A few notes from DC

December 12, 2008

A number of factors, most notably some nasty weather, have prevented me from heading into the park lately. However, I was able to have a different kind of adventure earlier this week.

On Monday, my girlfriend and I visited Washington D.C. and visited a few attractions. In terms of wildlife, I was amazed by just how accustomed the few animals in the city seemed to be with people being around.

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These birds were everywhere. I’m not quite sure what they were but I had no problems getting inches from them before they seemed to notice.

We also observed a squirrel at close range as he frantically dug up a root (or bulb, or something else along those lines) before taking his treasure up a tree.

Some time in the future, it might be neat to walk the city again seeking out animals. I wasn’t really in the mindset to shoot much, and only had a 10-20 mm lens with me at the time.

Longer focal lengths work best for wildlife since the depth of field is much more shallow and can draw the attention to the animals. For example, the clarity of the building in the above picture could have been reduced if I had another lens choice.

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4 Responses to “A few notes from DC”

  1. Renee Says:

    I kind of like that the historic building facade is in focus – to me it emphasized your point that these cute country-looking birds are making their home in DC.

    I used the whatbird identifier to try to narrow down what they could be
    http://identify.whatbird.com/mwg/_/0/attrs.aspx

    and I’m almost 100% sure they are sparrows but there are several sparrows that look alike and are in that region, and I can’t tell which they would be.
    Based on the white spot around their necks, the dark eye area, and the dark patch on the chest, my best guess is the House Sparrow:
    http://identify.whatbird.com/obj/84/_/House_Sparrow.aspx

    Anyway, nice photo!

  2. Evan Dyson Says:

    Thanks for the bird background. I’ll see if I can dig up anything else that could help confirm the ID.

  3. Dave W. Says:

    They are House Sparrows, which are common in cities and will go after bread crumbs and such much as pigeons do. You can sometimes see them in the summer in parking lots picking bugs off the grills of parked cars.

  4. Jim T Says:

    These little sparrows are pretty domesticated in the city. They are fearless and will hop up onto the table, get pretty close to you, and admire your scone if you are sitting outside at a Starbucks. They also squabble amongst each other here and there – interesting to see the little birds arguing, I’ve always guessed it was over some scrap of a bread crumb.


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