I figured out that if I get below the edge of the window sill and crawl up onto the couch and move really slowly, I can raise my iPhone high enough to snap photos without scaring the birds. Can't use my regular digital camera as, apparently, it is too noticeable really freaks out the birds. I think because the iPhone is so slim and is in a dark case, it's not as obvious to them.
Here's what I was able to capture:
This is a male House Finch.
He has a red head and chest. The females are all brown/tan/cream and don't have the red.
These are the mourning doves that like to come in the late afternoon up until sunset and clean up whatever has fallen from the feeder above. It's awesome to have a great clean up crew! Normally, I only see them in pairs of two so it was a little odd to see a third one - hopefully nothing happened to its mate. I couldn't capture it in the photos, but their necks and wings have a subtle lavender iridescence to them in the right light - you think they are very plain birds until you see that and then it's like WOW...so pretty!
I got super lucky and managed to already be in mid-click on the iPhone camera when my little hummingbird showed up and took a seat at the feeder. I had just brewed a new batch of nectar about an hour before this so was excited to see this little visitor drop by.
I just kept clicking non-stop and got a shot of it actually drinking!
And flying...okay, kinda blurry, but still so cool!
This shot is a bit better...if only the hummer wasn't the same color as the fence LOL! I'm still learning my identification skills, but I'm pretty sure this is a Rufous...and I think it's more likely to be a female (or a juvenile) because the colors are more subdued.
This bird first showed up last weekend and I spent most of the week trying to identify it from one brief glimpse and not having much luck. I finally saw it again later in the week and realized it was a bit lighter in color than I had remembered from my first sighting and that it has a pale cinnamon/pink area underneath its tail.
Armed with that information, I'm pretty sure I've correctly identified it as a California Towhee. This one, like the doves, is part of the ground clean up crew. I did see him go to the main feeder once or twice, but he seems to prefer the ground.
This is my favorite of all the birds that have come by so far - mostly because I never realized we had any local birds that had this kind of coloration. Just goes to show how much is going on around you that you can totally miss!
He's very timid...and will not come directly to the main feeder at all. He starts out on a high branch in the palm trees in my neighbor's yard that overlook the feeder, then moves to a lower branch, then moves to the fence and then finally will go to the suet cage...
...and attempt to grab a mouthful in mid-flight...
...which I was lucky enough to capture (look at that bright yellow on his back - so pretty!)...
...and then off he flies with his beak full of yummy suet! And that's our Yellow-Rumped Warbler.
I will get over this obsession soon LOL. I probably watched too many episodes of "Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom" as a child (and now you know how old I am, too!)