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Old Jan 2, 2014, 8:14 PM   #1
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Default Hungry Birds

Just a few common East Tennessee birds, "caught" while feeding...

Mockingbirds are common residents here year-round. They're very aggressive and vocal in defending their winter feeding areas. This one was quite busy insuring that no other birds would "steal" his privet berries!
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Old Jan 2, 2014, 8:15 PM   #2
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American Coots are commonest here in the wintertime. They're not particularly shy, especially if you approach them slowly.
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Old Jan 2, 2014, 8:16 PM   #3
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And they're worth a closer look - if only to gawk at those amazing feet!
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Old Jan 2, 2014, 8:17 PM   #4
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One more winter resident. We have several native Woodpecker species that are here year-round, but we only see this species in the wintertime. Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers peck horizontal rows of small holes in tree trunks (especially maples, but several other species as well). Dripping sap attracts insects, and the Sapsuckers enjoy the sticky mixture!

Have been stalking this guy (on and off) for several weeks, and finally got a pretty good snapshot. Hoping for some opportunities for a better shot, but he's pretty shy...
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Old Jan 2, 2014, 8:18 PM   #5
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Hope you enjoyed the "bird restaurant," and that you'll share your comments & critique!
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Old Jan 2, 2014, 10:31 PM   #6
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Very nice set as always. I still remember the first time I saw the feet of a Coot, the things look totally prehistoric.

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Old Jan 3, 2014, 4:51 AM   #7
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All nice pictures. Very good job getting the red eyes of the coots. Those feet help them run on the water to get up to take off speed. Saw a report a few yrs. ago of several coots getting caught as ice closed in on them, not leaving enough water to take off. A few eagles came by and had a real feast.
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Old Jan 3, 2014, 4:58 AM   #8
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Superb mockingbird photos.

The sapsucker's markings and blending into the tree bark is really nicely presented.
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Old Jan 3, 2014, 9:51 AM   #9
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You get amazing results with that 400mm, If I remember correctly it's a MF used 400 but I can't remember exactly what it is, can you remind me, thanks
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Old Jan 3, 2014, 3:34 PM   #10
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John - You're so right - they do indeed look like something from a reptile instead of a bird!

Bob - Fascinating coot story - thanks! (not so fascinating for the coots though...)

MacBook - So glad you enjoyed these. Sapsuckers sure do have some great camouflage!

Hans - It's a Tokina 400 ATX AF - autofocus, rather close-focusing, and one of the smallest 400mm lenses ever made.
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