Friday Feathered Friends-Cassin’s Finch

Copyright ©2021 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Back in July I saw this beauty, he was my 7th Lifer for the year!

Cassin’s Finch-Male

They live in the mountains of western North America. I am really surprised that it took me so long to spot one, but it did.

Fun Facts: gleaned from allaboutbirds.org

The Cassin’s Finch was first collected on an 1850s expedition to the southwestern mountains by the Pacific Railroad Survey. The eminent ornithologist John Cassin, who created illustrations for the survey, called the pink-tinged finch the “greatest bird in the lot.” Cassin asked his friend and colleague Spencer Baird to name the new species after him.

Male Cassin’s Finches have red crown feathers thanks to carotenoid pigments, which they acquire when they swallow colorful foods like the orange berries of firethorn plants.

Male Cassin’s Finches remain brownish and look like females during their first breeding season. During this time they sing, and this may give the false impression that both sexes sing. These young males may group into “bachelor flocks” during that first breeding season.

The Cassin’s Finch is an accomplished mimic, often adding the calls of other species into its own songs.

The Cassin’s Finch breeds semicolonially, with nests on average 80 feet apart. Nests are sometimes as close as 3 feet apart—this usually causes a fight between males until one of the pair gives up. If the first nest is substantially earlier than the other, however, such close nesting may be tolerated.

The Cassin’s Finch craves salt, and is often found visiting mineral deposits on the ground.

The oldest recorded Cassin’s Finch was a male, and at least seven years old when he was recaptured and released during banding operations in Oregon in 1979. He had been banded in the same state in 1974. ~ allaboutbirds.com

We’re still dealing with a lot of smoke from the two biggest fires in California.

As I type this on Thursday our AQI is bad, but not as awful as it was on Monday when we flew into Reno on our way home from visiting Big Baby Boy, and the Dark Haired Beauty. Monday the AQI was a whopping 398!

I saw the pilots on the way out of the plane and said, “I sure am glad you were able to see to land, because I couldn’t see a thing!” One of the pilots replied, ” We had one eye opened and hoped for the best.” 🤣😜

I’m glad it was the good eye!

He-Man said he was thinking about the scene in the movie Airplane. Flying on instruments LOL!!

I hope you all have a great week-end!!

Fuji X-T3| Fujinon 100-400mm| PS CC 22.5.0

more to come…

Wordless Weds. Lake Tahoe between storms

Copyright ©2021 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Lumix FZ200| PS CC 22.2.0 Lake Tahoe at Sand Harbor State Park 2021

more to come…

Whatever Weds. Stargazing

Copyright © 2020 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I went out Saturday night to shoot the Milky Way and Comet C/2020 F3 “Neowise”. It was a gorgeous night with perfect weather for it.  I’ve only got one image ready to share.

Here’s the Milky Way with Jupiter the brightest planet to the left of the Milky Way and little bitty Saturn to left of it.

Milky Way over the Eastern Sierras
Copyright ©2020 Deborah M. Zajac ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I used my old Legacy Nikon 18mm f/3.5 Ais manual focus lens for this shoot. I light-painted the log and grass in the foreground, but this lens is so bright it picked up the light spill from the setting Moon in the background too.  I forgot it was this bright, and I love the colors it renders.  It’s going to live in my bag for the rest of the summer.

In other news, I’m just about out of memory on this desktop computer so we’ve bought a new faster one with more memory. I think we’re installing and transferring all my programs to it tomorrow. If all goes well I’ll be online checking out your blogs as usual and replying to any comments after that, but if not…I’ll be back when I can! Wish us luck!

 

Nikon D810| Nikkor 18mm f/3.5Ais| 25seconds| ISO 3200| Manual Mode| Single Frame processed in PS CC 21.2.1

more to come…

 

 

 

Whatever Weds. Daybreak on the Pond

Copyright ©2020 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

We had 7 inches of snow last Thursday all over Carson Valley!  On Friday a friend and I got up and out really early to catch the sunrise and do some birding.  Before we even made it out of our gate we had to stop at the pond to catch the wonderful color and scene at the pond.

Daybreak on the Pond

The storm blew through really fast, but oh what it left behind is so pretty!

Nikon Df| Nikkor 24-120mm @24mm| f/11|0.5s| ISO 100| PS CC 21.0.2

more to come…