A New Toy for These Bird-Nerds

Have you ever anxiously awaited to get some new piece of technology, like the latest iPhone or iPad? I haven’t. I’ve never had to be on the cutting edge of technology. It just doesn’t excite me all that much. I have adapted to things like SmartBoards in school, smartphones, and now iPads for school, but it’s always been long after the technology has been around and it has usually been forced upon me. For once, though, I have sought out and purchased a new high-tech device, and I cannot wait until it arrives next week. So, what is it and how does it relate to birding? It’s Canon’s PowerShot SX50 – a camera that goes from a focal length of 24 mm to a whopping 1200 mm allowing you to have 50x zoom! That is crazy for a point-and-shoot. Now we can start putting up our own, hopefully quality, bird photos. I was looking into telephoto lenses for our Rebel, but this was a much cheaper and more portable option. Lillian Stokes, photographer for the Stokes Field Guide to Birds of North America, gave me the tip on Canon’s affordable, super zoom cameras after she checked out the post, Couch-Potato Birding, and saw my plea for advice for photography equipment for birding.

I am almost hoping we don’t have any more amazing birding experiences until that baby is in hand. Almost. Like, for instance:

  • Having the Oregon Junco (first the female, now the male) show up in the yard yesterday
  • Getting our second visit from the Hairy Woodpecker yesterday, nicknamed Harry
  • Watching the Northern Shrike cover half a city block today in a relentless aerial pursuit of a Common Redpoll (Shrikes are predator birds and this was our second  sighting in a week of this rare visitor)
  • Seeing TWO male Northern Cardinals stop by our feeders for a meal on Friday
  • Spotting two Merlins (possibly) flying low over the city of Willmar today
  • Going birding from the car with The Team last Sunday evening in sub-zero, windy weather and seeing two gorgeous rooster Ring-Necked Pheasants glittering with color in the setting sun as they stood in the crisp, white snow against the golden grasses

I can’t wait to add some eye-candy to this blog.  I’ve been fortunate enough to use the works of some gifted photographers for these posts, but soon you should be seeing what we see!  Stay tuned.

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