Yellowstone Reports

Printer-friendly version

Mountain Songbirds (and a bit more)

One Hour Photography
by Dan Hartman

March 14, 2016

     Our male marten sppeared at our cabin this morning.  Since his visits have become infrequent, I grabbed my camera and got a few shots as he retreated to our woodpile.  (Over the past 25 years, our woodpile has always been a place of refuge for our martens.)  I really feel guilty using the wood and thus making their hideaway smaller and smaller.

     A spring snowstorm was brewing and the songbirds were mobbing our feeders.  During the winter several photography groups rent our yard for a couple hours for bird photos.  I got to wondering how I would do photographing on a limited time basis.  So from 10:30 to 11:30 I worked the birds from our gallery windows.

     I soon found some specie were easy.  Clarks nutcracker, stellars jays, even pine grosbeaks moved slowly and perched for lengthy times on branches.  However, rosey finches (three species flocked together), gray crowned, black rosey and hepburn finches were plentiful but extremely quick.  As are the mountain chickadees.  My hairy woodpecker was here for just a short time and the gray jays, red breasted nuthatches, white breasted nuthatches and red polls never showed at all.

     I was about to call it an hour when suddenly a fox appeared back in the trees.  He tried to sneak in on the squirrels but they were on to him and the fox soon moved off.

     Speaking of squirrel, we have a squirrel with half a tail.  A week ago I spotted a large piece of squirrel tail lying on the ground.  We wondered if our marten had made another kill, but two days later a squirrel with a large section of tail missing appeared.


View slide show

Marten In The Woodpile

Stellers Jay

Clarks Nutcracker

Pine Grosbeak

Black Rosey Finch

Gray Crowned Rosey Finch

Hepburn Rosey Finch

Dark Eyed Junco

Mountain Chickadee

Hairy Woodpecker



Sneaking Fox

Icy Stare



One More