Here's my buddy K-bird...he's a Cassin's Kingbird who regularly hangs out around the grapevines.
For a long time I was (as a newbie birder) not completely sure if he was a Western Kingbird or a Cassin's, but the more I looked at how the white patch under his chin is a defined patch rather than a wash of white, the more I started to think he was a Cassin's and the Facebook Bird ID group was kind enough to confirm it for me.
He's such a good poser! I keep thinking I should leave him some treats, but I'm not sure if I can handle carrying a bag of fresh bugs around with me until lunch time.
The Northern Mockingbirds were super active this year - I don't remember ever seeing quite this many of them around the office area. But they were so busy singing, chasing hawks away and performing aerial displays that I had a hard time getting any good photos. Finally, one day, this guy agreed to pose...although he is kind of doing the Mockingbird pee-pee dance in this shot...
I did get one good still shot before he took off. Their ability to mimic and their catalog of bird calls is quite amazing. I am convinced that they pick up other noises as well because I'm just sure I heard one doing an imitation of a car alarm one day.
Black Phoebes are one of my favorite local birds. They look so dapper in their black and white "tuxedo" outfits (although my son maintains that only penguins can be considered "tuxedo" birds). I find them difficult to photograph, though, because their black eyes blend so perfectly into their black head feathers that it seems like every shot I get, the eyes aren't visible. I finally managed to solve that issue with this bird and a slightly cloudy day.
The hit of rust on his feathers and that bright interior to his mouth and bit of a gape at the back of the beak make me think he might be a juvenile. Either way, he's not all that happy that I'm documenting his preening session.
Now you can see his "tuxedo."
And, I decided to try my VERY basic Photoshop skills at a cropped portrait photo. I'm actually pretty pleased with it and I'd like to think my photography skills are steadily improving (not without some setbacks and the fact that I still take far more bad photos than good ones LOL). I'm hoping by Christmas to feel I've improved enough to justify making the expenditure for my first DSLR camera.