by Cindy McIntyre, Waldoboro, Maine
Okeeheelee Nature Center, Greenacres, Florida January 2008
This is a magnet for photographers wanting to photograph the exquisite painted bunting. After waiting for an hour for a raccoon under the feeder to leave, I started photographing the lovely butterflies. My closeness to the feeder evidently scared off the raccoon and within 3 minutes there were two male and 3 female/immature Painted Buntings eating millet seeds on the ground! I decided just to park myself there on the sidewalk on my little backpacking stool and watched a wondrous panorama of activity unfold for the next 4 hours before rain chased me away. I was soooo happy. Please respect my copyright by not copying these images or using them on your computer or website without permission or payment of a licensing fee. All images copyrighted by Cindy McIntyre 2008.
Male Painted Bunting
I used a flash as the light levels were less than optimal. The area is shaded in the morning, and in bright sun by around 1 pm, but the clouds kept changing light levels, and trying to use flash as a fill to keep the ambient light realistic was sometimes difficult.
Female Painted Bunting and possible first year males
Some showed a viridian wash over the head, making me wonder if these are first year males. I saw five at once, and two males at once.
Another highlight was this little guy. I was thinking it was a waterthrush and was sort of disappointed to find it was a plain old Ovenbird! Yet in Maine we rarely see them, but boy do we hear them. teacher Teacher TEACHER echoes through the deciduous woodlands, and we know they're there. But I never knew they were denizens of the forest floor. This guy came out regularly to the edge of the brush around the feeder, and his funny little stride reminded me of a Lipizzaner Stallion performing. So adorable! The olive color doesn't show too well in these photos, and you won't see its glory in the sun much, as it loves the shade and protective cover.
A Black Racer snake slithered by, and these lizards were busy catching bugs and then gloating about it.
Cardinals and a Blue Jay
When one bird shows up, others usually follow. The cardinals are noisy approachers - the buntings quietly sneak in.
Doves and a Grackle
Eurasian Collared Doves were more shy about coming in with me sitting there, but the dozen Mourning Doves were not. I think this is a boat-tailed grackle
Zebra Longwing Fritillary Julia Longwing
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