The Bird Journal Feedback
Send feedback to J R's latest Email.
Current Birder's Journal.
Female or Juvenile House Sparrow or Something
Else Entirely — from the June 2013 Journal
apologies to the people who write. I love email letters and
them quickly, but I update this page
rarely. I should probably also apologize to people who think that because I publish
photographs of birds, I am a good identifier of them. I am not. I am terrible
at it, and many, even common birds, go unidentified on these pages, yet people
send me their images of birds or text describing them, and expect me to identify
don't do that.
J R: I have recently sent several folks
to your bird website. I can't tell you how impressed I am with your work.
It is really amazing. There really is a book somewhere in this. They are really
great photos. Really, really great. !!!
OMG, J R,
Your pictures are amazing! And I love your avocet portraits
too. You are a
very talented bird photographer and I hope you're thinking of doing a book
of your work.
We're forwarding your images to our friend Rich May who is
birdwatcher. I'll look forward to your next set of photos.
So far, I don't see any owls where we saw them this afternoon yet.
Kathy is a dear friend whose art
about birds and animals and politicians I photograph several times a year. She also
notifies me of interesting birds in her neighborhood, and I photograph them.
See the May 2013 Bird Journal for the owl family in her trees.
I was walking at the lake with Debora Hunter yesterday. We were talking
about how lucky we are to be able to go to the lake in the mornings and all the
amazing things we see. She told me about your bird photos and sent me your website
link. I just wanted to tell you how beautiful they are. I will be more watchful
in the mornings and alert to all the birdwatching. I had no idea I was missing
so much. I have seen you at the lake periodically but didn't know if you remembered
me and haven't said hello.
Hope you have a great weekend. Just wanted to take
a moment and compliment you on your lovely work and detailed observations.
I remember Julie. She and Debora Hunter, Frances Bagley,
Susan Magilow and the late Linda Finnell were all friends in the 1980s, and they
comprised a collaborative women's art group called Toxic Shock. I was a big fan
of their work and remember them vividly.
Dear Mr. Compton:
I enjoyed your pictures of Pelicans very much. I've been watching a small
group of them on a lake near Denver. I attached a picture of one with a peculiar
growth on his beak. I have seen other Pelicans with similar appearances. Have
you seen this before and do you have any idea why Pelicans would have this characteristic?
pelicans grow fins to show other pelicans
that they are adult and of breeding age or desire. all american white pelicans
in that condition grow the fins sooner or later. all. male or female. sometimes
they get a little beaten up like in your photo. I have also seen what looks like
two or three fins up there.
Can you please post some of your photos of White Herons, Blue Herons, and Egrets,
Loons, and Ducks for the S. Texas (Houston area) areas at our page? I don’t
want to copy any of your photos. I run a free webpage for our county, and am
trying to educate the public on these birds being protected.
I live in an area
with 3 lakes and woods, and all these birds and waterfowl live across the street.
I have posted many photos of them taken myself. But I have heard of teens shooting
the protected birds, and killing their babies eggs by bashing and throwing them.
It makes me sick. I wonder if they would still do it if they knew the birds were
protected by law? Several are dwindling in numbers, and protected for good reason.
I turned this in to authorities, but in addition
I’d like to post information
on their being protected on our page, along with the photos of the birds and
waterfowl that are protected. It appears you cover more than Texas, and I’m
only interested in the waterfowl in our area.
If you have regulations for them, please post as well. I’m a novice photographer
too, and run this site at no charge as a courtesy for our community, to educate
everyone. I don’t see regulation regarding protected species at your site.
Perhaps this is something worth mentioning? Thank you very much.
Greg & Melissa
I usually suggest people just link to my Amateur
Birder's Journal, which I think of as my bird photos' natural habitat. I don't
like using them out of their original word and image context. Links are what
makes the internet inter.
A colleague sent me the url for your pelican photos and noted that one of your
28 October 2007 photos was of a banded pelican. We banded American White Pelican
E561 (green band with white codes) with metal band 0669-00859 as a pre-fledged
bird at the Chase Lake National Wildlife Refuge, ND colony in July 2000. This
bird was banded as part of a colony dynamics research study.
Did you had submit the sighting of the band to the Bird Banding Laboratory? Reports
of banded birds help us track their movements and provide helpful information
about their ecology. The easiest way to report a band sighting is: http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/BBL/bblretrv/
Also, I’m conducting a study on changes of skin color and plumage related
to age. It is always useful to have photos of known age birds to use for comparison.
I was wondering if I could have your permission to use your photo of my banded
bird in my research (properly credited of course)?
Research Wildlife Biologist
Of course I gave him permission.
I enjoy your amateur birders journal.
Just came back in & was curious as to what type of duck I saw at the park...
and thru google I ended up at your site with pictures of ducks that were taken
Absolute beautiful photography.
I had to take a minute to tell you how much
I enjoyed your work.
I bookmarked that page so I can look at the pictures again.
As President of The Dallas
Arboretum, I would like you to know that I think your photography of birds is
absolutely stunning. I would like to talk to you about the use of some of these
at the Arboretum's new Children's Adventure Garden, being built on the north
end of our property.
We will have scopes available to see the beauty
of the lake and are looking for the best pictures for interpretation and yours
are the best I have ever seen. However I well understand why you would want to
At your convenience could you call me at my
home on the weekend or at _ _ _ my office at the garden on a weekday at
_ _ _. My email is _ _ _. I hope you will be willing
to let us share some of these gorgeous photos.
The Dallas Arboretum
Still angry with
the Arboretum for turning their once-beautiful grounds into a children's amusement
park, and cutting down their huge natural trees to replace them with huge, fake,
steel trees, and turning their natural grounds into parking lots to hold the
additional cars — they wanted to put their parking lots on Winfrey
Point and another wild area just up from the lake, but public opinion turned
against them when they announced that — I declined Mary Vinigar's offer
to feature my photographs without paying for them.
I don't always charge for their use, but
the Parkoretum could obviously afford them. They're spending millions on the
amusements and new parking lots.
asked her direct questions, not a single one of which she deigned worth a reply.
Howdy from Grand Prairie, I found your
site while looking for bird photography . I would like to capture images of birds
I observe with my Nikon D7000 and 50-300 with 2x. It seems White Rock Lake would
be a good starting place; specifically Sunset Point. Do you ever meet with other
birders/photogs to share info? I am not really sure where to start shooting birds.
Anyway, love the photos and I will keep watching your site.
I absolutely love your page on herons and egrets. Very informative
I live in Burgaw, NC. It is by the ocean,
about 15-20,25 minutes away depending on the traffic. It is very swampy around
here in most places. Burgaw actually is a Native American word meaning mud hole.
Anyway like I wanted to say, great page. You must be very knowledgeable on the
You always say you are an amateur - but NO WAY!!! Every picture is
a work of art. I love going through the whole scroll - was glad to see the ones
I fell in love with on our little trip that morning!!
Thanks again for taking the time to do all that photographing and then writing
each little story. Loved it. Goodnight! Love you.
(Yes, that's really from my mother.)
I noted that you were unsure about your hawk
ID. I am unsure of the species as well. You should find an expert in your area
that can help you identify birds, even from a blurry shot. It's difficult to
comprehend you trying to capture an image in frigid conditions. Although I've
considered living in Texas in retirement, I don't think I could tolerate the
cold in the winter months. There is the problem in Florida of having to adjust
from rare cold mornings very quickly, in the water especially, when overheating
occurs. You have a very good sense of humor. Keep up the great work. Please consider
changing the font size of your text for an easier read.
I often need help identifying birds, and
I'd be pleased to have anyone who knows help.
I told him how to change the font size
of any webpage — command or control + for larger and - for smaller.
Hi J R,
I enjoyed looking at the pictures from your trip this morning. It’s wonderful
that you were able to get good photographs of a nice variety of birds. I especially
loved the Sandhill Cranes. The Barnacle Geese were a surprise to see.
Sorry I can’t help with shore bird IDs but I did want to point out the
first bird on the Jan. 3rd entry. I believe the bird is a beautiful Vermilion
Flycatcher male rather than a Scarlet Tanager. Another great find from your trip.
I hope that you have been doing well.
I'm a nearly retired
high school biology and physics teacher and an enthusiastic bug and bird photographer
in Virginia Beach, VA. While trying to identify a couple of herons that I photographed
yesterday I used your web site. GREAT pictures and very helpful!
firstly, may I thank you for your
website. It was through you that I discovered White Rock Lake. It is now my day
out of choice when I visit Dallas. Credit where credit is due on Redgannet Blog.
I was lucky enough to be in town yesterday and made a quick visit there
in the morning.
You are looking for ideas to identify some birds this week on the lake. Have
you considered Solitary Sandpiper? The white eye-ring is quite a compelling characteristic.
The legs look dull enough to rule out either of the Yellow-legs and they are
too long to allow the Spotted Sandpiper.
When you come to looking up the dragonfly, may I suggest Common White-tail.
Look especially for the female. When you see a picture of the male, I bet you
will recognize it as another common dragonfly from the area.
Possibly we have crossed paths at
the lake; don't know. I have been out there frequently photographing everything
that doesn't get away too quickly. I enjoy looking at your pics and a couple
of those most recently posted from August 17 maybe can identify.
The "invisible" bird
appears to be a solitary sandpiper. I Googled pics with the tail feathers showing
and it looks like
that to me.
The other "unknown" bird is very probably an immature female red-winged
Maybe we'll identify ourselves out there sometime, although I don't get out there
as much since we moved to Farmers Branch, west of I-35.
I love your liquid gold shot.
It is beautiful and looks like a painting! The lake is truly a magical place.
Dear Mr. Compton,
I have been observing
birds in my neighborhood during my late afternoon walks and saw large bodied
birds across a creek some distance from the community trail. I thought they
were egrets but there were also some dark colored birds nesting in the same tree
tops as the white birds so I thought those were blue herons.
Thank you for your
website which explained that the young blue herons look like
white egrets. I've attached three recent pictures of the herons. I zoomed in
all the way to get these as the birds are quite a distance away. They nest in
trees over a creek and it is difficult to see all the nests until the leaves
drop in the fall.
My husband and I
lived in Dallas for about 13 years (Love Field area) and he ran around White
Rock Lake at that time. We then moved to Chicago for four years and have been
in Round Rock, TX, since 1998.
Thanks again for your website.
In the April edition of your Amateur Birder's Journal you have a photo
moth that is not in your insect book." That is a butterfly. It is called Common
Buckeye (Junonia coenia)
Also, since Wilber has disappeared, I thought you may like to see the photos
below taken back in January 2011.
Wilbur and Ken
Hi J R:
I am enjoying your bird pics especially
the scissor tails that was a good one you took of one in flight. We have had
scissor tails in Mesquite near Samuel Farm area since early April which is the
earliest I have ever seen them. The last week in our neighborhood we have seen
our first Western King birds about 5 of them chasing each other around.
At Our local park which has a lake is a population explosion of ducklings. One
lone lesser scaup has decided to make his home there it seems.
I am sad about Wilbur being gone.
Hi J R.
I enjoyed your
series of photos of the blue Heron eating an "eel" and
of him even washing it off, you have a lot of patience. I went to White Rock
Sunset bay Friday but only 3 pelicans left, saw blue teal, gadwall, and several
northern shovelers and saw and heard a downy wood pecker what a lot of noise
that little guy made!! also saw swallows and a scissor tail already, early Spring.
Good morning everyone;
My name is James Daniel originally from
the Guatemala. I live in Florida since 1989. I love nature and I am very respectful
for whatever nature offers to us. I call nature the forgiving garden because
sometimes we cannot own everything that has in it but we must preserve for the
Where I live we have three lovely cats and some birds. I am against animal cruelty.
I am a professional Health Care who soon going back to college.
I came across to your web page, “The Birds of the Rio Grande II” because
I typed on google.com the keyword: “selling molting owl, eagle feather”.
Feather have been very precious and spiritual items in my culture and through
out my ancestors (Aztecs and Mayan Indian).
I love to collect feathers for personal use as long as the feathers were molting
from the bird. I am looking for owl and eagle feathers whichever amount you
might have available. Also, I saw the owl both feet with the claw pads. Any information
how to buy this type of items please advice.
I am Not a dealer or collector. These items has spiritual meaning. Thanks for
giving me your time to read this email.
God Bless You All!
I don't sell feathers.
Loved your photos, I've been a keen photographer for a very short time in Brisbane
Australia and am going to the States next July. I love photographing BIF [birds
in flight] and am looking forward to the assortment in the U.S.
just wanted to say That I really enjoyed your site.
I just stumbled across your bird watching site
while doing a search for House Sparrows on Google.
Just wanted to say - fantastic site. Love your photos. Great work!
Have a great day!
Dear Mr. Compton:
My name is Erin Stalcup, and my husband is an avid follower of your blog.
He's a budding birder, and for Christmas I thought I'd get him a bird feeder
for our balcony. We're new to North Texas (just moved to Denton for a PhD program).
Do you have an inexpensive bird feeder you'd recommend? We've never had a feeder
before, so I figured you might know what kind of food would attract the most
We wouldn't put it up until the spring, right?
I'm sorry I'm so ignorant about these things. I looked at a few websites for
advice, but it wasn't immediately clear to me, so I figured I'd ask the expert.
Sincere thanks for your time,
I suggested she visit Wild Birds Unlimited.
I don't [yet] feed the birds.
I bird with people besides Anna. There are folks I see at the lake and just
go off to talk with them and we bird while we talk. To bird with me any other
way, you'll have to be doggedly persistent. I purposely choose different times
for different reasons and different birds. I rarely plan far ahead. I
go when I have time and inclination, or I haven't been in awhile.
Lately, the heat has got me in a deep,
tired funk. Early, if I'm already up (I'm not an early riser.), it's dark but
cool. Mid-day it's bright but hot. At about four, it's fabulous for birds and
light, but sweat-drenching, so I only stay out about fifteen minutes and only
go where I'm sure I'll find birds. Evenings are barely adequate for light but
there might be a breeze. At heart, I am a loner, but I have enjoyed birding with
To learn your own style, you should probably
bird alone and at your own pace. That's how I started. I don't think the equipment
matters, and going with what you have is the best way to figure out
what you need. Few agree about that.
Best Blue Wading by Matt Kaplinksy
So I keep my "good camera" at home for the most
part, and my Canon SX130 in the car. Just as I am griping about "cant
get no dang darn animals with my camera" I am driving past a cow pasture
and lo, a blue bird in a temp pond of sorts. Pull over and this is what
I got with my "car
camera." Murphy's Law? Of course it was at full digital zoom,
noisy, colors off from real life, etc., but at least I got the shot and never
took a photo of one before....
I Googled "Birds of the Rio Grande
your photos came up. Just wanted to say thank you for you posting them. Great
photos, I wish my Pentax would be as sharp. We plan to be in Mission for the
winter starting in late October (Bentsen Grove RV Resort) and I am trying to
familiarize myself with the bird life coming up. I think I am doing OK but the
sandpiper-dowitcher bunch still has me pretty much confused. Anyway, thanks for
posting and continued best wishes.
I came across your site while searching for a Kestrel
picture for my daughter. I love the "Male
Kestrel flying low (2009) from
Are there prints for sale? Website? Price?
My granddaughter (just tuned one!) is
named Jessica Kestrel. My daughter did most of her mini "big year" while
pregnant (ranked 3rd in lower 48.) I would love to get something with a Kestrel
for her and that photo is fantastic. I have great memories of birding trips with
my daughter before the baby was born. She knew we wouldn't be able to bird or
travel for a few years after, but Jessica has already been banding. Before she
could talk, she signed bird when she saw or heard one! Mom is a hydrogeologist
and dad is a biologist - they waited 11 years for her. Grandma is, happily, just
Thanks so much,
I'm terrible at the business side of bird
photographing, although I do sell a few images, I don't have a large-image color
printer, just a letter-size printer that I've never yet had to use. To make decent-sized
prints I'd have to charge for my time and theirs, and that's pretty expensive,
so it usually doesn't work out, unless the potential buyer is doggedly persistent.
The Birrrrrddd Jourrrrrnnnnllll is my chosen
medium of presentation. It's quick, easy (I've been using Photoshop since version
one in 1990 or so), and practically free. Most people find me too expensive for
prints, and that works to my peculiar advantage.
I saw this new book at the visitor center
at Anahuac and they also had it on the kiosk at High Island. It is a new format
for bird ID books. I am trying to decide if I want to buy one or not. Next time
you are at a book store you might check it out.
Richard Crossley video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IxJ4vIrP54&feature=related
I've been looking at your website for a couple of
years (love it!) and finally decided to get into birding. I went out with a group
this last Sunday morning and they found a red- shouldered hawk sitting on her
nest in a tree behind the dam. I went back today and found her again. Have you
seen this? The people leading the walk said this bird has been nesting there
for a couple of years. If you would like to find her, I can meet with you and
show you where she is. I would love to see some good pictures of her - my camera
just isn't good enough for something like this.
I followed her precise instructions,
shot, went back, shot again, then apparently forgot about it. Oof! stupid of
me. ; j r
Thanks to you I'm able to identify the pictures of
the Blue-Winged Teals I took Saturday. Yesterday I got pictures of Northern Black
Bellied Whistling Ducks, which I had never seen.
I, too, have been worried about the lone pelican. When I photographed it in full
wing span on Saturday, it was obvious what the problem is...at least 1/4 (if
not a little more) of his left underwing feathers are missing; and you can see
gaps in the remaining ones. Bless its heart, I doubt that it can fly very far,
if at all. I know it's all part of the circle of life, but I still feel badly
for it; especially when our scorching summer gets here.
Anyway, I just thought I'd share with you what I witnessed. Thanks again for
all the great photos.
I just stumbled across your wonderful website tonight
while looking for pictures of monk parakeets on Google Images. One link led to
another, and suddenly, I was looking at your fantastic photos and birder's journal.
I'm taking three senior-ish friends to WR Lake this Sunday for Chris Runk's (Dallas
Audubon Society) guided bird walk and am going to refer these friends to your
web site, so they can get a preview of what to expect to see. I hope we will
be able to see a pelican, tho' it sounds increasingly unlikely as the days pass.
I just wanted to say how much I appreciate your sharing your photography & your
observations of birds around White Rock. Some of your photos show an amazing
amount of detail - more than I can ever remember seeing in pictures of some of
these birds. As a pretty rank amateur birder, these images and your comments
are really helpful.
Keep up the great work!
Dear Mr. Compton, A friend here at the
Lab of Ornithology just directed me to the fabulous photo posted on your site
of the Red-tailed Hawk. Could I link to that from our Celebrate
Urban Birds Facebook page today? We might have a little discussion about
Red-tailed Hawk feathers and your photo shows what we’d
be talking about perfectly. No worries if you don’t want us to link to
you...I have other photos that might work also.
Christianne White, project assistant
Celebrate Urban Birds, Citizen Science
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
159 Sapsucker Woods Road
Ithaca NY 14850
I did. - ; j r
I LOVE your blog and it has inspired me to create
my own. I was wondering how to put a copyright watermark on my pictures like
you do on yours. I wasn't sure if it was something that was done from your camera
or the computer. THANK YOU for your assistance.
i use Photoshop. There's probably other software that will
allow you to combine text with pictures, but I use the full, expensive version
A neighbor happen to catch sight and photo a bald
eagle way up here in NJ. As we live in an amazingly beautiful and slightly hidden
habitat, I’ve seen quite a varied slice of wildlife. Searching Google for
juvenile photos of bald eagles (his photo was a quick phone cam shot of the eagle
perched in his backyard) led me to your site.
Your site has some great photos which were a pleasure to scroll through. You
have a really good eye for seeing the beauty all around us. Thanks for sharing!
Your Bird pictures are AMAZING!!! We are new
to birding and the photographing of them. I was wondering what type of lens do
you use when shooting birds?
Brendon & Deanna
equipment I use is now linked at
the top of every Bird Journal page. ; j r
I just viewed your website and enjoyed it immensely.
husband and I were out driving north of McAllen yesterday and saw
many, many hawks, javelinas, turkey vultures, deer, etc. It was
a wonderful day seeing all this wildlife.
We live in Harlingen, Texas
and our backyard is on the Colorado Arroyo. I have pictures of the
Bobcat, Armadillos, a multitude
of birds and the Chachalacas every evening. Once you have heard them
calling during mating time, you will never forget it.
We are lucky to have a nature reserve – Laguna
Atascosa, just north of the town of Laguna Vista, (north of South
Padre Island, Hwy 100). They have bird blinds to watch many many
birds and also a drive along the Laguna Madre (ocean) where hawks
are fishing and other animals go to the water to drink. It is a 14-mile
drive in your car with viewing all along the route.
Thanks for making my morning even better being
in the RGV.
while looking up the technical name of a pelican's goggy woggle I found
essay on the pelicans stretching.
It really made my year...so far. WOW what a great experience to see
through amazing photos.
Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed looking at the
photographs on your “Birds
of the Rio Grande” web page. We
see many of the same birds here in southern California, and your shots
were beautiful and educational. Thank you so much for sharing them!
about birding from a man who believed that you should not carry a
field guide in the field, ironically. Because he believed you could
easily spend more time with your nose in the book and not on the birds.
I carry on that tradition in his honor today.
Now that I have discovered
your sites I feel a greater confidence when I make an ID in the field
that I am not 100% positive on, and I use your pages regularly for the
great shots, so often from different angles on the same bird to confirm
my suspicion (or show it to be wrong all to often J)
Thanks again and best regards,
January 19 2011
Morning JR, I just
wanted to let you know I really enjoy your shots around White Rock.
My morning commute to work is along West Lawther and the same coming home
and I’ve snapped some good
ones from time to time as well as when I’m fishing out of my inflatable
raft (I’ve actually caught the WRL bass record ... love to brag
about that). Amazing how many species of animal/ birds White Rock
Keep up the great work.
Just wanted to say that I really like
your bird pictures. I'm the one who told you about the monk parakeet
— you're shot is really good. I love the one of the Canadian goose
where you can see the color of its eyes and you also had some awesome
captures of the hawk!
Thanks for sharing your photos and comments.
I am a photographer in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
(4 hours from the Rocky Mountains). I came across your Website by
accident; I'm glad I did. Your photos are absolutely stunning!
More importantly, is your link to Rogers Wildlife Rehabilitation.
Good job! I am a volunteer for the Wildlife Rehabilitation Society
www.Wildlife-Edm.ca and I always
love the experiences I encounter through this society.
All the best!
July 2 2010
Just wanted to send
you a note to say I stumbled upon your website (while looking up
photos of barn owls) and it’s a great
site, it’s obvious you love life & love what you do.
Today I got up early enough so I could to the White
Rock spillway before work, what a wonderful sight to behold, the
water is gushing over the rocks and I saw about 50 snowy egret, a
couple of great blue herons, little blues, night herons, little white
egrets having a fishing party there at the spillway.
Had to let you know still
enjoying your pics.
Juvenile Black-crowned Night-Heron
June 26 2010
I bumped into your website as I was searching to identify
a bird I've photographed. I'm living on a sailboat in Ensenada, Mexico
(just south of San Diego), and a group of 4-5 birds comes into the marina
late every afternoon and hangs out all night, sitting on the boats' docklines
and fishing. Their squawks are very loud, and they are active all night
long. They generally disappear during the day.
I am trying to identify what
they are, and I think I've narrowed it down to young yellow or black
crowned night herons, and I'm leaning towards the black crowned,
as they are pretty stocky and they hunch a lot. I was wondering if you
could shed any light on my quest, as you seem to have photographed these
herons and watched the juveniles quite a bit.
Wow, I just had to tell
you, that I am an artist and
my next painting is going to have an egret or two in it, so I googled
egret images just to get an idea of all what they look like, and
I came across your BEAUTIFUL PHOTOS!!!! I can not believe how you can capture
My website is www.nickib.net if you want to check it
out and know that I am not a kook,lol. I wanted to know if you would
be able to let me use a photo for a reference. I am just starting
out my career after spending the last 32 years taking care of my
family and now I am having a blast with my painting. You are definitely
going to make a huge name for yourself. What talent!!!!!
My usual charge to include one of my photographs
in an artist's art is a smaller, at least 8.5 x 11-inch
version of my photo's part in their art. But so far, only one
little girl has paid that small price, and her painting of
a baby mockingbird is on my office wall. Everybody else seems
to think it's too much bother, which is fine with me. I'd much
rather have my photographs continue as photographs than in someone
I was delighted to find your lovely website! You
look like the person who might be interested in helping me (perhaps).
Attached is a photo
of a bird that fell out of a oak tree in front our house in southwest
Houston (along with nest). Notice the beak - very interesting! It's
not a baby - but it's surely not full grown. The beak is kind of
large, wide light tan colored. I thought it might be some kind of mocking bird
(no red)...I have tried to give it everything from earthworms, bits
of strawberries and kiwi to ground flax seed...and of course water. it must
be eating something because he/she poohs. We are having a terrible
thunderstorm - so it is safe and warm inside. It doesn't have a churp but a "shwiiiiiet" sound
in low, soft tones.
The bird is predominantly gray with a broad white
band of feathers (I think this is correct)when it opens it's wings
on each side...seems quite gentle.
Tonight I found him/her sitting
on top of the cardboard box and it stepped into my palm and stayed
there quietly for about an hour. Periodically - I would gently pet
its head with my forefinger.
I do have a 9 and 5 year old that find
it quite fascinating. When the weather clears up and some more feathers
grow - I will place it gently in the protected backyard under some
As long-time readers have probably figured out
by now, I'm really not very good at identifying birds. I am getting
better and better at photographing them, but I.Ds still usually
escape me so much I need expert help myself.
As usual, when people tell me about rescuing birds,
I refer them to Rogers
Wildlife Rehabilitation's site and their Rescue Rules.
Just ran across your site while looking for something
Great photos, inviting site! Keep at it! :)
Yeah, I keep at it. Probably will continue
even when nobody hits these pages anymore, I'll keep putting
them up, I love photographing
— and making the photographs of — birds.
Love your work, spend
lots of time just browsing through the bird pictures. Thanks for sharing,
I just want to thank you for sharing your beautiful
photos with those of us "wanna-be" great photographers. When
I stumbled on your site in January and saw that White Rock has white
pelicans, I couldn't believe it. We go to Sanibel Island, Florida
every year and that's the only place we've ever seen white ones.
when I opened your site (the first site I go to every day) and saw
Anhingas, my heart leapt because they're one of my favorite birds
and had only seen them in Florida as well. So I'm planning on locating
the rookery next weekend and was wondering if there's a specific place
that is the best to see them?
I only have a little Fuji FinePix digital with a 12X
zoom, so I know I could never take pictures like yours, but I'm bringing
my binoculars in hopes of at least watching them.
I've taken pictures
for years but can't afford the kind of camera I need to take the
kind of pictures I want, but still I've been able to capture some
pretty amazing creatures even with my little camera. After viewing
your site, I'm toying with the idea of starting a web site so I can
share my pictures, too, but I don't have a clue as to how to do that
and at my age (58) learning the computer has been a challenge!
I work at
a school so I'm gonna ask one of our computer techs if they can help
me so with me luck.
Thank you again, Mr. Compton, and I hope your leg heals
Before I got my Nikon D200 I used to photograph
birds with a Sony f707 with its built-in 5:1 zoom. Photographing
birds with Point & Shoot cameras can be a challenge, but it's
possible and can be worthwhile.
My name is Taylor Cotten and I was first introduced
to your web page by my parents W.T. and Lorrie Cotten and was overwhelmed
with your ability to capture details and the beautiful colors of
the birds you were photographing. I studied wildlife throughout my undergrad
and graduate school and began snapping photos about three years ago.
mostly taken macro images of amphibians and reptiles since they had
been the focus of my studies in school. However, over the past year or
two I have become more interested in birds (as I learned more about them)
and would love to be able to try to broaden my extremely limited skill
as a wildlife photographer.
I have enjoyed photographing with other people,
but I rarely know more than a few hours ahead of time when I
will go to the lake, so it would be difficult to plan ahead.
Beautiful egret photos. I'd say you're already
an expert in the field. Thanks for the site. Forwarded to a few friends as well.
Onward and upward.
Mary H. Montreal,
I loved your photos you took of the Cedar
Waxwings in the berry tree the other day, then when I returned home there was
a flock of Waxwings in our neighborhood feeding on a berry bush then what a treat
they were our backyard for a while, they move so fast and don’t like
humans too close, the photos you took of them are amazing one can
see all the detail of the lovely plumage. Glad you are still able to get about
a bit and do some photos.
I visited your website at the weekend and enjoyed
your photos of the guy leaping and the snowmen how creative people
are! Also what a treat Cedar waxwings came to visit your place. We
had some one day. Every day we have a flock of juncos (snowbirds) and Mr.
and Mrs. Cardinal come to eat sunflower seed we put out. I am glad you
were able to get out and enjoy the rare treat of a snowy day in Texas.
Hi J R,
I was looking at your birder's journal, and was
really captivated by Sunset Bay. I wonder if you would tell me how
to get closest by car. I know how to drive down Emerald to Winfrey
Point. I have a foot problem that makes long walks difficult. But
I love White Rock and trees and pelicans.
So I would sincerely appreciate
directions to the closest place to park to reach Sunset Bay. BTW,
I have a 20 year old car, too.
I linked her to my now-annotated White Rock Lake
Map that is now linked atop recent Amateur Birder Journal pages
and gave her more precise instructions beyond that.
Hi J R:
I enjoyed your photos from yesterday at the Fitchery
area. My other half and I walked along the dam by the old red brick
pump house some time back. Is the Fitchery near there off West Lawther
drive? I can’t figure
how to get there but would like to.
I couldn’t believe the YAHOOS in the canoe that
scared the birds in Sunset Bay Sunday and even laughing while they
did that UNBELIEVABLE!! And we are so fortunate that the pelicans and other
precious wildlife choose to live near us.
Anna started calling The Old Fish Hatchery Area
"The Fitchery," and I've gone along with the shortening of that
long name, so it won't be on any map but maybe mine. The Fitchery
is directly down the long, deep hill behind the long, tall portion
of the dam from the Spillway down that long, straight, concrete
line toward The Old Boat House.
When it was a Fish Hatchery, its rectangular pans
were fed by water directly from the dam. Now, it's a lush area
that holds water and birds all through the year.
My name is Colin, and I have really enjoyed your
photographs over the years, frequently checking it for your latest
shots and so forth. Thanks for the hours of enjoyment.
I have become
a big fan of the white pelican flock over the years. Today ( Dec
12th) I happened to drive over to the Trinity River
Audobon park off Loop 12, and somehow came across a LARGE flock of
pelicans (I estimated 80-90)
at a pond nearby at Rochester Park. Are you familiar with that flock
or ever photographed them? Just curious if you had
any history with pelicans further to the south of White Rock.
a great holiday season, and thanks for all the entertainment the
last few years!
I've seen as many as 150 American White Pelicans
at White Rock, but only for one night — only about 70 seem to
stay at the lake each year, so I knew others use White Rock to
stay overnight then go off to whatever lake or pond they spend
their autumn and winters at, than go back north on Tax Day.
are probably many places they do that. I have seen large arrays
of American White Pelicans in Arlington and Dennison. I'm sure
there are many others.
Thought I'd ask if you have seen the kettling
of hawks over our White Rock area. I live south of the lake and yesterday
counted 22 broadwing hawks "kettling" almost over my house! Thrilling
sight and seems to happen each Sept. when they are migrating South.
enjoy your bird watching photos so much. Stunning pictures! Thank
you for doing all of that and putting it where people like myself who are
limited in what they can do somewhat can see.
I asked what part of the lake she'd seen the hawks over.
It was not over the lake but over my house on LaVista
Drive which is south of the spillway about 10 blocks. But the pathways
they seem to take this year was on the west side of the lake then
when they were kettling they would swoop up and form almost a funnel, fly
a few dozen yards then kettle again, seemingly to gather more together.
I think these are broadwing hawks not the red-tailed ones that usually
stay in our Dallas area all year. They definitely weren't buzzards or larger
hawks. My friend who had a farm near Quinlan said owls also did this.
And she had also seen hawks do this.
I've only seen this twice but I'm thinking
it goes on all of this time of year but we just don't see them.
I went on Google and put in "kettling hawks" then also clicked
on images and they were pictured and written about. Just fascinating.
Wish I had been quick enough to photograph them even with my phone!
you can someday capture that. Thanks again so very much for your
excellent photos of the birds & critters at White Rock. I've told
everyone I know about your web site.
We are spending a month in Key West, Florida and have
wondered what we were seeing as we tool around the canals and shallow
areas. Your website is so helpful to our understanding – most notably,
that we are unlikely to ever understand but that is ok.
Thank you so much
for putting so much information about the different varieties in
Jan Edelstein and Bruce Reed
I really enjoy your photos of WRL a lot.
I go to the Hatchery a lot to bird watch (snakes,coyotes, raccoons, beaver
and so on) and appreciated the YCNH you snapped recently. He has been
in that pond (I can tell which pond it is by the water vegetation) along
with a Little Blue Heron for over a week. I got the same type photos
of him yesterday. I got him fishing, going in and pulling out a crayfish
and gulping it down. If only I had your lens. I have a Nikon 70-300mm
and it's just not quite long enough.
I was glad to see you post Stumpy. a couple of weeks before that, I
picked him up. I couldn't figure what he wanted. He seemed to really
like me and I screwed up my courage and picked him up. What a great goose!
I am a teacher, and we are working
with a kindergarten class on an owl inquiry project. I would like
to use your owl pictures and experiences for the kids to read and analyze.
We would keep your name attached, and not post the pictures anywhere.
However, I would like to put part of your blog in a word document
because the rest of it would confuse the kids with their fledgling attempts to
research. The picture you have of the owl’s wing is perfect for
an experiment the kids could do with combs to recreate the silent
wings. Would this use be acceptable to you?
AISI Learning Leader
Calgary Board of Education
Just happened on your website while looking
up Egrets What a beautiful site and sight! Thanks so much for it. I too
am an amateur bird watcher, feeder and obsessed bird person. I live in
W. Covina, Ca. in a hilly area with a big pond/reservoir below me. Through
the years I've been privileged to observe so many migrating duck, beautiful
Great White Egret, Great blue Herons, turtles and my regulars that seem
to sort-of live there. This year I was lucky enough to get a small flock
of escapees at my feeder. After much investigation, I found out they
were beautiful Spice Finches!!! Lucky me!
Sorry to ramble, but I get excited
about this stuff. Thank you again for a pleasant visit to your lovely
website. Great job and beautiful photographs.
This morning around 7:45, I was walking
down by White Rock Creek, about a half mile down from the Spillway. I live at
the Enclave. Anyways, there were a lot of birds feeding in the creek. I spied
a large black bird gliding in from the east. At first, I thought it was a vulture,
but then noticed it had a white head and yellow beak. I thought I was
seeing things, but when I got to work I looked up the NCTexas Birds web
page and saw your pictures.
There was no way to contact anyone on that page, so
I came over here. On the Dallas Audubon chat page, I noticed someone else
had sighted a Bald Eagle at the Spillway around the end of January, so
maybe I am not losing my mind
I walked up and down the creek there several
times, but never saw that eagle again. Sometimes when the weather
is fog soup, I think maybe I'll come upon it again, and this time
I'll get to see its face. But not yet.
For my money, anyone who photographs birds
and keeps an online journal qualifies for birder status. But then, I'm just a
casual observer and probably don't even qualify for birdwatcher status. So my
vote may not count. Thanks for doing this, though. I check your page
everyday and really enjoy it.
Gretchen K. Riehl, Ph.D.
Thanks for your excellent website. I stumbled on
it when I was trying to explain to my wife the difference between egrets
I wanted to share with you my favorite bird pictures. Yours are excellent,
mine are OK.....Mine were taken with my Sigma 150 macro.
I too love taking pictures of birds, and luckily here in Florida, we
have no shortage of subjects. I just have a shortage of time since I'm
a busy pediatrician. We've gone on several trips this year including a cruise
to South America where we stopped in the Falkland Islands. That day of observing
penguins was the best! I'm sending you a few of my favorites from the Falklands.
I always say, however, that even though we've traveled thousands of miles
away to some interesting places, some of my favorite pictures are from
right down the street from where we live in Palm Beach County, Florida. I'm sending
you a few of my favorites of a young green heron and a few others.
If you're ever in Florida, let me know. I'll show you some good places.
I stumbled upon your website while researching what chicken legs look
like and got tripped off on your birds. Now, about half an hour in, I am filled
with a strange peace. Endorphins flood my system. Visions of soaring wings,
curved necked egrets, adjutants in still water - the parade is endless. Sigh
of pleasure knowing I can look forward to spending more of my mornings with
these wonderful images. Thank you for generosity in posting these for everyone
to see and enjoy.
I will now continue on my day's work. I am building a Baba Yaga's hut
in the form of a giant lantern for Sunday's solstice and now full of bird,
I shall sail through it with ease.
Thank you again for a wonderful journey.
I wrote you many months ago, saying that
your site is the best free entertainment on the web. Well, thank you again.
The wood duck jumped out at me while my son was in the room, and
all I could say was: "That's
why I watch what he is doing." He was stunned.
I absolutely love the idea that you put up a lot of everything; in focus,
out of focus, with light failing, etc. Your comment on the focal length
was very useful too. I think you really do a nice job of never forgetting
that the birds are the important part of the equation. You site has me
asking for a camera for Christmas (thank you Jesus!). I used to voraciously
use my Canon A-1, but have needed to move on into the digital format.
Not sure yet where I will put it into use, but I know interesting subject
matter is never far away-just got to look for it.
You have a great holiday, and thanks again
I just found your page on egrets through googling images and would like
to thank you for such exquisite shots of these amazing birds. Keep
up the great work!
(I'm with you on answering the phone ~ it's highly overrated!)
J. R. Compton, found you tonight on google,
lost two hours reviewing your bird work and then found your trees in the mist.
My God! You are astonishing! Don't ever stop!
What a wonderful life you lead.... with those birds and stuff... Loved
your photos. I made a few wildlife films but am too ill these days...
So I was trying to imagine how lovely to spend a life with the birds
in the wild....
Shubhadarshini in New Delhi, India
I found your web site whilst I was looking for pictures of blackbirds
and starlings to try and differentiate between the two. You have taken
some really fab photos of birds – thank you – what started out as
a 10 min quick search, turned into about half an hour of wonder as I looked through
your other photos.
I'm a researcher in fluid mechanics working at the university
of Genova, Italy.
I'm about to publish a work on the aerodynamical properties of birds'
feathers and I would like to add one of your photo (in attached file)
to a scientific article that will be published in the Journal of Fluid
Could you please tell me if it's possible?
Thanks in advance,
Post-doc Flubio Marie Curie
University of Genova
Julien sent me a web image of the article
but no hard copy. I would so have liked a hard copy.
Thank you for posting your beautiful photographs.
Few people here in VA appreciate the attractiveness of grackles or their behavior,
so I am often alone in my admiration for them.
You made reference to people stealing your pics
without permission. What would be required to get permission? There is
a photograph of a mother duck and ten ducklings that would make a great
pattern for a counted cross-stitch. The mother and all the ducklings
except one are swimming one direction, while one duckling paddles the
other way. I don’t work for a company
that makes and sells cross-stitch patterns commercially; I would be asking
permission to use the image personally. (At times I have taken photographs
and used them as patterns, but my photos are not so striking as yours.)
If it would be unacceptable (or excessively expensive),
OK too. Just an idea I’m tossing around.
I suggested she make a counted cross-stich of the pic
for me in payment, but I never saw it.
You have discovered a hen - a Rhode Island Red in fact - at White Rock.
It is a she by the looks of her short red top. She is a beauty too. Your
photos of birds are delightful and I was happy to spend some time
just slowing down and looking. You are right; I have been busy. You
are a master with the bird shots. Thank you for sharing and thank
you for capturing these beautiful feathered forms!
I came across your site this morning
when Googling South Texas birds. My husband and I were in Edinburg/McAllen
area recently and also visited the Quinta Mazatlan in the middle of the
day. It was great but I wondered how wonderful it would be in the early
morning or late afternoon. It was the first time I had ever seen (or
heard of) the Chachalaca.
We have 2 hummingbird feeders and 3 bird feeders
in the back yard. I sometimes just stand at the backdoor and watch the
wrens, cardinals, grackles, hummers, etc ... and the cats crouching in
the shadows. I've thought that someday I might be a "birder."
husband and I were glad to get the id on the Great Kiskadee. We saw it,
even got a fairly decent picture in McAllen but had no idea what it was.
One comment. What you identified as a bird nest —
isn't that lichen? A type of fungus. The reason I say that is that it
grows on some lines in Lockhart and someone wrote an article for the
newspaper a few years ago identifying it. It's kindof like moss.
Keep up the good work or journaling and posting pictures.
I don't call it Amateur for nothing. I may not be able
to tell lichen from a bird's nest.
I'm no expert, but I think that you
have seen a reddish egret.
The little blue mystery bird and the photograph above
it are both juvenile reddish egrets.
I base this on the straightness of the beak and the high contrast black
tip of the beak.
Also, the reddish hue on the neck extends over the entire head.
Size is also a good clue. If it seems a bit on the big side, it's a reddish.
When I'm not sure, they are pretty easy to identify
in the water.
The reddish egret is quite clumsy and splashes about, while the great
blue is a stealthy stalker.
Another giveaway is that the reddish egret is the only one that shade
Great site, and some stunning photographs, keep up the good work.
J.R. It was fun to see you yesterday — and
I looked around your websites, including all the birds.
You have some great shots. Were all those herons in one place or did
multiply them for matting season? You really do have some great bird
I also enjoyed your
movie reviews. You say so much
with so little words.
I just brought a Nikon D50 and I have two
a 18-70 lens, and a 70-300 lens. I do not get pictures anywhere
as clear as yours and maybe you could give me some tips.
the Black-crowned Night Heron for the first time today on the
spillway at White Rock Lake. Took some pictures when I came
back near 1/2 hour before sunset. They did not come out very good,
maybe it was the light, but your excellent
picture did confirm what bird I saw.
You had a great shot. What are
Great web site.