Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Chickadees at Feeders

Poecile atricapillus

Black-capped chickadees are very common here, winter and summer. Yet I never tire of hearing their song or watching them at the feeders. When I go out to refill the feeders they scold me and fly very close. John tells me they will land on me if they are familiar with me, so I am trying to "train" them to land on my arm.

Posing nicely for me.

Chickadees love sunflower seeds. They will eat a bit of suet and a bit of seed, but sunflowers rule. They grab a seed and take it to a higher branch on the tree. While holding the seed in their toes, they crack the shell with their beak, eat the heart of the seed, and then return for another seed at the feeder.

Each chickadee has a favorite spot in the tree for cracking sunflower seeds. Some face one way all of the time and others face the other way. Sometimes they have little spats about who gets a favored perch on the feeder. They don't mind eating on the ground, whether it be snow-covered  or bare of snow.

I read that chickadees will die if they don't eat within twenty-four hours. They burn up a lot of energy and are small and can't eat that much for the future. Keep your feeders full so that they don't run out of food. Even in bad weather, the chickadees will come for a fill-up.

Another lovely pose.

These particular photographs mark a turning point for me. These were shot in shutter priority. In order to be more versatile (and having bad luck with program mode in the bird tree), I thought it was past time that I learned my camera better.

Also, I am finally learning Photoshop and actually using it. These are the first photos that I edited from raw files, converted to jpeg after editing (the only edit was cropping), tagged, put the GPS data on them and uploaded to Flickr. Learning a new workflow is very uncomfortable for me, but already I have stopped yearning for my old software and am comfortable with Photoshop workflow. I now have the original raw files plus the Photoshop files for future use. I won't ever have to use old, deteriorating jpeg images in the future. I am very pleased with the results! I am also watermarking my photographs on Flickr because of rampant stealing. I forgot to mark these.



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