Wednesday, December 13, 2006

My neighboors, the birds

I don't know how many of you had the curiosity of clicking on the animated frame to the left. When I created this blog, I uploaded to Flicker some pictures of birds that visit the feeder on my front yard.
I got this feeder as a Christmas gift from my family last year, and if you think this is a strange gift, let me tell you the story started sometime ago...
I was born and grew in São Paulo, and my ornithological knowledge was practically none, the only birds I could identify for sure were the sparrows... It was only after I retired and started working at home that I begun to notice the many birdsongs I could hear and to watch their singers. Since the large tree on my sidewalk is a stop for large groups of parakeets, I decided to try to attract them by putting sunflower seeds on my garden wall. Success came fast, in a few days they got used to it. I started offering some bananas from time to time, and this attracted the tanagers, too. By that time I had bought the book Aves no Campus (Birds on Campus, which can be browsed on the Web), an excellent source, since I live very close to the USP campus.
So, the feeder wasn't such a strange gift, but a aesthetic and hygienic improvement over using the wall. If anybody is interested in getting one like mine, you can get the details here.
As for the pictures, birds are the most difficult subject I've ever tried to photograph. They never stop, they're very fast and fly away when I get a little closer. Fortunately, the digital cameras liberated us from the limitations imposed by cost, because it takes scores of pictures to get just one that is usable. Until now, I got reasonable pictures of just a few species. There are many others that visit the feeder and my garden, and I hope I'll be able to add new pictures soon. And I'm sure I'll need a little help from my friends who grew in the country to identify some of those birds. For example, this one which started visiting the feeder this week: a chopi blackbird, maybe?

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