Posts Tagged ‘cherry blossoms’

Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus) Singing

A male Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus) singing in a flowering Kanzan (or Kwanzan) Cherry tree during a spring day.

male spotted towhee in cherry blossoms tree

Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus) Singing in a Flowering Cherry Tree (Purchase)

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   One of the more elusive bird species found in my backyard is the Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus). They are easy to find, and are around frequently, but are also rather shy and tend to forage on the ground, scratching beneath shrubs, trees, and vines. It seems that they are easier to photograph in the spring – perhaps building nests and finding mates requires a bit more boldness than usual. Both of these male Spotted Towhees were fairly easy to photograph as they sat higher up in the trees than they would normally be found. The first photo here shows a male singing (in the rain) up in a flowering cherry tree in full bloom (Kanzan or Kwanzan variety). The second Towhee is a bit more cautious and seems to be feeling a bit vulnerable in a relatively open area of the forest.

male spotted towhee

Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus) looking cautious (Purchase)

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   When I was learning about local birds many years ago this Spotted Towhee species was referred to as the “Rufous sided Towhee”. The Spotted Towhee and the similar Eastern Towhee were once considered the same species (and probably were, long ago), but now are known to be separate. One male Spotted Towhee in my neighborhood seems to love to stand on window ledges and jump up and attack his reflection. This results in noise that causes the dog to bark, and the smearing of bird poop all over the windows. He has since expanded this behaviour to my car’s side view mirrors with similar, messy results. It could be worse though, my neighbor reports that one attacks their bedroom window at dawn (likely the same bird). At least he is letting me sleep!

For more of my bird photographs visit my Bird Photos Gallery.

Akebono Cherry Blossoms in QE Park

Tourists viewing the spring Akebono cherry blossoms in Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

tourists looking at Akebono cherries in queen elizabeth park

Tourists viewing Akebono cherry tree blossoms in Queen Elizabeth Park

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   This is one of the hotspots for Vancouver cherry blossoms – Queen Elizabeth Park. I have been here in previous years to photograph these trees and the QE Park gardens, but this time there were crowds well beyond what I had experienced in the past. Seems I had forgotten that this was during spring break week, and there were a lot more people out viewing the cherry blossoms. There are many popular spots to view cherry blossoms in Vancouver during the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival but this spot and Stanley Park remain my favourites. I decided to embrace the reality of the crowds and made this and a few other photographs of the people enjoying the cherry blossom. Surprisingly, the rest of the gardens had very few people in them despite the abundant daffodils, magnolias, tulips, and other flowers.

You can view more of my garden photos in my Garden Photography Gallery in my Image Library.

Cherry Blossoms in Stanley Park

Spring Cherry blossoms along the South Creek Trail in Stanley Park in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

spring cherry blossoms in stanley park in vancouver british columbia

Spring Cherry Blossoms in Stanley Park

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   One of the first subjects I like to photograph in the Spring, in addition to wildflowers, are the Cherry trees in Vancouver. There are often a lot of flower bulbs also in bloom (tulips, daffodils etc) at the same time, so there are often great photo opportunities at that time of year. This past April I was in Vancouver’s Stanley Park and made some photographs of these Cherry trees blooming along the South Creek Trail (near the Rose Garden). I love photographing Stanley Park, once the sun starts go to down there are always other opportunities to photograph the Lions Gate Bridge or the downtown skyline.