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

56 Responses to Welcome to Richard’s Bird Blog

  1. 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

  2. Molly Edwards says:

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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)

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 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

  10. 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!

  11. 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.

  12. 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)

  13. 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.

  14. 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!

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.


  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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?”

  25. 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

  26. 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.

  27. Betty Harrington says:

    I enjoy your pic­tures and will enjoy your blog infor­ma­tion.

  28. 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.

  29. Carmelo Palazzo says:

    I enjoyed read­ing your blog.
    Look­ing for­ward to oth­ers.

  30. 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.

  31. Corona says:

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

  32. cat lover says:

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

  33. 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.

  34. This guy is really lucky !

  35. admin says:

    Thanks, I plan to do a lot more.

  36. Bhimaprasad Maiti says:

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

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