Harbor Springs, Michigan, USA
May 07
Illustrator, Book Designer, Writer
Janice Phelps Williams is a book designer, illustrator, and writer. Learn about services for authors and publishers, as well as her artwork and books at www.janicephelps.com.


JANUARY 18, 2012 10:09PM

Birds in Our Yard

Rate: 5 Flag

When the trees release their leaves, birds are soon visible to me in a new way, stark against grey branches or a blue sky. Last year my husband bought me a zoom lens, so that I could take better photos of these beautiful creatures. Our home is within the city limits of Athens, Ohio (USA), a small town that doubles in size from September through May when students at Ohio University fill the sidewalks, roads, and restaurants. Athens County is in the Appalachian Foothills; the hills begin just north of town and become steeper as one approaches the city, which is somewhat bordered by the Hocking River and near to a variety of steep hills, cliffs, forests, caves, and lakes. It seems to me a great home for wild- and not-so-wild-life. I know we certainly love it here and having dreamed of living near woods for many years, as I did when a child; I never get tired of walking out our backdoor and looking for something to photograph. Oftentimes that something has wings!

These photos are from various times of the year.

The red-shouldered hawk (thank you, Julie Zickefoose for IDing him for me), above, was watching the sunrise this past Sunday morning. He turned to look at me, and I looked back, letting him know the two little dogs in the yard are "Mine! Mine! Mine! … but you are a handsome bird."

We've had a ton of crows in our woods lately. If you want to hear a crow convention that took place at sunrise last week, click on this YouTube link (and see our woods).

Here I was practicing my manual focus skills on a moving target.

The crow below is looking in the opposite direction of the hawk shown earlier. I think they were ignoring each other.

I love this bird.

One morning I was  hardlyhard at work, and heard something right outside my window. I peaked out and here was Mrs. Cardinal building her nest in a precarious place (because we were about to have our house painted.) I moved the nest before she put too much work into it, or had laid any eggs.

What intrigued me about this little fella is how his movements were so similar to that of my parrot, Gracie.

Last year, I tried to capture a close-up of this yellow-bellied sapsucker, but my efforts did not result in the photo I wanted. This past Sunday I was more successful (see photo above and two photos below), thanks to the new zoom lens and the bird deciding to peck at the tree in the middle of our back patio. 

Look how he blends in…

Here is his action shot!

Below is the photo from last year...

I love cardinals.

My favorite wildlife, Tyler! These two photos were taken last year. He is STILL waiting for a good snowfall for this year.

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These pictures are fantastic. And those birds! Wow!. I miss Cardinals so much. -R-
Oh Man! These are just beautiful, Janice. You made my day. R
♥╚═══╝╚╝╚╝╚═══╩═══╝─╚╝.for keeping birds of a feather all together.
Thank you, Christine, for stopping by and commenting. My mother always made a fuss about cardinals in our yard, she loved them, and they were also the mascot of my school, so perhaps that is another reason I love them so!

Thoth: What a compliment! I stood in my bathrobe in the backyard taking photos before the rest of the family woke up; shared them with you all here, and now see your comments. Yeah, for our wonderful venues of sharing!

Oh, Algis…. How creative you are! Thank you for this calligraphy-gift!
Very lovely. Love the boy cardinal.