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You can put my knowledge of birds on a pinpoint..I only started really noticing different birds a couple of years ago on a trip out to Yellowstone...Now I think, wonder how many great birds, have I missed seeing in my overthehill, lifetime?  Why? ?Now this interest, in birds..I grew up in Toledo Ohio, western edge of Lake Erie was at the end of street. It is  a cross roads of 2 flyways, one north- south and one east-west. A mecca for birds in the spring to stop on the south shore of Lake Erie before they fly across the lake and into the Canadian north. We used to go out to Magee Marsh in the fall to look for ducks...not that I cared about ducks,  but that is what my father liked to do,for our Sunday drives, His other favorite thing with birds was trying to get a cardinal to eat peanuts out of his hand. You would have thought I noticed the birds way back when.

This summer I spent 5 weeks out in the Rockies and California and 1 week in Ohio on the western edge of Lake Erie. When I go to a new place, I get one of those nice fold over folders that show birds commonly  found in the region.  For me its a good place to start for identification. When I think I have narrowed it down, I will then consult one of my larger bird books to see if I am right..First check is to see if they are found in the area I see them. When I am totally stumped I email a photo to my neighbor..You see I got in the bad habit of photographing birds and then looking them up..I should have started to make note of the bird, size, shape, bill and tail, before I learned to rely on the photographs..Its a habit I am trying to break...but its  not easy. Cause most of time I see a bird I don't have a camera in my hand. Learning the tricks the hard way.

I  have gotten fairly good at knowing the larger birds where I live here in Florida but the migrants in the winter, their different colored feathers for winter can usually throw me.

Had my first ever sighting of a American Redstart in my side yard..came and went so fast no time to grab the camera. They only winter here. Have started to notate on the calendar when I first see a bird in the fall or ones I have never spotted here before.

So here are my finds of the summer some of them are life birds to my list..

Lifers
Oregon Junco, Mariposa Groves, Yosemite was out in open area on the ground hard not to miss.
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Pink or Rufous Sided Junco...hard to spot..saw rustling in the leaves on the ground that caught my attention.  Breckenridge Co.  Such a contrast to the oregon Junco.
Pink Sided Junco

Stellar Jay, Bridal Vail Falls, Yosemite, this was on easy one..but it caused lots of excitement with the French tourists, a rock star to them, they followed these birds as they jumped from  tree to tree..
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Acorn Woodpecker, Yosemite..Red hat caught my attention first.
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Indigo Bunting, Toledo, Ohio
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A pair of eagles, high up in trees, Ottawa River, Toledo Ohio
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Juvenile eagle, Ottawa River, Toledo Ohio, had only seen adults before and not juveniles.

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Black chinned hummingbird, my balcony Breckenridge, Co..I have always heard or seen hummingbirds out there, but could never get a good look.  This summer I put a feeder up and Wow they came...but they flit, so fast, its hard to grab a photo of them.. Saw a broad tailed hummer in Vail Co..but could not get a decent photo of it.
Black Chinned Hummer

Unknowns as I can't seem to identify them.

Toledo Ohio in August- Eastern Wood Pee Wee..thanks Oldjackpine
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Toledo Ohio in August.-Pectoral Sandpiper..thanks Blogdog
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Is this a Junco? Glacier Road, Yosemite
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Glacier Road, Yosemite...sang the most beautiful song..so beautiful I had to search till I found the source...I should have recorded the song. A fox sparrow..thanks Lineatus

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Goldfinches so beautiful in the northern summer..they are just drab colors by the time they reach Florida in the fall and I have not seen one yet at my feeders.

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