House Wren (Troglodytes aedon)

In late May, I started using Merlin ID to identity photograph the birds in my backyard and the nearby woods.

This may be because I have used the Merlin Bird ID app to identify the birds singing in my backyard. In the afternoon and morning, I sat on the steps of the deck in the backyard, waiting for the birds to land on a tree branch or one of the large rocks in the backyard. The neighbours must think it odd seeing me walking slowly up and down carrying the imposing XF150-600mmF5.6-8 R LM OIS WR super zoom.

The house wren is a delightful little bird with a cheerful song. It's a small bird, but the house wren brings a bit of whimsy to the backyard. I see quite a few zipping between the woods beyond the fence and the short pine bushes in the backyard.

House Wren (Troglodytes aedon)
House Wren (Troglodytes aedon) · Wednesday 31 May 2023 · FujiFilm X-T3 · XF150-600mmF5.6-8 R LM OIS WR at 520.2 mm at f/7.1

This week the Merlin Bird ID app identified a blackpoll warbler this morning, but I have not seen or photographed this bird.

House Wren (Troglodytes aedon)
House Wren (Troglodytes aedon) · Wednesday 31 May 2023 · FujiFilm X-T3 · XF150-600mmF5.6-8 R LM OIS WR at 316.2 mm at f/7.1

Birds in Flight

The series of photographs depicts backyard birdlife around the bird feeder suspended from the branch of a sassafras tree.

  1. A black-capped chickadee and dark-eyed Junco are featured in the first photograph. On the feeder clings a Black-capped Chickadee, identifiable by its distinct black head and throat, white cheeks, soft grey wings and back. A Dark-eyed Junco is seen departing the feeder. This bird's slate grey plumage and white outer tail feathers are characteristic of its species, making it easily recognisable.
  2. The second image portrays a Dark-eyed Junco flying towards the feeder, identifiable by its slate-grey plumage and white belly. The motion of its wings is frozen by the camera, giving us a glimpse into the bird's agile flight.

  3. The third image features a Black-capped Chickadee, recognisable by its black "cap" and bib, white cheeks, and light grey body feathers, perched deftly on the side of the tree. The second bird, captured in mid-flight with wings outstretched as it approaches, is another Black-capped Chickadee. Its dynamic pose, with wings and tail feathers spread, showcases the agility and speed with which these small birds navigate their environment.

  4. The fourth image captures a solitary Downy Woodpecker. Recognisable by its white belly, black and white spotted wings, and the distinctive red patch on its head (if it's a male), it's seen in a dynamic, wings-extended posture approaching the feeder.

  5. Captured in mid-motion is a Dark-eyed Junco, identifiable by its slate-grey feathers on the top parts of its body and white belly. Its wings are fully extended, showcasing the white outer feathers characteristic of the species, as it lands on the green wire suet feeder.

Each photograph showcases these birds' beauty and agility against the soft-focus backdrop of my backyard.

Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)
Dark-eyed Junco · Sunday 5 February 2017 · Nikon D5100 at 1/1000 sec · AF-S Nikkor 85 mm f/1.8G at f/1.8
Blackpoll warbler (Setophaga striata)
Black-capped Chickadee · Sunday 5 February 2017 · Nikon D5100 at 1800 sec · AF-S Nikkor 85 mm f/1.8G at f/4.0
Downy Woodpecker (Dryobates pubescens)
Downy Woodpecker (Dryobates pubescens) · Sunday 5 February 2017 · Nikon D5100 at 1/1000 sec · AF-S Nikkor 85 mm f/1.8G at f/5.6
Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)
Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis) · Sunday 5 February 2017 · Nikon D5100 at 1/1000 sec · AF-S Nikkor 85 mm f/1.8G at f/5.6

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)

With its standout style, the vivid red male Northern Cardinal was recognisable even before I consulted Merlin Bird ID. Even in winter, their captivating colour, conspicuous presence, and unchanging plumage make them a constant spectacle. Females, though brown, have an attractive crest and reddish highlights. Cardinals are non-migratory, and their melodious whistles herald the summer mornings.

ChatGPT Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) · Sunday 5 February 2017 · Nikon D5100 at 1/1000 sec · AF-S Nikkor 85 mm f/1.8G at f/1.8

Did you notice the Blue Jay sitting on the branch above?