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Coolest Bird in Colorado

16 Jul

When you get to go to a National Park for the first time, you — if you are me — find yourself hoping you’ll see something cool.  We had a great drive to Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park through the amazing Colorado towns of Silverton and Ouray.

We stopped at the first overlook and admired the spectacular view.  Then a spectacular bird flew over us . . .

Golden Eagle

Golden Eagle!



30 Jun

Rock Wren, Chaco Canyon, NM


Charming chatterer
Sneaks up close for a good look
Poses  for pictures

© 2011, Liza Lee Miller

American Avocet

15 Apr

American Avocets

American Avocets.  Amazing birds.  They are so lovely.

American Avocet

They are intrepid hunters.  Graceful and deadly.

American Avocet getting some lunch

See what I mean?

American Avocet

I love the clear distinction between males and females.

American Avocets

Persistent, aren’t they?

Avocets in flight

Grace in motion and flight . . .

Hummer of Mystery

13 Apr

As we left Baylands, the wind had really picked up.  We all felt a bit wind-blown and sun-stressed.  I had woken up with a migraine so I’d had about much fun as I could handle.  As we walked back to the cars, I spotted this sullen hummingbird sitting in a high bush.


He was most annoyed with the wind — so much so that he didn’t really care that 7 people and 3 dogs all stopped to get a good look at him. He was so sullen and disinterested in us that I moved to a better vantage point. I was hoping to see him well enough to make an id.


No such luck.


Still, hard not to feel lucky, isn’t it?

Common Merganser

21 Mar

A colorful bird with a cool ‘do

I’m still working on getting that razor-sharp focus.  Although, I love the mid-air drop of rain.  Pretty cool.  Loving playing with the camera.  These guys were happy to pose for me but the rain finally drove me away.

First Bird . . .

9 Mar

. . . shot with my Rebel.

Dark-Eyed Junco (female)

It should have been a Raven rather than this sweet female Dark-Eyed Junco.  I was walking up to my classroom and this brazen Raven was on the railing, eyeballing the trash can.  I went into my classroom, got the camera, came back out and the Raven is fine with all this activity.  But, the simple act of turning on the camera and lifting it to point at the Raven caused it to fly off, kronking at me in a most irritated manner.

I was really hoping the curse was on the camera.  But clearly, I am the one cursed by the Ravens.  Sigh.

I know the picture is focused on the tree and not the junco.  I know you can see the fence too clearly.  But, it’s my first bird with the Canon.  Can I keep a list of just bird I’ve taken pictures of with the Canon.  That’s got to be more important than my county list or country list, don’t you think?

California in the Winter

9 Feb

Oh sure, I know, it’s always better when you have four real seasons.  California only has two seasons, right?  Fire season and earthquake season?  I’ve heard the jokes.

But, this is how I spent last Saturday.


I was looking at this.  A spectacularly beautiful sunny day in Pacific Grove watching birds and having a glorious time basking and soaking up some unexpected summer Vitamin D.

Winter is, honestly, not usually this nice in California.   I’m sure I’ll be whining about lack of water in the summer but I’m enjoying it now.

And, I saw this little sweetheart hanging out on the rocky shore below me.  It’s a Surfbird (correct me, if I’m wrong).

Surfbird (Aphriza virgata), Lover's Point, Pacific Grove, CA

So, what was your best bird of the weekend?  And, could you see it through the snow?  🙂


2 Feb

Head down and throbbing, I walked briskly along a quiet path
A long day behind me, thoughts full of woulda-coulda-shoulda
From behind and just above me, I heard a rustle-rustle-rustle
Turning, quickly, I saw him.
Dressed to impress and as he hid, he chirruped a quiet song.
And, just like that, my headache was gone.

© 2011, Liza Lee Miller.
Creative Commons License

Spotted Towhee

A Murder of Crows

17 Jan

A Murder of Crows

We’ve long had ravens at my school however crows are making more and more of an appearance here, too.  Oddly, when crows show up, ravens usually leave.  I suspect it’s the abundance of food available here — kids are notoriously messy.  But, the Ravens and Crows seem to be working out a timeshare system where they use the playground at different times.  This flock (murder) of crows was on the playground (16 strong) until my camera appeared and then they all flew frantically off to these distant trees.  Sorry about the blur on this picture it’s zoomed in and super-cropped.

I love corvids.  The crows at our school are more skittish than the ravens who are brazen and will come look in our windows and land right on the railing outside my classroom and kronk at me.  They are heading for the garbage cans where the reach in with their beaks, pull up the plastic liner, hold it with a foot, and reach in again and again until they lift the food at the bottom to where they can reach it.  Tricksy critters, ravens.

And crows.


Almost worth getting up for . . .

14 Jan


Pink light silhouettes
an inky black tree angel
delightful morning

© 2011, Liza Lee Miller.
Creative Commons License