Well, Ollie the Bobcat has been returned to his home at the National Zoo. Where was he found? In front of the Zoo’s birdhouse, of course. I thought of this yesterday as I was photographing birds from my family room window. The ritual is that I open the blind on the window that I use. Then my cat lines up expecting me to lift the floor blind up to cat height; so that she too can watch, She does not seem to intimidate the birds, who ignore her completely.
I took Figure 1 yesterday. It is kind of meant to be a joke. The bird in question is a meager Song Sparrow – Melospiza melodia. They are minimized simply because they are common. Shakespeare, on the other hand recognized the significance of sparrows. “Not a whit, we defy augury. There is special providence in the fall of a sparrow” (V. ii. 197-198). Such augury, unfortunately for the sparrow, requires its being disemboweled and its entrails examined. Blech!
I also very rarely photograph birds head-on. But here the aspect is perfect – a little sparrow with its snow-covered beak holding a seed in its mouth and its feet positioned in the snow as if it were skiing.
This is the perfect “Tweet Pie.” “I tawt I taw a puddy tat!” and “I did! I did taw a puddy tat!” This, of course takes us right back to Ollie the Bobcat and to my cat watching the birdie from the window.
At another level, what is most striking about this image is the bleakness of the snow and what is essentially a colorless or mundane colored bird. We are struck by the challenge that birds endure in the northern forests. Winter is unforgiving.Yet these little birds endure.
Canon T2i with EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens at 365 mm, ISO 800 Aperture Priority AE Mode,1/2500 th sec at f/7.1 with no exposure compensation.