Monday, April 02, 2007

Bright boys and Waldo

The weekend was cool and rainy, hardly inspiring for outdoor activities. My husband and I went out in the late afternoon and walked a section of the river where the trail climbs high on the bluffs, allowing for better drainage and less mud. The dreary day was not inspiring for birds either and all we saw were robins, geese and red winged blackbirds. I took a picture of a couple walking on the opposite bank. Why is she wearing white pants?! except to catch my eye for a photo.
The sun came out briefly as we returned to the car and so did the birds. Larry wrote recently about the difficulty in photographing the hyperactive and tiny Golden Crowned Kinglets.

Where's Waldo? I mean the Golden Crowned Kinglet?

I took many pictures of bare branches and almost discarded this photo as well until I noticed that I had actually captured a picture of one of them. (I have a larger image on Flickr).
Last evening I received a couple of emails from the 10 year old son of my first cousin. I have only met Samuel once when he was about 4 years old. He has a great interest in birds and nature and is a very intelligent boy. Here is a summary of his first two messages.

Hi, Ruth
This is Sam, Oma Lois's grandson. I read your blog sometimes and that bird of prey you saw over the feild, I think it was
a immature Turkey Vulture. Have you ever been to Point Pelee National Park? Well, I think you should because I saw over 50 species of birds and over 20 species of other wildlife there. In fact, that was the first time I saw a Hairy Woodpecker. Its located in southern Ontario and I think this is the park's website.

I replied and told him about the Kinglets and he responded this morning with,

Hello, Ruth
Look for the book on The Sibley Guide to Birds for identifing tips. I have seen a Ruby-crowned Kinglet before but not a Golden-crowned Kinglet. I don't remeber the last time I saw you but I think I was 4 years old then. I noticed that Golden-crowned Kinglets spend more time on the ground than
Ruby-crowned Kinglets do.
Hairy Woodpeckers seem to like woods with less dead trees than Downy
Woodpeckers do. Or ''Downies''.
Bye, Samuel

Well, if this isn't an exceptional young man! I will have to direct him to Mon@rch and The Brownstone Birder for some male mentoring.


  1. Anonymous2:20 pm GMT-4

    Thanks for linking to me and send the little guy over, I would be happy to answer his questions! Thanks again and enjoy visiting your site.

  2. I have to give you credit for your patience.-I gave up on trying to get a picture.-The ones that i saw were eating something in the pine trees.-Good job to get your evidence for identification!

  3. Wow! The new generation of birders has a great start with that little man.

  4. What a very smart boy, that Samuel! So lovely to read such interest in a boy his age. :c) Indeed, keep encouraging him.

    (WHITE pants? What was she thinking?)

  5. Those small birds are frustrating aren't they? I can see why you thought the bird got away - it blends so well with the background! Congratulations!

    That young man knows where he's going...

  6. Mon@rch- I sent Sam the links to your blog and Flickr page. Your lastest pictures are very good!

    Larry- These birds would have been impossible to catch in pine trees. The bare branches gave me half a chance.

    Susan and Jayne- His Oma says he has not found anyone his age with similar interests. I belonged to the Ontario Federation of Young Naturalists as a child, but that organization no longer exists. I hope he is encouraged to continue his interest in birding.

    Mary- I never would have seen those birds if they didn't move. I am glad I didn't trash the picture...came close though.

  7. Oh! I so identify with trying to photograph that kinglet. I did exactly the same thing as you. Branches and more branches. My only shot of the bird was a rather elongated blur. Congratulations:0)


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