Welcome to Richard’s Bird Blog

I am a bird photographer. That means that I do everything differently from a true, genuine Birder (Twitch, if you live in the U. K.) I do not keep lists, I don’t own bird binocs or spotting scopes, I don’t stop to I.D the bird before I photograph it. I don’t stay far away from the birds, I sit and wait for them to come to me.
(Sometime I sit and wait and they don’t come.) When they do, I try to capture their flight, their emotions, a bit of their life with my cameras and then write about my experiences in Adventures in Birdland.  (Please don’t misunderstand, I have a great admiration for true birders, their dedication, their ability to amass tons of precise details and, of course, their love of birds, which I do share.)

While sitting and waiting I have been approached by many hikers who have asked me, “What is that bird over there,” or, “what is that bird doing?” Those questions prompted me to begin writing short articles on my adventures with birds for the Silver Express, a monthly newspaper for Senior Citizens here in Marin County, California.  The articles have been well received but the black and white photos didn’t show the beauty of the birds the way I wanted.

So I decided to publish the articles in a blog where the photos would be in color and where I could expand on the articles with more material and many more photos. Some of my more interesting adventures with birds are here, also.

(Update: the Silver Express is now the Whistlestop Express and it is now in color.)

In the right hand column are a few websites I recommend.

Please add your comments and/or corrections. If changes need to be made, I need to know about them.
If you have questions about birds, bird photography or bird flight, I will try to answer them or point you to a better source. Or your thoughts may prompt me to write a post about it.

Click on any photo to see a larger version, use your Back Button to return.

I plan two or more posts each month. Want to be notified? Just click Entries RSS

Enjoy  …  Richard Pavek

65 Responses to Welcome to Richard’s Bird Blog

  1. It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d
    without a doubt donate to this superb blog! I guess for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.

    I look forward to brand new updattes and will share this site with my
    Facebook group. Talk soon!

  2. John & Yvonne Blevins says:

    Hello Richard, My wife & I used to receive your weekly photos in our email, but since changing our email address have not been getting them. Would you please add our new contact info. so we can again enjoy your beautiful work? Thanks. ( our old email address was -calama@sonic.net )

  3. Hi Richard — Would you be interested in presenting a program featuring your bird photos at the Sausalito Library sometime? We have a big (9′ x 12′) projection screen and your photos would display beautifully. Best, Abbot

  4. isaiah says:

    hey i need help! there is a halk/falcon by my home and i want to know the type. it has white body, white head, the tips of its beak is grey but the back is yellow and black wings. it has a long drawn out scream.

  5. Eugene Gmitrowicz says:

    Just saw the strangest bird Orno at a feeder. It looks exactly like a gracle except it has a white head with some black specks in it . Apparently it comes to a feeder daily

  6. Molly Edwards says:

    My sister forwarded your amazing pictures, and please sign me up for the weekly bird photo.

  7. LaVerne Uhte says:

    Today’s photo of the Cooper’s Hawk reminded me of the time I saw one as I sat in the garden by the creek. It was perched in a tree on the other bank above the creek which was full of Mallard Ducks. Suddenly it swooped down over the ducks and landed in another tree. The startled ducks scattered and took off. No way could that Cooper’s Hawk have carried one of those mature ducks so I felt that it was just having fun. At least I like to think a bird could have a sense of humor. I’m 90 years old and can’t actively bird watch anymore. I do thank you for your photos.

  8. Tord S Eriksson says:

    I love your bird shots – I am slowly learning the tricks of the trade! Fast focusing (manual or automatic) seems to be the most important, and using not too slow lenses!

  9. Seth says:

    Are you in the Grand Tetons? Thought I might have seen you yesterday by the great grays while I was giving a tour.

  10. David Colton says:

    Now that I have a camera capable of capturing birds in flight, birds at a distance, birds in fairly dim light, and birds in a bush (all difficult or impossible for my old super-zoom cameras), there is so much to learn. This site, which I just stumbled on looking at Google images of Red Shouldered Hawks, is just what I need right now. Thank for the great pictures, the great narratives, and maintaining this site.

    David (Wings42)

  11. Chandler Dann says:

    I continue to be impressed by your photographs, and the precise timing that you’re able to exercise. Thank you for sharing them, by emailing them to enjoy.

  12. I finally moved to a lovely spot with a nice yard where I have installed a super-ific shepherds hook that accommodates suet, birdseed and hummingbird juice. Now all through the day, I can finally watch these precious creatures feeding. It’s become an all day movie for me and my twin calico girls. Your bird photos are fantastic and I value your blog and am grateful for my dear friend, Linda, who has put me in touch with you. Thank you, Sir Richard!

  13. Sister Gabriel O'Riordan says:

    Richard, please continue to send the photographs. Your observation and capture of so many special bird pictures is amazing!
    God bless you and thank you,

    Sister Gabriel

  14. Bethi Carver says:

    You shared a wonderful photo of Great Blue Heron family.
    I am a fan of these birds too and watch them daily!

  15. newton harband says:

    I checked out the Heron Festival at Clear Lake. April 30, May 1 is correct for this year but they state that the reservations for brunch and boat tour for 2010 are now closed.
    I think they mean 2011!

    • admin says:

      Hi Newt,
      No they meant 2010. Last year’s site has not been changed for this year’s. Typically festivals don’t change their web site info until about two months before the event. Find their email address and ask them when the current year will be posted.

  16. Nick Powell says:

    Hello Richard,

    I just found your blog and thought I’d let you know about the bird lover’s hotel of Morro Bay. We recently redesigned our hotel so that our hallways are lined with Audubon prints, our rooms include trail maps and info on local birds, and our lobby features giant bird books. We also have a few pairs of binoculars that guests can borrow. We just want to spread the word to fellow bird enthusiasts.

    And if you don’t already have plans, Come on down for the Annual Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival. It’s happening next weekend.

    Have a good day!

    • admin says:

      Thanks Nick,
      Can’t make it this year, I am getting ready to go to Belize and photograph Shipstern.
      Maybe next year,
      I put you on my weekly bird list)

  17. Arlene says:

    I love your site and your notes in the Silver Express which after reading two of your articles on Hawks I decided I needed to see them in color. Also I live in such a rich area of birds myself that I need your site to figure out what I am seeing. I live east of the Marin Civic Center. I have water birds joining upland game birds and raptors and then the Blue Jays, Crows, Robins, Mocking Birds and other small birds I do not know their names. All in all I love them. Thank you.

  18. Nancy says:

    Today’s post – Sir Kestrel Victorious! Hath slain the Green Dragon! – once again reminds me of your incredible eye for detail, skillful focus and patience. Thank you for sharing your model of closing the gap from being to doing. What a gift!

  19. Marx Curran says:

    We’ve been enjoying your weekly post and spectacular photos for many months. On a recent hiking trip in the Sierras we noticed that you have taught us a great deal about birds and were able to actually identify some of them and/or look at characteristics such as the beak and then were able to quickly identify them in our books. Thank you greatly. You are a marvelous teacher!

    • admin says:

      Thanks for this, lets me know I am on the right track. Haven’t posted for the past two weeks, have been furiously finishing a re-write on my (hopefully) forthcoming book on Avianautics. But will soon.

  20. Gerald Anderson says:

    A while ago I wrote you about the Heron rookery in Morro Bay State Park (and about my dad calling them “shypokes” in Minnesota.)

    I recently noticed that the first announcements of the Morro Bay Bird Festival to be held Jan. 14-17 are now out on the internet at “morrobaybirdfestival.org”. The program has been most impressive in the past; I assume it will be also this year.

  21. Carolyn says:

    It is great to get your pictures because I see up close and personal these beautiful birds that I would otherwise not experience.


  22. Corona says:

    Am feeling so happy, wanted to join the Cranes in their dance!! A fantastic display.
    What a world of beauty and poetry. Thanks for the joy it gives.

  23. jude says:

    Great to see you the other day, receiving your photos each week is a constant reminder of just how special and talented you are. This blog confirms it. I gasp at the breadth of your vision and kindness in sharing all of this.

  24. Joe Reisinger says:


    Thanks for adding me to your mailing list, and for the explanation of your methodology. As I’m always looking for better ways of doing things (anything practically) that was appreciated. You “innovation” kind of reminds me of Psychologist Abraham Maslow in coming up with his hierarchy of needs.

    It occurred to Dr. Maslow that his industry was studying sick people in its quest to get them well. He was the first to publish on a somewhat different approach. He advocated studying “well people” to see what made them well, then apply those leanings to the sick. In the process, he literally reinvented and saved the psychology business which was becoming invasively marginalized by the growing popularity of psychiatry and applications of biochemistry.

    I’m just pointing this out as my way of saying “thanks” for you contribution going deeper than just supplying pretty pictures of birds – which your web presence does quite well. Keep it up. I, for one, really appreciate it.

    • admin says:

      Thanks Joe,
      For your comments on my efforts. It is a labor of love.
      I didn’t know about Maslow’s motivation but certainly glad he did it.

  25. Richard – Your bird photos & your words about them are nothing short of poetic – thank you!

  26. Adelaide Green says:

    I came across your site by accident and have been grateful ever since!!!! Your photo’s are extraordinary and have become a permanent part of my computer and desk. Thank you again!!!!!! I also forward them to friends and family who enjoy them as well.

  27. Wendy says:

    Your photos and blog are delightful! I often forward your amazing photos to friends. They help me better understand our local birds and admire the ones from distant lands. Thank you so much for sharing them with all of us!

    • admin says:

      Thanks Wendy,
      You are very welcome. Taking these photos always force me to look up the bird and learn a bit more about it and other like it.

  28. George says:

    I look forward to every weekend and the next picture. They all make me gasp, “How in the devil did he do that?”

  29. Sharon says:

    Having met you that one day at Stowe Lake, opened my eyes to the world of many
    types of birds and some very beautiful photographs. I will be waiting for your Blog
    info. Sharon

  30. Betty says:

    I too love to watch birds that gather at my tiny deck with the feeder hanging in sight but over the dirt below so I don’t have to constantly be cleaning away seeds or other bird leavings. Lots of bird experiences that I have written about for my small writing group that meets twice monthly to read aloud our latest memoirs, essays, opinions and such. Seeing the birds gather every morning for breakfast and the rest of the day for whatever, makes life so interesting and always brings fantasy land back to reality.
    I’ve enjoyed your weekly photos for over a year now, and glad you will be expanding my knowledge and insight on birds.

  31. Betty Harrington says:

    I enjoy your pictures and will enjoy your blog information.

  32. Frank says:

    Great photos!
    Thanks for not only keeping my PC desktop alive with great photos – and now your blogs have given us all some fresh wonder about birds and the world around us. Thanks!

    • admin says:

      Thanks Frank,
      The birds continue to teach and delight me and I love to share what I have learned.

  33. Carmelo Palazzo says:

    I enjoyed reading your blog.
    Looking forward to others.

  34. Carmelo Palazzo says:

    Richard, Good to be able to read your blog. I’ll keep looking for it.
    Thanks for your time and interest in producing it.

  35. Corona says:

    Looking forward to this wonderful adventure of entering into Adventures in Birdland over the next days. Thanks

  36. cat lover says:

    I like Adventures in Birdland and find the best thing from here. Thanks .

  37. I love birds photograph , You can see my pic on http://www.jakartaphotoclub.com
    and I will send my pic to your web too, If ok.

  38. This guy is really lucky !

  39. admin says:

    Thanks, I plan to do a lot more.

  40. Bhimaprasad Maiti says:

    Athought provoking write up .I am greatful to get an access to this sort of Article.

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