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Monday, October 31, 2011

You Might Want to Tweet About This Contest

I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw him bending over the bath. I'd never seen anything so big. . .

Northern Saw-whet Owl chicks by Nick Saunders, a finalist in the spring 2011 photo contest
. . . among all the birds that have visited my Tacoma backyard. (You thought I meant, WHAT?!)  But  as I stood at the kitchen sink, looking out the window, there on the edge of the birdbath stood a feathered guest about 20" long, so big that out of the corner of my eye I could have mistaken it for a cat. At first, I didn't recognize this new visitor as a Peregrine Falcon, since he had his back facing me, bent over with his light underside exposed. I grabbed my bird book, and as he moved about I confirmed the identity.
The task of identifying him would prove easier than convincing people that I really did make this rare sighting. If only I'd had my camera. In addition to obtaining photographic evidence, I might have won the Winter 2011 Photo Contest. I still could, if he returns, and so could you if such a lucky photo op comes your way.
Birding enthusiasts love, an online community created through the combined efforts of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Even if you have no intention of entering the contest, make your day a bit brighter by visiting the site for a look at some of the 42,000 photos already submitted by members.  From among the ten best, all of whom will be eligible for prizes, some lucky photographer will win a pair of Endeavor 8.5 x 45 binoculars by Vanguard
Yesterday I saw a Steller's Jay with a peanut in his beak, deliberately push it down into the dirt to bury it. Then he looked around, picked up a leaf, and put the leaf right over the spot where the peanut was hidden. I'm not making this stuff up. Really. (sigh)
Just wait. I have my camera handy now, ready for anything, no matter how big, in the fascinating world of nature right in my own backyard.

1 comment:

Jeanne said...

Candace - the owls are adorable! I've had a sharp-shinned hawk on my railing, but never a peregrine. I'm home today because my dad passed away last Friday. Your picture helped me face the day.