School Wildlife

Throughout April I consistently brought my camera to school to take pictures of the more common local bird life and hopefully eventually use these shots to make a guide to the birds of our school garden. I hope you enjoy the pictures I took and happy reading!

First up is a handsome Lesser Goldfinch whom I photographed on the 3rd. A challenge with this photo was that the bird was moving around a lot and when he did stop the lighting wasn’t very good. However with the aid of some filtering to make the photo brighter along with a little saturation to make things more colorful the photo was fixed. Did you know that in Texas and Mexico these birds have entirely black backs instead of green ones?

Next up is, surprisingly for a school, a Killdeer, whom is the first bird I photographed on the 10th. Did you know that Killdeer occasionally will nest on gravel rooftops, which is the kind of roof present in the picture?

Next up is an American Goldfinch, an uncommon to rare bird for the county who I spotted just outside of school grounds. A challenge with this picture was that the bird was often badly positioned and/or in poor lighting resulting in the picture above. Did you know that these birds are very strict vegans, which is rare in the bird world?

Our next photo is the featured image of a closeup Red-tailed Hawk whom is the first bird I photographed on the 12th. I was walking through the gate into the school yard that morning when I found him hunting on the ground, he flew up on top of the building allowing for some great shots. Did you know that in movies no matter which kind of eagle or hawk is present film producers always use this birds call?

Next up is one of our school chickens, Iris. Her breed is an ameraucana and she sports wonderful colors and patterns and this silly little “beard” of soft feathers on her throat and ears. She is one of the fastest chickens but calms down when you hug her, but if she has the chance she’ll sneakily escape. A fun fact about Iris is that she lays blue eggs.

Next up is a very common Brewers Blackbird, whom I still photographed so that kids reading my guide would know what it is. Did you know that a small population of these birds migrate west instead of south from the Canadian prairies to coastal British Columbia and Washington?

Our next photo is of a Golden-crowned Sparrow in summer plumage whom I photographed on the 13th. A challenge with this picture was that I wanted to get a picture with the birds beautiful golden crown visible, only it would mostly be visible while he was badly posing or very rarely when he tilted his head. Getting higher up was unfortunately not an option either resulting in this picture. Did you know that this bird was named “Weary Willie” by miners in the Yukon due to its (as they interpreted it) “I’m so tired” song?

Next up is a cute looking Bushtit I photographed on the 18th. A challenge with photographing these birds was that they where constantly moving about from bush to bush, thankfully this guy stopped long enough for a photo. Did you know that unlike most birds, who only have one parent sleep on the nest at a time, all Bushtit family members sleep in the nest together?

Our last picture today is a nicely detailed and lighted photo of a Oregon Dark-eyed Junco whom I photographed on the 20th. A challenge with this photo was that the bird moved his head away whenever he sang, which I was hoping to get a photo of him doing. While in the end I got a picture of him not singing it still worked out very nicely. Did you know that this birds population is estimated at 630 million birds!?

Thanks for reading my post! I hope you enjoyed the pictures I took especially of my personal favorites the Junco and Hawk! Look out for 2 upcoming posts soon featuring orioles near my house and then our hugely successful April club trip! I’ll see you all then!

© Nicolas Forestell, if seen elsewhere it has been stolen from

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