Friday, March 25, 2011

Barred Antshrikes from Tobago


Barred Antshrike (male)
Barred Antshrike (male)
Barred Antshrike (female)
Barred Antshrike (female)
We saw a male barred antshrike at Asa Wright in Trinidad, but he was only around in the low light of the morning. In Tobago, the males were around more often and we even saw the stunning female.

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White-fringed Antwren eating an ant in Tobago

White-fringed Antwren

In Tobago, we observed a male white-fringed Antwren for a while but were never able to photograph him because he moved about so quickly among the branches. He has stunning mask.

The next day, we saw this juvenile white-fringed antwren. Mike was particulay pleased when he discovevered he photographed it with an ant in its beak.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amazing.

April 4, 2011 at 8:43 AM  

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American Robin waiting for spring

 
We think this robin must feel about like we do - hey, the calendar says it's spring!  At least this was a light dusting of snow which has already mostly melted so the robins won't get too discouraged.  It will be a true celebration of spring when the catbirds get here - we can hardly wait.

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Honeycreepers of Trinidad and Tobago - so colorful and adorable!


Purple Honeycreeper (male)
Purple Honeycreeper (male)

Purple Honeycreeper (female)
Purple Honeycreeper (female)


Red-legged Honeycreeper (female)
Red-legged Honeycreeper(female)

Red Legged Honeycreeper (male)
Red-legged Honeycreeper(male)

Green Honeycreeper (male)
Green Honeycreeper (male)

Green Honeycreeper (female)
Green Honeycreeper (female)


We were very anxious to see the Honeycreepers on our trip, especially the red-legged ones.  As it turned out, the star of the Honeycreeper show for us was the female Purple Honeycreeper.  Almost always in the bird world, the female is quite drab in comparison to the male.  Well, not these little darlings!  The females were decked out in at least three shades of green and had some seriously fancy breast striping plus a pretty peach neck and eye area.  Chris even commented that she herself would never have the guts to wear all those shades of green in one outfit.   It just seemed like the females had the personalities to match their colors too as they darted boldly about with all the males. 

A male red-legged honeycreeper made only one brief appearance at the feeders at Asa Wright, but we were able to see one again out on one of our rainforest walks.  It almost seemed like cheating when we watched all the Honeycreepers coming to the nectar feeders and flowers near the center, so it was more fun in a way to find them out in the trees.  And, boy, do they pop with color when they're amongst all those big deep green rainforest trees.

We ended up with a funny little ritual thanks to the Honeycreepers.  Anyone who knows us understands that Mike can be sort of distracted sometimes.  If you don't know us, think absent-minded professor type.   When traveling, that can make it hard to remember which color toothbrush Chris packed for him.  This trip we had one purple and one green toothbrush with us, and Chris used the purple one first.  So when Mike asked which was his, it was the green.   Anytime Mike needed a reminder which color brush was his, we just said "opposite of the honeycreepers," i.e., purple for her and green for him.  If Chris had given it any forethought, she might have chosen the green first - then we would have been just like the Honeycreepers instead of the opposite.  Obviously the Honeycreepers put us in a pleasant and silly state of mind.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brillian!

March 24, 2011 at 8:05 PM  
Blogger Patrina's Pencil said...

I forgot how beautiful your birds are :) I love love love the first photo. way cool!

thanks for sharing your talent and your lens

March 25, 2011 at 1:07 AM  

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Early Spring Birds in New Jersey: Robin and Red-winged Blackbird

Robin 

Red-winged blackbirds 


When we returned from Trinidad and Tobao, it was nice to see the spring birds. Robins had returned in numbers to our yard and Red-winged blackbirds were back too.

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Booby Photos from Little Tobago Island


Red-footed Boobies in trees
Red-footed Boobies in trees

Brown Booby with chick
Brown Booby with chick

Brown Booby
Brown Booby
Brown Booby relaxing on the edge of a cliff

Brown Booby
Juvenile Booby


Off the coast of Tobago, there is Little Tobago Island, a small island accessible by boat. Many boobies make their home on the trees and cliffs of this isloated island. We took a small boat out to the island, hiked to the top of the hill and saw their nests. Mike climbed down a steep trail to get closer to the chicks while Chris sensibly waited near the top. While Boobies can relax on a cliff, Chris cannot.

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Red-billed Tropicbirds from Little Tobago Island

Red-billed Tropicbird

Red-billed Tropicbirds

Red-billed Tropicbird (chick)

Red-billed Tropicbirds also nest on Little Tobago Island. The chicks' nests are seemingly unprotected on the ground. The adults spend hours flying among the ocean cliffs.

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Monday, March 21, 2011

Goodbye Ruby-Topaz (Birds of Tobago)

Ruby-topaz Hummingbird

Ruby-topaz Hummingbird

Ruby-topaz Hummingbird

On our last full day in Tobago, we spent some time observing the ruby-topaz hummingbird. The male, in the top two photos has a spectacular red head, yellow neck and orange tail when the light hits it just right. The female ruby-topaz has fewer colors on the head and neck, but just as spectacular a tail.

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A slovenly sparrow: Photo by Robert from Clifton

 

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Humdrum bird but great photo!

March 24, 2011 at 8:06 PM  

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Blus Grosbeak: Photo by Michael

 

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