Black-naped Oriole

The black-naped Oriole is found in many parts of Asia. Since I’ve not been to Asia, I snapped a couple of pictures of this yellow and black beauty in the aviary at the San Diego Zoo. The zoo houses two aviaries: the Scripps Aviary and the Owens Aviary, both filled with many exotic species from around the globe, such as the black-naped oriole. If you get a chance to visit the zoo, you can pair it with a wander through Balboa Park and rack up a dozen or so North American Species like the Hooded Oriole and the California Towhee.

Checking out the grub!

Checking out the grub!

Close-up of the Black-naped Oriole.

Close-up of the Black-naped Oriole.

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Newborns

Three tiny newborn red-winged blackbirds. Total cuteness! These little sweethearts where in a nest near the boardwalk at Wakodahatchee. I just love Springtime!

So sweet!

So sweet!

Triplets!

Triplets!

Birdy Buys: A Blue Tit Teapot

A gift from my friend Cynde, this lovely teapot by Gracie Bone China features a pair of Blue Tits on a branch of blackberries. It’s my new favorite! You can get your own here. It is even more beautiful in person and would make a great gift for the bird lover!

Morning Tea

Morning Tea

From the Journal: Bald Eagle

Back in June of 2013, a bald eagle flew over my car as I was leaving the turnpike to get on the sawgrass expressway. It was 6am and I had just returned from dropping my mother off at the airport. He flew into a clump of trees, right as you round off the turnpike and towards the toll of the sawgrass. It was the highlight of my day as it was just 2.5 miles from my house. Since then, I had seen him fly over once more, around the same time during an early airport run. Then, last week I saw him sitting by a nest in a tree at the same exit. Yesterday, he made the news! (click to read) In honor of this I am sharing a sketch I did from my watercolor Moleskine, created in ink and watercolor! Enjoy the story and the art!

Bald eagle portrait from my Moleskine. Done in ink and watercolor.

Bald eagle portrait from my Moleskine. Done in ink and watercolor.

Sandhill Cranes

I returned recently from the crane festival in Nebraska, where I witnessed hundreds of thousands of Sandhill Cranes take off at sunrise from the Platte river. They landed in nearby cornfields where they spent most of the day. The weather sucked. I hadn’t been that cold since I was on the Pennine Way last April. My iPhone wouldn’t turn on and my lens froze and condensation was all over it. Still, a few shots turned out decent enough to share. I’ve not had time to really go through and process all the photos but wanted to share one with you at least! I also was able to see the Greater Prairie-chicken perform their mating dance on the lek. THAT was something! The whole trip was awesome despite the cold. I hope you enjoy the pic and if you can make it there next year, I highly recommend it!

Sandhill Cranes in the cornfields of Nebraska.

Sandhill Cranes in the cornfields of Nebraska.

Blue-gray Tanager

Every morning I was at the Pura Vida Spa in Costa Rica, I would get up at sunrise to listen to the dawn chorus. After an hour or so, I would walk over to this banana tree that had a bunch of over-ripe fruit. It attracted the wrens, the blue-crowned motmot (pics of him to come later), various hummingbirds and the blue-gray tanager, which was the bird I was most after to get a picture of. The last time I was there, they would fly off anytime I got close. The second time I had a plan, get up early and go sit on the path and quietly wait for them to show up. They did, but once the camera started clicking, they flew off. I managed to get a few shots that morning and later, as I was heading over to watch the blue-and-white swallows do their sunset dance, I saw one lone blue-gray tanager sharing a bare tree with a tropical kingbird.

Fruit for Breakfast!

Fruit for Breakfast!

Who is that girl down there?

Who is that girl down there?

One pose for you!

One pose for you!

I'm outta here!

I’m outta here!

Friend enjoy the last light of the day.

Colourful friends enjoy the last light of the day.

Flying Across the World

I’m a member of Postcrossing.com, a project that allows people from all over the world to send postcards. On my profile, I let people around the world know that if they send something with a bird or a tidbit about a bird, I would share it here on girlbirder.com. I enjoy this project so much…sending a piece of myself to some random stranger in the world, getting a piece of culture, a story, an image from someone many miles away. It sure beats Bed, Bath & Beyond coupons in the mail!

Here are my most recent “bird” related postcards:

From China, birds that will bring me “good luck”. The sender also put some birdy stamps on the card:

"Good Luck" birds from China

“Good Luck” birds from China

Bird stamps from China

Bird stamps from China

Monika from Poland send a postcard with a little note telling me she is from “Dzierzby…a small Polish village”, and that the “Name of a bird influenced the name of the village.” Of course I had to do a little research to find out what bird Dzierzby was named after. Turns out that word is shrike in Polish! So there ya go. A shrike!

A card from Poland

A card from Poland

Dasha, from Moscow, Russia shared with me that her favorite bird is a swan because it is a “beautiful and graceful bird”. I concur!

Swans on Le Pont des Amours

Swans on Le Pont des Amours

Finally, Nicole from Germany sent my favorite so far, a hand-drawn image of an Eagle. Nicole let me know it was “the first bird I drew”. I have to say she did an absolutely amazing job!

Eagle by Nichole M. of Germany

Eagle by Nichole M. of Germany

I hope this will encourage some of my readers to sign up for Postcrossing! Until next time…Happy Birding!

Spring is coming…

Just a little post for all those who’ve been having a long winter. Spring is coming! I promise! 😉

Rock Pigeon in Spring with Cherry Blossom Bokeh

Rock Pigeon in Spring with Cherry Blossom Bokeh

February Sketches

A page from my No Excuses Art Journal. A few birdy portraits!
The Barn Owl is the only one I haven’t seen in the wild so I’m doing some active visualization and hoping the law of attraction works in my favor and I’ll add one to the life list soon! 😉
The Ruby-throated Hummingbird showed up for the first time this year in the garden last weekend. I have a resident pair of Cardinals and I saw the Cedar Waxwing at Tall Cypress two weekends ago.
What will March bring?

Birdy Portraits!

Birdy Portraits!

Just another day on the lake…

With me and the Great Blue Heron in a battle of wits!