Birds Among the Ancient Pines

While camping in California’s White Mountains, Karen and I photographed a few birds in the Bristlecone Pine forest, and in Limber Pine and Pinyon-Juniper forests.  This was a magical trip, with frosty mountain weather and stunning, seemingly Tolkien-inspired forests.  We were there primarily to photograph the Bristlecones, but when a few birds showed their pretty faces, we spent some quality time with them.  These are my favorite bird photographs from those wonderful days in October.

.Clark’s Nutcracker feeding on the seeds within Limber Pine cones.


A camp-robber Mountain Chickadee swooped down from this Utah Juniper and began feeding on our carrot cake muffins sitting on the picnic table.

.A Western Scrub-Jay joined the Mountain Chickadee in foraging on our picnic table.  Did you know that these birds like Jarlsberg Cheese imported from Norway?

.A Mountain Bluebird pauses to look at me from the trunk of one of the oldest trees on earth (well, it used to be, now it’s dead), the Great  Basin Bristlecone Pine.


This Clark’s Nutcracker used two adjacent branches as its perch while probing Limber Pine cones.

.A female or juvenile Cassin’s Finch is well-camouflaged by the trunk of this dead Bristlecone Pine at above an 11,000′ elevation.


A Western Scrub-Jay looks down at our breakfast table like a vulture.


This experience gave us our best close views we’ve ever had of Mountain Chickadees.


A Clark’s Nutcracker with a Limber Pine seed it its bill.

.Two Clark’s Nutcrackers feeding on Limber Pine seeds.


With a stunning flash of elegant black, white, and gray, a Clark’s Nutcracker takes off to fly to another tree.


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One Comment on “Birds Among the Ancient Pines”

  1. Henry Says:

    Love the photography. However, these forest would inspire Tolkien, they are much older than him.

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