Sunday, February 3, 2013

It Has a Song

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song. ~ Chinese Proverb

Not to worry. This isn't another song challenge. This post is all about birds.

I've only ever seen mockingbirds in one spot, and that's in my local park. In fact, I've only ever seen one at a time so perhaps it's the same beauty which keeps on showing up. On this day, I was able to get a couple of distant shots of my feathered friend, though he was perched in such a way that made it difficult to focus on him instead of the surrounding tree parts.

mockingbird
No, we have been as usual asking the wrong question. It does not matter a hoot what the mockingbird on the chimney is singing. The real and proper question is: Why is it beautiful? ~ Bertrand Russell 



mockingbird2
Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy... but sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird. ~ Harper Lee


I always get a kick out of a hawk sighting. Living in the city as I do, that doesn't happen exceedingly often. And when it does, if I'm lucky, I'll have a zoomy lens on my camera at the time. I was just starting my walk when I spotted this guy (probably a Cooper's Hawk) landing on a nearby branch. I was fortunate to see him but the above mentioned lens was not to be. This was the best I could do with the 100mm lens.


hawk landing
The hawk is aerial brother of the wave which he sails over and surveys, those his perfect air-inflated wings answering to the elemental unfledged pinions of the sea. ~ Henry David Thoreau



hawk
A clever hawk hides its talons. ~ Japanese Proverb



Common but always sweet, there are plenty of sparrows to be seen in my neck of the woods. They seem to pose so nicely for the camera.


sparrow in sunlight
I once had a sparrow alight upon my shoulder for a moment, while I was hoeing in a village garden, and I felt that I was more distinguished by that circumstance that I should have been by any epaulet I could have worn. ~ Henry David Thoreau 




sparrow sweetie2
A forest bird never wants a cage. ~ Henrik Ibsen



Some thoughtful person must have filled these pine cones with suet for the birds. They had been picked clean by the time I happened upon them along the creekside path, but I liked the way they looked dangling in the late-day sunshine.


cone suet2
Those little nimble musician of the air that warble forth their curious ditties, with which nature hath furnished them to the shame of art. ~ Izaak Walton




cone suet 4
I realized that if I had to choose, I would rather have birds than airplanes. ~ Charles Lindbergh


While walking near Frank's place late in January, I heard a distressed chickadee and a rather upset young squirrel in a wooded area they call the Woodland Path. I looked around to see what might be causing their discomfort and saw this barred owl fast asleep in a nearby tree. The light wasn't wonderful and subsequently, neither were my photos but I was still happy to see this beauty. I'm pretty sure the creatures around him were safe during the daylight hours.


owl 2
A wise old owl sat in an oak.
The more he heard, the less he spoke.
The less he spoke, the more he heard.
Why aren't we all like that wise old bird?
~ Nursery Rhyme



owl 4
I rejoice that there are owls. They represent the stark twilight and the unsatisfied thoughts we all have. ~ Henry David Thoreau

More photos in a few days.

57 Perspectives:

TexWisGirl said...

had a hard time loading this set today. took a long time. but glad i waited as that barred sleeping is too cute!

joeh said...

I hear the owls a lot, I have only had a fleeting glimpse of one.

holdingmoments said...

I love those Owl shots. A real treat to see them in the daytime.

Frank Baron said...

Good stuff, as always. I'm glad you dragged me out to see the owl. :)

Tabor said...

The owl shot is exquisite. I have screech owls and one horned owl and even perhaps a barn owl...but I can only hear them and never have seen them. I saw the horned owl once and was so excited I amost wet my pants! But by the time I got my camera he was on his way!

ADRIAN said...

Hilary...your blog is awful slow loading. Worth the wait for the owls.
I'll have a look through it during the week and try and isolate the problem. Horsts and Bobs is their header and layout. Yours should be quick. Nothing daft in your header.

Phyllis E. said...

Hi Cuzzie,

Thoreau's comment about the sparrow alighting on his shoulder reminded me of the time in Girl Guide camp when a monarch butterfly alit on my outstretched finger.

Magic moments!

Terra said...

Thoreau is a hero of mine and I like his quotes here, especially of the sparrow on his shoulder. I admire your photos, as I love birds. The owl is a favorite bird. My current post is about my new bird feeder.

Barb said...

How lucky you are to see both hawks and owls! I know we have hawks at altitude, but the only time I get to see them is when one flies into our floor to ceiling window and stuns itself. At that point, I'm too shocked to get the camera.

Country Girl said...

Absolutely wonderful series of photos, Hilary. I love your hawk and its tail, and this beautiful barred owl. Nicely done - could look at your photos all day and never tire of it.

Gayle said...

Such spectacular photos. Love your quotes, they seem chosen with such care!

We have mockingbird families in two of our bushes. They seem to love the pyracantha berries. They raise their young and teach them to fly from the fence that "hides" my clothes line. We often chat, the mockingbirds and I. They never dive bomb me, so I guess we are friends. As the berries ferment the mbirds get a bit woozy and perch on the chimney to sing. More times than I can count, they have fallen down the chimney and are searching for a way to get out of the family room. I usher them back out. :)

Brian Miller said...

smiles..i love that little hanging pine cone...makes me think of the peanut butter and birdseed treets we make for the birds...saw a hawk yesterday as well...think he was looking for dinner....

Linda said...

I love them all, especially the hawk as he comes in for a landing.

Linda Wildenstein said...

love your photos today of the birds. We have had more birds this week than I can remember. It's this crazy weather...60's for a few days and then back to the 30's.
Oma Linda

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

I really like the shot of the hawk landing. That fanned out tail is beautiful.

Red said...

Thanks for putting together a great post of quotes, photos and info on birds.

messymimi said...

We are blessed with a plethora of mockingbirds down here, and they are very entertaining.

Beautiful shots.

ellen abbott said...

there are some owls that live near the city house. I've only seen them on rare occasion but my son-in-law sees them a lot as he sits outside to smoke. I've only ever heard them out here in the country once or twice but not seen them tho my sister had some that lived in one of her trees when she lived further out in the country. the mockingbirds though, are a favorite of mine. They seek a high perch and sing their hearts out in the mornings and evenings. One year, I heard what sounded like someone trying to start their car one morning. rrrr ,rrrr, rrrr. over and over. I finally located the source of the sound. a mockingbird. he had incorporated it into his song. they are such great mimics.

Cloudia said...

Sparrow's common-ness is part of their sweet charm I think. Awesome hawk with any equipment! I feel as if we had a wonderful Sunday walk 'back east.' Thanks!



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Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

Your owl shots look look our barred owls. They're quite showy. Love all your bird pics. I think you did great with the 100mm lens on the hawk!

Murr Brewster said...

I was pleased that you identified one as a "probably a Cooper's hawk." Because that is a very common bird here: the "it's either a Cooper's or a Sharpie." I'm going to do what the big girls do. Just call it one or the other and dare anyone to call me on it.

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

The Chinese proverb at the very top of your lovely list of photos, the picture of the hawk's tail spread in its glory, and the wise old owl -- these are a few of my favorite things in this post!

Leave It To Davis said...

I saw where some said your blog was slow loading...but I didn't have a problem. Maybe you fixed it by the time I got here.

I adore the owl!! What's wrong with the lighting? I love the way it's shining on his shoulder...makes me think of John Denver...Sunshine on my shoulder makes me happy.... :) So do your pictures!

Dave said...

I enjoyed your selection of bird photos and captions Hilary - Dave

Suldog said...

I think mockingbirds are really cool. We had one that hung around outside of work. I loved going outside for a smoke and hearing him run through the twenty-or-so calls he was imitating. I suppose if one lived outside of my window at home, though, I'd not be as thrilled.

SueAnn Lommler said...

What a treat to see all the fine feathered friends. And to see the owl! What a treasure...gorgeous
Thanks
Hugs
SueAnn

Leah J. Utas said...

Very cool pics of the sleeping owl. Love the hawk with the spread wings.
Excellent pics, Hilary.

Daryl said...

hawks in the city are pretty inconsiderate .. i spied mine with the kit lens (18-105mm) .. but its still fun to know you spotted one and got a shot or three

ladyfi said...

What amazing and lovely bird shots!

Betty Manousos said...

enjoyed seeing your beautiful shots of the birds.
i really liked those owl shots and that little hanging pine cone.
great work on the lighting.

wishing you a wonderful day!

xo

Sharon Wagner said...

I love the quotes today. Especially the nursery rhyme. And your bird walk was charming as well.

Mental P Mama said...

So sweet. Even the hawk...

Bob Bushell said...

Wow, super Owl spotting, it looks so serene. Beautiful images Hilary.

Crabby McSlacker said...

Birdies! Pretty Birdies!!!

I have to join the Owl fans, one so rarely sees them and there is something so appealing about them. Great capture!

Pauline said...

There are mockingbirds and sparrows aplenty here, too and barn owls, and a wee hoot owl that calls in the dusk. Such great photos - I wonder that you never run out of appropriate quotes!

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

I'm not sure I've ever spotted an owl out in the wild like that. Fantastic.

Linda said...

All are gorgeous as usual. I think my favorite is the sparrow. They are so sweet. When eating outside at some restaurants, they are hopping around to see what folks have dropped. Every scrap of bread or cracker is a sumptuous meal.

Jayne said...

Hilary, I swear I saw a mockingbird in the back yard yesterday. But this can't be in RI. If so, I think it would be a rare sighting... a rare and beautiful sighting. (No one like Bertrand Russell to put it all in perspective.)

Lovely photos, as always, Hilary. Makes me long for spring--even though I'm not rushing winter away. ;)

Jayne

Kat said...

These are thrilling! We are semi-obsessed with birds around here.
That pic of the hawk landing in the tree is amazing. That tail! Perfect! And the owl! WOW!
Great shots!

Gary's third pottery blog said...

I esp. like the Thoreau quote with the sparrow :)

Lisa Gordon said...

How fortunate you were to be able to photograph these beautiful little ones, Hilary. I just love the mockingbird.
Wishing you a wonderful evening!

Roshni AaMom said...

I love sparrows (cheeky little fellas) and owls!! Great shots!

Glo said...

Lovely birds :) Lighting as usual sets them off beautifully.

Nadezda said...

Hilary, great shots, especially of 'wise old owl'

Indrani Ghose said...

Mind blowing visual treat!
The quotes go well too.

Anvilcloud said...

That pine cone thing is a good idea.

A Cuban In London said...

I just had one of those "synch moments" in which everything comes together. I was reading your post whilst listening to Radio Paradise in the background and they were playing Angelo Badalamenti's "Dance of the Dream Man". Beautiful post, great pictures and it all goes perfectly well with the music. :-)

Greetings from London.

Geraldine said...

That's one of my fav 'bird' quotes and what beautiful pics you've shared Hilary. We see so few birds here in Interior BC, what a treat this was!

Bimbimbie said...

Gorgeous captures and wise quotes

Slamdunk said...

Nice capture with the hawk Hilary.

Living in a non-urban area, I take seeing them for granted. They do have some epic battles with the large crows around here though.

L. D. Burgus said...

All of your bird photos are great. The owl is a wonderful little guy. We don't have mockingbirds in our area. They look like a pretty bird. I like my sparrows too.

Diksha Sharma said...

Lovely pictures! :)

PS: New on your blog. Hope you can find some time and visit mine. Perhaps we could follow each other? :)
theseasonedwoman.blogspot.in

Joanna Jenkins said...

You have a good eye, Hilary. The oil is stunning. I've never seen one in person although I'd swear I've heard one in our neighborhood before.
xo jj

Kerri said...

Oh how I would LOVE to see an Owl!!!
Beautiful images!

thecrazysheeplady said...

I've been having trouble loading the photos on your blog, but so glad this one finally came up. So, so beautiful the hawk and owl.

Michael Manning said...

Hilary: Such interesting quotes with the photos I so enjoy!

lime said...

i am gasping at the owl shots you got. just wonderful! your bird shots are always great but those are just so special!