjoying the rain

Do Kites Fly?

Kite on a wire

Our redwoods are home to nests of White-tailed Kites, a bird of prey from the hawk family.

As recently as the 1940s, this graceful hawk was considered rare and endangered in North America, restricted to a few sites in California and Texas. In recent decades, it has increased greatly in numbers and spread into many new areas.

https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/white-tailed-kite
Kites sharing the top of a tree

Each day at twilight they gracefully circle the neighborhood on the hunt for abundant small rodents! The first family of kites moved here 20 years ago.

Kites Birds of Prey

These birds are large, with a wingspan of 35-40 inches! We’ve seen several generations of them over the years and our moderate climate in Northern California keeps them here all year long. I’ve seen as many as 20 filling the skies at sunset as they hunt. Quite a sight.

My images are a tad fuzzy since the sun was setting and the birds are in the branches 300 feet up!

Other Visitors and Other Backyards

Swallow

I’ve kinda considered the Sacramento Delta as our backyard these last 11 years, as we maintain a campsite there all summer. Swallows nest in the spring here and sometimes think it’s OK to nest in our sail shed.

You may remember this cutie from July. A blogger told me that it is Black-headed Grosbeak!

Black headed Grosbeak
Black-headed Grosbeak

Some of these are square images inspired in part by and Becky B’s KindaSquares Challenge. Bird treats and eye candy were also inspired by the Lens-Artists Challenge theme “Quite a Treat.”

I like that Lisa has her weeks planned out with the theme for each type of bird. If you enjoy birding as much as some of your fellow bloggers, please visit her page for more inspiration. How I wish I could capture all these types of birds on her list with my own lens! I’m still holding out for the American Bald Eagle.

Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Reminders

  • Please create a new post for the theme.
  • Title your post a little differently than mine.
  • Don’t forget to create a pingback to this post so that other participants can read your post. I also recommend adding your post’s URL into the comments.
  • Entries for this theme can be shared all week. Use hashtag #SundayStills for sharing on social media.

Some of these birds have been nesting in some old blog posts and image files. They are happy to be viewed today! I would love to see what kinds of birds visit your backyard and while you are at it, do link to Lisa’s weekly bird challenge!

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100 thoughts on “Sunday Stills: Kinda Backyard #Birding

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  7. Great photography, Terri. Birds are something I’ve never been able to capture. They’re often too far away to make any pictures great, although I’ve only tried using my iPhone XR. I’ve tried zooming in but never been able to get any good pictures of them. If they see me, they’re off!

    I’m just wondering if you used the same size photos for the image compare block? As I’ve discovered, you can adjust and crop images in the WordPress media library. There’s a square option there which I always use when participating in Becky’s square challenge.

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    1. Thanks so much, Hugh, I have to use my real camera to capture these bird shots, and stalk the backyard for each shot. I need to get into WP and try the photo editing feature. That was my first attempt at compare and I used square images. It was the wrong approach but you never know until you try!

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      1. Very true, Terri. The first time I used the image compare block, it worked a treat. I think it was on Becky’s blog that I read that the images had to be the same size for the block to work correctly. I’ve seen it being used on quite a few blogs. It’s a great feature of the Block editor.

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  11. Terri,
    Outside the window of my “Man Cave,” I watched a Robin build a nest in a small Dogwood, lay two blue eggs, and hover over two baby birds until they left the nest. The process took about six weeks, and I had to run off every cat in the neighborhood. The whole experience was fascinating. Here is one shot I took at about three weeks into her task. She was a very good and very busy Mom. Have a great week. Joe

    Liked by 2 people

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  13. Gorgeous stills on nature closeups Terri. And just one more complaint about the new editor. So glad I’m not yet forced to use it, despite the agro that ensues by not using it, lol. 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

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  15. Delightful bird photos. We have a very different selection of birds that come to the feeder in our garden. Our hummers have all gone now, about a month ago, so I have taken their feeder down for the winter. Thanks for these photos Terri I enjoyed them very much .

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Thanks, Marsha! I will check it out. We managed to survive our road trip after packing the UHaul Monday morning in record two hours. Got on the road at 11:30amm, made Bend, OR by 7:30…hubbie drives slow. Go to Spokane the next day unloaded the day after (family helped!). We got back on the road to come back Thursday to drive 15 hours home. Just missed the major winter storm that hit Spokane and Idaho by hours! We still have loads to pack and haul. Congrats on doing a garage sale. I have no patience for them 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t have patience either. Our realtor volunteered to run it and I think she would do an excellent job. So far all I’ve managed to do is throw out papers that don’t have anyone’s name or address. The rest of them go into the shred box to take to the shredder tomorrow. 🙂 It feels like I’m not getting much done. Keep your fingers crossed and pray for me. 🙂

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      1. Hummers like the summers up there, but not the cold winters. But I’m sure there will be several different kinds of birds you’ll see, while missing a few from the old place.

        Liked by 1 person

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  23. I love your backyard birds 🙂 The hummers are gorgeous and the black headed grosbeak is very striking. As far as I’m aware we been lucky not to have any birds taken by hawks although I know there has been a sparrow hawk in the neighbourhood.

    Liked by 1 person

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  25. Nice bird theme and great way to connect with challenges
    Also – your backyard redwood trees sound like treasures- and quick question – are they the kind that will get extra large? If so – will they outgrow your yard?

    Liked by 1 person

  26. What a wonderful gallery of birds. Your hummer images are outstanding! I would love to see the White-tailed kite at some point, but I can tell you I’m glad our kites are not here year round. Their favorite treat is other birds. We have enough red-tailed hawks to deal with year round. I know they have to eat too, but it is much harder to enjoy the birds at the feeder when a kite will swoop down out of the sky and pluck a bird off the feeder or in mid-flight. 😊

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      1. Our front yard is large & they have plenty of room for swooping. Plus our back yard is large & full of trees for plucking. I used to worry over Heaven getting grabbed but she is 11 pounds. Still too big for them to lift her up. 😊

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      2. Yes, we are in the process of moving to Washington state north of Spokane (eastern side), Lisa. We are close to Canadian and Idaho borders. We bought a half-acre plot earlier this year and in process for building a manufactured home. Everything should be ready by late December. Why move from sunny California? Most of hubby’s family lives near there. Our grown children live mostly in San Diego. Can’t retire there. Yes, it’s colder and it snows, but the lower cost of living and having extended family close outweighs the climate. It is quite beautiful there. Reminds me of Lake Tahoe area. And 100s of lakes! Spokane River is two blocks away from our new neighborhood as is a state park with water access! We have two guest rooms, so bring your kayaks and camera!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Wow that is really cool! We were just in southern Idaho last September and fell in love with it. I’m sure the northern part is different but just as beautiful. I’ve never been to Lake Tahoe. We might just take you up on that when it is safe to fly again. Not even close for me at this point. 😊

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