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

Search: nature, animals, birds, cardinal, red, avian, baltimore oriole, wildlife, outdoors, mammals, green, spring, forest, framed art, rollosphotos.

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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.

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.

Macro Photography Insects

How to Photograph Beautiful Insects Close up

With a little bit of patience macro photography can be fun! Most pollinating insects are too busy to notice me getting close to them. I usually pick a flower, pre-focus and wait for bugs to come to it. When following insects such as butterflies, I never cast my shadow over them because they’ll fly away. Point and shoot cameras are perfect for photographing insects close-up. Look for the macro setting (usually a flower symbol) on your camera.

Colorful macro photograph close up of a Honey Bee (Apis), and red chrysanthemum flower with bright yellow center.

Honey Bee And Chrysanthemum Macro Photography Art Prints for Sale
‘Honey Bee And Chrysanthemum’

Macro photograph showing fine detail of a Red-Tailed Bumble (Bombus lapidarius), on pink and red chrysanthemum flowers with bright yellow centers, against green background. Red-tailed Bumble Bees seem few and far between so seeing one is always a treat!

Red Tailed Bumble Bee Macro Photography Art Prints for Sale
‘Red-Tailed Bumble Bee On Chrysanthemum’

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Walk softly, let nature be your guide…

Christina Rollo
Fine Art Photographer
www.rollosphotos.com

Search: nature, animals, insects, bees, macro photography, green, gold, outdoors, framed art, rollosphotos.

Butterfly Twins Photo Art by Christina Rollo

Butterfly Twins

While I was working in the yard on a warm summer day, I noticed lots of butterflies flying around a patch of coneflowers in our garden. It looked like a great opportunity to get my camera and take a break from my yard work. Being a ‘fair weather photographer’, it had been a while since I used my camera. As I began to photograph the butterflies I became frustrated. The shots weren’t turning out as I expected.

I sat for about an hour and took a total of 30 photographs. I captured what I thought were a few good shots of the Fritillary butterflies. I was happy with only one shot from the series, but decided to post a few of the photos to my image gallery anyway.

Two orange Fritillary Butterflies feeding on pink Zinnia flower against green background. Two Rivers Photography, competition winner.

Butterfly Twins Art Prints for Sale
‘Butterfly Twins’ by Christina Rollo

It didn’t take long for ‘Butterfly Twins’, two Fritillary butterflies on top of a coneflower, to gain attention and win a photography competition. I quickly realized I had been taking these beautiful butterflies for granted. It’s not unusual for me to see two or three butterflies on a flower. The coneflowers I planted several years ago have spread. They are one of the most productive plants in our garden, attracting all kinds of insects and butterflies.

From this experience I learned it’s a good idea to show some images I’m not entirely pleased with. I welcome feedback and I’m always grateful to hear your thoughts about my images. It’s been an important part of the learning process as I continue to study and photograph various subjects in nature. Come and enjoy my entire collection of fine art photography at www.rollosphotos.com.

Join my e-mail list, it’s free.

Walk softly, let nature be your guide…

Christina Rollo
Fine Art Photographer
www.rollosphotos.com

Search: nature, animals, insects, butterflies art, fritillary, butterfly, macro photography, gardens, green, orange, outdoors, framed art, rollosphotos.

How to Improve Your Photography

One question I’m frequently asked is how to improve photography? My answer is always the same. Get to know your subjects first, then read your camera manual and learn all your settings.

I mentored with a portrait photographer who told me the most important thing he does is to spend time building a relationship with his clients before photographing them. Everything you do to learn about your subjects will greatly improve your photography. I believe the most important thing you can do is spend time observing, whether it be animals in the wild, landscapes, or portrait photography. You have to anticipate the moment before you can capture it.

By observing hummingbirds at our feeders I noticed that they feed, jump off the perch, then return to feed some more. I was able to figure out that if I pre-focus my camera on the feeder, I could easily photograph them in mid-air when they jump off the perch.

Sweet Success Hummingbird Art Prints for Sale Buy Art Prints Online‘Sweet Success’ Hummingbird Art Prints for Sale

Landscape photographers scout several areas at different times of day, and study weather patterns to determine what the best days and times to photograph will be.

Genegantslet Golf Club Art Prints for Sale Buy Art Prints Online
‘Genegantslet Golf Club’ Art Prints for Sale

By learning about the spotted salamander migration, I was able to quickly find and photograph these gigantic salamanders in early spring.

Spotted Salamander Art Prints for Sale Buy Art Prints Online
‘Spotted Salamander’ Art Prints for Sale

One of the best things I did to improve my photography was to join our local Naturalist’s Club. I met lots of people with extensive knowledge on everything from birds to bees, and wildflowers. I had the opportunity to travel with them on field trips and explore many new places. Because of the knowledge I’ve gained, I’ll have a better understanding of what to look for when I take the camera out.

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Walk softly, let nature be your guide…

Christina Rollo
Fine Art Photographer
www.rollosphotos.com

Search: nature, animals, hummingbird, water, bird, amphibian, wildlife, macro, pond, wings, flight, sunrise landscape art, outdoors, inspirational, motivational, christina rollo, new york, framed art, rollosphotos.

Just Looking Hummingbird

Photo Art by Christina Rollo

‘Just Looking’ Hummingbird – This beautiful Ruby Throated Hummingbird is one of my most popular photographs. The colors and elegance of this image makes it one of my all-time favorites too. Ruby-Throated Hummingbird in flight with wings frozen against blue background with white flowers. Come and enjoy more from my entire collection of fine art at www.rollosphotos.com.

Photo Art by Christina Rollo Just Looking Hummingbird

Shop with confidence! Every purchase includes a money-back guarantee. If you’re not happy with a purchase you make for any reason, you can return it within 30 days of the order date.

Join my e-mail list, it’s free.

Walk softly, let nature be your guide…

Christina Rollo
Fine Art Photographer
www.rollosphotos.com