I’ve been reading Douglas Brinkley’s biography of FDR – Rightful Heritage: The Renewal of America and am fascinated by Roosevelt’s childhood obsession with birds. As a child of privilege, Franklin had acres and acres of private family owned land to explore. He particularly enjoyed watching, counting, and shooting birds, not for sport, but for study. As he got older, he began to advocate shooting birds with a camera, not a gun. Roosevelt was a serious ornithologist.
I too enjoy shooting birds with my camera, although do not consider myself worthy of the title of even amateur ornitholgist. Nor do I consider myself to be a serious photographer, however, from time to time, I surprise myself. I do have a sharp eye and the bird in the photograph is proof of that as this particular species, Junco hyemalis, is quite shy and flighty. And the commonly known Dark-eyed Junco sticks with its own kind not caring to associate with other species. The slate colored specimen I captured snoops around for the birdseed that I tossed out ealier in the day. The Junco seems to favor sunflower seeds and will fight off squirrels who like them too. They very often hop from place to place digging aggressively for worms, seeds and other forms of winter sustenance.
Nice to see the Dark-eyed Junco on this gray day. FDR would have concurred.