Friday, December 7, 2012


I find chasing after a new bird has a cost because it doesn't always guarantee an excellent picture.....just a fuzzy one for that chance glimpse. And while running after that bird, many other species present themselves in broad daylight.  Ones that I've wanted to get great shots of since the beginning of this year.....but the distant call of the Groove Bill Ani calls me and I run.
Male Summer Tanager
As I run, the rare Male Summer Tanager taunts me sitting on top of a sign.  A test to see how bad I want this bird.  But I stop and hold myself together to snap shots of it.  The Ani calls again and my heart races and I must leave the bird that I've been trying to get better shots of........all for the Ani.
I walk briskly to the bird call.  Whenever there is a rare bird like the Plain Capped Starthroat Hummingbird or the Groove Billed Ani, I can't sleep well.   I memorize their calls and listen carefully while out in the field.  I hear the call repeatedly.
Meanwhile, like the devil taunting me, birds sit and stare at me giving me perfect shots of them.  "Come on!!!  Why couldn't you have done this before???  Why now!??"  The call comes again.
Rare bird indeed.  The only one in the US right now and the whole world is looking for it.  I find another birder also focusing her eyes on the same place I hear the call.
Cooper's Hawk
We look into the tree full of Grackles but a floppy jump catches my eye. "Everyone is here searching for you and we two lucky people found you."
But my eyes are distracted.  INCA DOVES!!!!!????  Come on!!!  Is this some sort of sick joke??!!!  I have searched for you all year long and now, NOW! of all times you and your friends are with the Ani in the tree.  
Inca Doves
A White Crowned Sparrow pops out....and perches perfectly for me.  I wish I had a copy of myself to observe them all at once.  But I can't.  And it's frustrating.  The Ani calls one last time and snaps my attention back like a tight rubber band. 
White Crowned Sparrow
And I catch it flying off into the reeds of the Sweetwater Wetlands.  And as soon as it all happens, it all quickly fades away.  Birders see us both get excited and MANY people come towards us.  I point the direction of the bird and they all quickly go after it.
Groove Billed Ani
"Try" happened twice for me to find this bird.  I had many sleepless nights. Finding the bird was pure adrenaline.  I won't forget that moment for a long time.  But I am a perfectionist and as a photographer, I was upset with my pictures.  I am OCD and went back the next day around the same time.  Would luck strike twice?  More tomorrow.....


  1. Muy bella rapaz.. Y me encantan las tortolitas, no se como las llamáis vosotros.. Pero me parecen muy estéticas.. Un saludillo desde la lluviosa Madrid..

  2. Chris, so glad you got your shot of the Groove Billed Ani. My only sighting was a short one while riding down a road in Costa Rica. Love the pretty Tanager. Great post, Happy Birding!

  3. Okay, now I'm getting a tad jealous over all the wonderful birds you've been spotting lately.. but I'm extremely happy for you, Chris. Thanks for sharing the wealth ~:)

  4. oh this was funny
    I enjoyed your pursuit
    and it is a pretty clear shot of the Groove Billed Ani
    I don't know this bird...
    but I left your post imaginging you listening to bird call cds are addicted
    our good fortune
    ....but I confess to having a few cds myself ;)

  5. Sounds like a familiar scenario :-)

  6. Chris, a glimpse and fuzzy image and sound...all more than I was able to capture, after 3 visits in a row. I'm so happy for you. The other 'distractions' were also amazeballs!

  7. You are too funny. And have become obsessed. Keep it up.

  8. I see lots of beautiful colored birds. We do not have those beautiful red birds but I like them like it. Very nice and also many information.

    Greetings, Helma

  9. Nie zawsze udaje się zrobić dobre zdjęcie, a szczególnie ptakom. Mnie się Twoje podobają. Pozdrawiam.
    Not always possible to make a good picture, especially birds. Me to your liking. Yours.

  10. You must be living right, Chris! :-) I am amazed at your wonderful finds! Wow!

  11. Oh my goodness...I can feel your adrenaline as you type!!! This was amazing! WOWZERS!!!

  12. I'm off up to the latest post to find out!!

  13. Wow! How the excitement shows through :) Well done on getting a photo of such a rare bird!

  14. are so funny!!
    the Ani in flight is a terrific they all are!

    you are definitely addicted!! a bird junkie! =)


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