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Posts Made By: Alan Birnbaum

April 23, 2003 03:57 AM Forum: Birding Optics and Photos

Killdeer and nest of eggs

Posted By Alan Birnbaum

So, how do you explain to a killdeer the facts of life, especially those spelled "R-O-A-D" and "C-A-R"?

April 27, 2003 11:00 PM Forum: Birding Optics and Photos

Northern Mockingbird

Posted By Alan Birnbaum

All I know is that when I reviewed my list of twenty-one species seen during a one week trip to Oahu, and compared that to the latest Christmas Bird Count totals, it turned out that for that island, the Northern Mockingbird who I spied hopping around Diamond Head was the rarest of the bunch!

Rarity depends much upon where you are. I have read one board with many postings about an Anhinga in Imperial County, California Folks were driving hours to see it. But in Florida, the reaction to an Anhinga might instead be, "There's that !@#$%^&! Anhinga in my yard, raiding my koi pond again!"

May 2, 2003 03:34 PM Forum: Birding Optics and Photos

Focal Length/Aperture Questions

Posted By Alan Birnbaum

Regarding these questions and others, consider joining the focused board, which is "[email protected]," with regular input by people who do this all the time, including those who originated the technique.

May 6, 2003 03:17 AM Forum: Birding Optics and Photos

Up Close and Personal

Posted By Alan Birnbaum

Thank you, but I prefer NOT to get this personal with pigeons! If I see any more such shots I shall be forced to post the shot of one I took on my hotel balcony in Honolulu, then you'll all be sorry!

May 7, 2003 04:32 AM Forum: Birding Optics and Photos

Woodpecker (species?)

Posted By Alan Birnbaum

This not a "woodpecker," but it is either a Red-naped Sapsuckers, whose territory is the Rockies and West, or, a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, whose territory is Eastern, but with sporadic sightings in the West. But, to quote David Sibley, on p. 310-311, in a footnote on the latter, "Note that any hypbrid combination of the three species is possible." Needless to say, I'll defer to any real expert.

May 9, 2003 03:27 PM Forum: Birding Optics and Photos

Need some ID help

Posted By Alan Birnbaum

I do believe that's Mrs. Northern Cardinal. I recall seeing her recently around Waikiki, and hopping after her was her better known husband, "Red."

May 11, 2003 02:08 AM Forum: Birding Optics and Photos

White Heron?

Posted By Alan Birnbaum

I don't believe that there's "White Heron" extant in this counry. So, most likely, based upon that yellow bill, I'd say it's most likely a Great Egret, presumably just a great big Great Egret.

If you haven't yet bought a set of the new smaller Sibley Field Guide, $13.97 each through Amazon (and free shipping too), you might want to consider getting that, or at least the Western volume (which my Costco had on sale the other day for an unbelievable $11.99.)

May 18, 2003 05:58 PM Forum: Birding Optics and Photos


Posted By Alan Birnbaum

Very representative shots of an American Avocet in the breeding plumage, and the Black-necked Stilt, which tends to be a bit more common.

May 18, 2003 10:46 PM Forum: Birding Optics and Photos

One more and then I will stop......

Posted By Alan Birnbaum

I agree these must be Double-crested Cormorant. I just saw a group of four floating about a drainage basin less than half a mile from my house, not that the view with 10X binoculars was that great. These do look more like Brandt's Cormorants than Pelagic Cormorants, but both of the latter would only be rarely away from the seashore. Also, note the orange chin patch.

By the way, does anyone recall which species of Cormorant the Japanese use to catch fish commercially, with use of bands about their necks?

May 20, 2003 05:02 AM Forum: Birding Optics and Photos

Nikon D100 Question?

Posted By Alan Birnbaum

Swarovski Camera Adapter 800mm (#49213)

List Price: $287.78

<Availability: Limited Availability


To guarantee excellent photos, your telescope can be connected to a mirror-reflex camera with a Swarovski camera adapter and a conventional T2-ring>>

Available from your hosts, Anacorrtes Telescope and Wild Bird, would be the Swarovski SLR adapter. However, the limitation would be that it turns the native 460 mm FL into 800 mm, and with that, the 65 mm becomes an f12.3 system, albeit one actually equivalent to 1200 mm FL. The 80 mm spotting scope of course would be faster, at f10. That compares, of course, to the f5.6 or faster of the telephoto lenses most commonly used for photography directly with an SLR, film or digital.

This MIGHT be adequate as far as viewing, in daylight. I know I could focus my 600 mm f8 Sigma Catadioptric lens, whose T-stop was closer to f10.

Nikon for the older cameras always used to have a clear "aerial focusing" screen, usable for long, very slow lenses like the Questar, which is about f14, but I'd suspect that's not an option for the D100.

If anyone thinks I have it wrong, PLEASE correct me!