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All photographs by David Lilly

Finches at the Bird Feeder

I was lucky to photograph three Finches at the bird feeders at the same time.

I should say two species of Finches a Purple Finch, both Female and Male and a American Goldfinch.

These finches have been coming to the bird feeders for a couple of months. The Goldfinches arrive in flocks of at least 20 or so. The purple Finches the numbers are much less around five or six at any one time.

Both species like the sunflower seeds. As you can see they have a unique way of getting to the seed on the inside of the shield.

Nikon D500 with a Nikon 500mm F4 lens.

Woody-wood Pecker / Pileated Woodpecker

The Pileated woodpecker can be spotted across Canada. They are Canada's largest woodpecker.

When in the woods just listen if the woodpecker is hammering on a tree it will be heard for some distance. This is how I found this woodpecker.

At first you may not see him/her it might be on a tree out of view. You may have to move around. Once they start a hole in a tree they are very determined and will usually ignore a photographer, but don't get too close.

The woodpecker to the right is a female. The streak running straight back from the beck on a male is red and as in this case the streak is black, so it is a female. Below are some photos of a male with the red streak.

Learn more about the Pileated woodpecker, click on the link below.

Nikon D 500 with a Nikon 200 - 500mm 5.6 lens

Woodpeckers Look Alike

Spring has arrived here in Eastern Canada.

As a result woodpeckers are active. Also, at this time of the year the Yellow-bellied sapsucker begins arriving into its territory.

With the arrival of the Yellow-bellied sapsucker there may be some mix ups with the identification of smaller woodpeckers. For example the Downy woodpecker to the right is approximately the same size, colour as the yellow-bellied sapsucker in the bottom two photos.

The differences are obvious if you look closely. Except for size the Yellow-bellied sapsucker has extensive white barring on the back, the nape is usually white but can be occasionally red. The female has a white throat but the male has a red throat with a black border as in the bottom right photo. The red throat is the identifying mark on the Yellowfins-bellied sapsucker. 

So, when you see a smaller woodpecker look closely it could be one of the Downy woodpecker or Yellow-bellied sapsucker.

Nikon D500 with a 200 - 500mm lens.

Sparrow On The Beach

I have photographed the Savannah sparrow in many different parts of Canada.

I Know it is widely distributed across Canada except for Newfoundland. I was surprised however to find it forging on a beach in New Brunswick among the  sea-weed.

The contrast between the sparrow and the black sand was excellent. For a matter of fact the beach was Called Black Beach. This is because the sand that forms the beach is from shale rock, which is black.

Nikon D 500 with a 200 - 500mm lens.

The Final Bluebird

I finally got an opportunity to photograph the Eastern Bluebird.

The Eastern Bluebird Was the only Bluebird I have not photographed. I inquired about visiting private property to photograph a possible nesting pair. The owner gladly allowed me come and photographed the Bluebirds. I thank the owner for letting me see and photograph on the property. The pair had a choice of three nesting boxes.

I kept my distance. The morning light was behind me  - my preferred light direction for all birds. I was able to photograph the birds on a variety of perches. My favourite is the wrought Iron top right photo. Although the bottom left photo looks more of a natural setting.

Nikon D 500 with a 200 - 500mm lens

Some of the First Migrant Birds

Spring is the most exciting season for bird photographers in Canada. 

May is the month I look forward to because this is when the migratory birds are moving north on their way to the Boreal Forest. 

The Yellow-rummped warbler ( Myrtle Warbler ) is one of those migratory birds. By the time the warblers make their way to Canada they are hungry. Where-ever they can find food they stop and eat and then carry onto to their northerly destinations.

I was in the right spot on this morning in early May. The warblers had stopped for a feast on the newly hatched mosquitos in a small pond in Hyla Park  here in New Brunswick. I sat and photographed the warblers as they flew around me. The did not seem bothered by my presence. They were hungry and had to feed.

Nikon D 200 with a Nikon 20 - 500mm lens.

Migrants birds are singing

Migrant birds are here and are singing at the top of their lungs.

However, a bird photographer must get out now because as soon as the birds find a mate they will be too busy building nests and raising young to sing.

Also, as the leaves start to grow it will become much harder to see and photograph the birds. 

The singing birds to the right and bottom are some of the singing birds I have seen and photographed in the last couple of weeks of May.

Another good idea is try to learn the bird songs. There are many Apps that can help you .

Click on the photo to see the name on the bottom left.

Nikon D 200 with a Nikon 20 - 500mm lens.