North American Songbirds

Bird Watching In the Northeast

The hours of daylight are getting longer. It’s finally beginning to feel like spring, and many of us in the northern hemisphere look forward to the return of migrating birds. Many birds migrate to a specific area to breed and raise their young.

The time it takes a bird to complete its one way migration can range from a few weeks to four months, depending on the distance. Soon the air will be filled with song!

The Northern Cardinal is abundant across the eastern United States from Maine to Texas and in Canada. Its natural habitat is woodlands, gardens, shrub lands, and swamps. This bird is a permanent resident throughout its range, it may relocate to avoid extreme weather or when food is scarce. The Northern Cardinal is the most popular state bird, representing Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia.

The Eastern Bluebird loves to perch on tree branches and wires observing insect prey. An eastern bluebird will swoop down and catch a flying insect or go down to the ground to feed on a grasshopper, cricket or other insect. The Eastern Bluebird is the state bird of Missouri and New York.

The Baltimore Oriole is a medium sized songbird with a long pointed bill and a beautiful flute-like song. The Oriole builds a “hanging basket” nest at the top of tall trees, usually elm or maple. They eat insects, fruit and nectar. It’s easy to entice a Baltimore Oriole to your backyard by placing orange halves on a feeder fruit side up.

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Walk softly, let nature be your guide…

Christina Rollo
Fine Art Photographer
Binghamton, New York
www.rollosphotos.com

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Save the World Plant a Tree

Leave a Lasting Impact

Each year hundreds of trees are cut to clear power lines, install fuel lines, or to build roads, homes, and shopping malls. In addition, stronger storms around the world can devastate trees and forests. One of the most positive and lasting impacts we can make on earth is to plant a tree! Trees are vital to our existence as well as provide food and shelter for wildlife. It’s never too early to think about planting your next tree.

Consider Species

There are several things to consider when planting trees. Now is the time to start thinking about them. Consider your landscape. Trees which bear fruit are generally small and will attract wildlife. If you plant a fruiting tree close to your home expect to have plenty of frequent visitors. Some trees grow large providing shelter to animals from wind and rain. A large tree near your home helps to cool it in the summer. Consider the roots on a large tree before planting near your home. Roots can shoot out as far or farther than the canopy of a tree. Roots may grow into sewer lines and over time crack blacktop and concrete. Be sure to give your large tree plenty of room to grow. So think carefully about which type of tree you might like to plant this spring.

Earth Day

The best time to plant trees is in the spring after the ground thaws. Many communities have festivities centered around Earth Day and Arbor Day. Check your local area, some organizations hold tree give-aways encouraging people to plant native species.

Every year in Binghamton New York the Broome County Soil & Water Department holds a sale of mostly native plants and trees for a low cost. The Spring Tree Order Form and Descriptions are available online now! Trees are sold in groups of 10 for as little as $18.00. Make a commitment to plant ten trees, or at least plant one and give the rest away. Everyone enjoys receiving a lasting gift. What better gift to give than a gift of life, which grows stronger over time and benefits us all!

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Walk softly, let nature be your guide…

Christina Rollo
Fine Art Photographer
Binghamton, New York
www.rollosphotos.com

Search: nature, tree, landscape, forest, beautiful, plant, grow, outdoors, framed art, rollosphotos.

Photo Tips Fall Colors

Are you interested in capturing some colorful fall photos this year? Follow these steps for creative fall photography, and capture those rich vibrant colors.

Autumn is my favorite time of year for photography. It’s the grand finale to summer but the weather can be tricky sometimes. Believe it or not those fall trees with beautiful bright colorful leaves will look more vivid and vibrant under low light. On a clear sunny day early morning or evening is the ideal time for fall landscapes. Photographing landscapes with even light will really make those colors pop!

Oakley Corners State Forest Landscape
‘Oakley Corners State Forest Landscape’

Don’t put your camera away on an overcast day, get outside because it might be your best light. Set your white balance to cloudy for the best results.

Peaceful Creek
‘Peaceful Creek’

Be creative, experiment!

Tic Tac Toe
‘Tic Tac Toe’

If you like abstract photography, capture those beautiful colors reflecting light on lakes and ponds. Every photograph you take will be original and unique.

Abstract Tree Reflection
‘Abstract Tree Reflection’

Mix your fall photography with a nice long hike through the woods, or a trip to the pumpkin farm. That way you can enjoy the best of everything fall has to offer!

Please visit my official website www.rollosphotos.com to enjoy more from my collection of fall photography and shop with confidence. Every purchase includes a money-back guarantee.

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Walk softly, let nature be your guide…

Christina Rollo
Fine Art Photographer
Binghamton, New York
www.rollosphotos.com

Northern Cardinal Facts

The male Northern Cardinal is always the first bird to visit our feeder in the morning and the last bird to visit at night.

The Northern Cardinal is a medium sized North American songbird, common to backyard feeders. The male Cardinal is one of the most beautiful year-round birds we have in the Northeastern United States. He is especially charming with his bright red feathers, black face mask, and distinct crest on top of his head. Cardinal pairs mate for life and stay together all year. During courtship, males can be observed feeding seeds to their mate.

Here’s a beautiful male Northern Cardinal with bright red feathers sitting in snow covered pines. The male’s bright red plumage against a dismal gray or white landscape makes them a favorite species of winter birds.

Red Cardinal Art Prints for SaleMale Northern Cardinal, ‘Red Cardinal’

The female Cardinal is equally charming with an orange crest on top of her head, but her color is a dull buff brown. This female is the center of attention perched on a pine branch against a beige background.

Winter Cardinal Art Prints for SaleFemale Northern Cardinal, ‘Winter Cardinal’

Northern Cardinals can be found in brushy areas, thickets, woodland edges, and suburban yards throughout the eastern United States. Their range has been expanding north for decades as a result of backyard bird feeders, which makes it possible for these beautiful birds to endure our harsh northern winter.  Males are territorial and mark their territory with song. Nests are built in dense shrubs or small trees between 1 and 15 feet above ground. They are made from twigs, bark strips, vines, leaves, rootlets, and paper lined with grass and hair.

Northern Cardinal Art Prints for Sale‘Northern Cardinal’

The Northern Cardinal is the state bird, of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia in the US.

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Walk softly, let nature be your guide…

Christina Rollo
Fine Art Photographer
www.rollosphotos.com

Search: nature, cardinals art, animals, birds, cardinal, red, avian, wildlife, outdoors, framed art, rollosphotos.

Escaping the Blues

Escaping the Blues Weeping Tree Artwork by Christina Rollo

Escaping the Blues Weeping Tree Artwork by Christina Rollo – Why is it called ‘Escaping the Blues’? Because when the original photo was taken at a park in Michigan, it was during one of my walks under a bland grey sky in early spring. Even though the weather was gloomy I took my camera because I wanted to focus my attention on the beauty not the gloom. Art reflects life, sometimes we need to do this to escape our blues. Regardless of the weather or season I think trees are one of the most artistic things in nature to appreciate.

Escaping the Blues Weeping Tree Art Prints for Sale
‘Escaping the Blues Weeping Tree Art’

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Walk softly, let nature be your guide…

Christina Rollo
Fine Art Photographer
www.rollosphotos.com

Persistence The Key To Success

A Little Bird Told Me

Persistence the Key to Success – A little House Wren has single handedly chased every other nesting bird off our property. It seems every year there is one animal that wreaks havoc on our yard despite the fact that I spend hours, days, months and even years trying to create a nice little habitat for them out there. Ohhh why can’t everyone get along? Some years it’s deer, raccoons, squirrels, or chipmunks and I expect them to misbehave but this is my first experience with a wren.

It was partly my fault because I failed to read the directions when I erected a bluebird house a few years ago. Sure enough, when I bought two more bluebird houses this year there it was right there in the installation guidelines. “For bluebirds mount box away from shrubbery and tree lines to discourage house wrens from competing for the house”.

Who knew we needed “installation guidelines” for a bird house? I didn’t, I thought I knew what I was doing until our bluebirds went away and I found three of their eggs laying on the ground with holes poked in them.

Wild Birds House Wren Art Prints for Sale‘Wild Birds House Wren’

So after emptying sticks out of that box for two weeks straight every day, sometimes three or four times a day, I thought I finally got smart. I spent all day yesterday moving birdhouses around. Well we might want to take lessons on persistence from the wren. Maybe we’d learn how to get everything we want in life? Even though the nest box is now sitting in the middle of our yard right out in the open, that little stinker was back bright and early this morning to fill it with sticks. And to add insult to injury, she stood proudly on the top of the box singing his victory song!! So there you have it, I’ve been completely outsmarted by a a little brown wren, and I don’t think I can ever forget the sound of his song.

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Walk softly, let nature be your guide…

Christina Rollo
Fine Art Photographer
www.rollosphotos.com

Search: nature, animals, birds, nest, beautiful, avian, wildlife, outdoors, framed art, rollosphotos.

Tips for Wildlife Photography

It never occurred to me that my camera lens looked like a big predator eye until I met my falconer friend. While photographing his birds, he explained to me that when I point my camera at them, they feel the need to flee because the lens makes me look like a giant predator.

To calm his bird’s fear, he suggested I photograph them while they were eating in order to have them associate my camera lens with a reward. Much in the same way you would train a dog. The experience enlightened me and I began to change my thinking. I became more aware of where I aimed my lens, as well as my eye contact with animals when I photograph them.

North Wind Red Tailed Hawk Art Prints for Sale
“North Wind” Red Tailed Hawk Painting

I’ve never used a blind until this year so I’ve always been out in the open. Birds which I photographed near bird feeders always accepted my presence after a short period of time. I began to notice that animals who share their environment with people also become accustomed to their presence. When I started photography I found it easy to photograph animals at local parks, zoos, or college campuses where there was a great deal of human activity on a daily basis.

After returning to the woods, I found the same thing to be true. If I spent enough time in one spot, the animals came to accept me as part of their environment. Even though I was not camouflaged, they overcame their fear of approaching me. Many animals are curious by nature, and often times I was surprised by how close they would come to me.

Wild Expedition
“Wild Expedition” Eastern Gray Squirrel

I never stalk animals. Whenever I try to follow them, they flee. Normally I choose a spot to sit and wait for them to come to me. Of course it’s helpful to sit quietly and blend in. The color of my clothing makes a difference, I don’t wear bright colors when I’m out in the woods. On the other hand, when I want to photograph hummingbirds, I wear red, or a colorful t-shirt which attracts them to me.

Shimmering Breeze Hummingbird
“Shimmering Breeze Hummingbird” Ruby Throated Hummingbird

Some animals such as deer will respond to my voice. I know they will run when they see me move. However, if I talk softly to them or make a noise, they will look toward me trying to figure out where the noise is coming from. In a few split seconds I have the opportunity to capture the important element of eye contact.

Bright Eyed and Bushy Tailed
“Bright Eyed And Bushy Tailed” White Tailed Deer

Finally, be courteous with animals. I know this may sound silly but whenever an animal allows me to take their photograph, I thank them. Perhaps the fact that I’m relaxed when I talk to them makes me seem less threatening, I don’t know? I continue to do it because the practice always seems to provide good fortune for future interactions with wildlife.

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Walk softly, let nature be your guide…

Christina Rollo
Fine Art Photographer
www.rollosphotos.com

Search: nature, animals, birds, predator , close-up, avian, deer, wildlife, outdoors, mammals, hummingbird, wild animals, squirrel, environment, framed art, rollosphotos.