There are so many wild bird species that at one time or another make the Wind River Canyon their place of residence (over one hundred) that it's not always easy for me to figure out whom I've forgotten. This particular Wind River Canyon Blog is about one I had forgot and one I had never even seen before this harsh winter!
This first wild bird isn't even rare, and you've probably seen them if you "feed the birds." They are scattered across America from coast to coast, but are not native, even though I thought so, too. They were first introduced "back east" in the 1940's. They are listed in my older bird books as Red House Finches, but are now listed in references as just House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)----but they're still red.
I'd been out in the deep snow here in the canyon trying to get a decent photograph of the other bird in this blog, and shot this image of a beautiful, male House Finch in a juniper tree. It was Wyoming cold outside! My boots are rated to 80 below and my coat was made for the Swedish military, so only my fingers and batteries got cold. It may be Ground Hog Day, but it's winter here, baby!! The other wild bird was the one I was really after with my cameras, because we had never observed one in the Wind River Canyon before this winter. And was it ever tough to get a decent image of this crazy, fast moving little brown bird. Hand-held with the big zoom lens (Tamron 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2) it was way more difficult than a video game, and just as frustrating.
A Brown Creeper (Certhia americana), also known as the American Treecreeper, is a wild bird that moves like no other in the canyon. It's herky-jerky movements, up and around trees, is really wild to try and follow at 500 plus millimeters of lens. It was a real workout in the cold with that coat, and I must admit, a lot of fun!
Take notice of the curved bill, it's really unusual. Brown Creepers are not interested in my sunflower seeds; they are interested in my suet blocks and the bugs in the trees. This particular picture was the best at showing what these small wild birds (5.25 inches from beak to end of tail) really look like; in this case in the snow----I love the tilt of the head. The way this little bird runs up and around the trees at nearly the speed of lightning is a riot to try and follow with binoculars, even from a distance. But I had little luck in getting great images when he was on the trees; which is the kind of challenge I relish, even in the winter.
The "new" software I am now using for the RAW Canon image files is their free Digital Photo Professional; it's now closer to Adobe Lightroom, which I still use to tweak the final photographs.
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For photographs of native-born Wyoming Hummingbirds and the Bighorn Sheep that visit the Wind River Canyon, click above to visit my safe website.