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Old Dec 5, 2013, 8:17 PM   #1
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Default A few recent birds

It's almost winter here in East Tennessee - a perfect time to get "up close and personal" with some of our common birds. Leafless trees make it easier to spot the birds, and cool days make them more active in their pursuit of food and shelter. So here are a few of our many "feathered friends" of the season.

Golden Crowned Kinglets do indeed have a golden crown! (Sometimes names make sense...) These tiny, fearless birds are year-round residents up in the mountains, but only come down into the lower elevations in the winter. This male (you can tell by the bit of orange in his crown) was working the lakeside Sycamores - feasting on insect eggs.
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Old Dec 5, 2013, 8:19 PM   #2
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And this female was right there with him, also working the sycamores. Kinglets are not at all shy of humans, but they are difficult (for me) to photograph, because they are in constant motion!
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Old Dec 5, 2013, 8:20 PM   #3
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Black Vultures are just the right color for soaking up come winter sunshine - and they're not at all shy of the nosy photographer!
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Old Dec 5, 2013, 8:21 PM   #4
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But our Pileated Woodpeckers are always very shy & skittish. This one just permitted a few quick snapshots before fleeing.
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Old Dec 5, 2013, 8:21 PM   #5
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Both the vultures and the woodpeckers are year-round residents here in East Tennessee. But we only get to enjoy Pied Billed Grebes during the cooler months. And they too are shy - most of my photos are like this - a grebe swimming away...
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Old Dec 5, 2013, 8:22 PM   #6
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With a large rookery just downstream of the park, we have a very healthy GB Heron population. And they do let you get fairly close.
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Old Dec 5, 2013, 8:23 PM   #7
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Especially when they are intent on fishing!
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Old Dec 5, 2013, 8:24 PM   #8
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Will close with one non-feathered friend. Was out working on some trails, and just happened to notice some odd splashes at the shore. Walked down to investigate, and spotted this beaver gnawing off a tasty branch. By the time I had the camera out, he was already swimming off with his "snack."
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Old Dec 5, 2013, 8:25 PM   #9
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Hope you enjoyed these common birds (and friend). Thanks for any comments & critique!
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Old Dec 5, 2013, 9:04 PM   #10
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Those kinglets are superb!
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