BirdCam Raison D'être
|Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus)|
I know, I know, it's a terrible photo. But for me, it's a very important photo. Last summer, the suet feeder in my front patio was visited by a Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus). It was both startling and thrilling to see such a large, impressive bird coming to the feeders. I watched him through the blinds, and regretted not being able to get a photo. If he had spotted me, he would have been gone in a flash. This bird's visit was the inspiration for installing a Wingscapes BirdCam 2.0.
I now have two BirdCams set up in the yard. One is in the front yard which is a meadow-like habitat. The second is in the backyard which approximates a forest edge habitat. While there is some overlap, I am seeing different species at the two locations. This is not just explained by which lure is in place. I believe the surrounding habitat also plays a role in which birds will be seen visiting a feeder.
Though barely adequate, the woodpecker photo represents an accomplishment for me and justifies the installation of the automatic BirdCams. Then, this past week there was this:
|Western Tanager (Piranga ludoviciana)|
Finally, there is a bird I see a lot, but never expected to catch at the BirdCam:
|Northwestern Crow (Corvus caurinus)|
A fascinating book about the complex and intelligent Corvids is In the Company of Crows and Ravens by John M. Marzluff and Tony Angell. The accompanying PBS Nature documentary "A Murder of Crows" is also worth checking out. By the way, "murder" is the term for a group of crows.
I believe the installation of the BirdCams has been justified. These have turned out to be more productive and more fun than I imagined. Based on these shots, I will be making some adjustments in the focal length and setup of the backyard station. My goal now is to get a really clear shot of the Pileated Woodpecker. Stay tuned.