Photographer Carl Paulson is a member of the Littleton Fine Arts Guild who recently became a birder, which has resulted in new subjects for his camera starting in his backyard and other nearby locations …
He sent us “Whatcha Got There?” – a photo of two young screeching owls making noise about something – as the announcement of a zoom program to be presented on January 5th in Vita Littleton, my home – and I was thrilled!
I’ve been interested in this for years but forgot how many different birds live near trees, fields, and parks.
Colorado has approximately 400 different species of birds during the year, including permanent and migratory (part-time) residents. (He’s taken pictures of around 110 so far.)
A collection of some of these images filled Paulson’s Zoom program, and some will be on display in Vita’s Creative Lounge and Lobby through March. The public is invited to visit this exhibition from Tuesday to Thursday between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Ring the doorbell.
Owls similar to the screeching owls pictured have a nest nearby and residents hear them calling. The apartments in the building’s floor plan have bird names, which brought Paulson’s presentation even closer to home.
Near his own home, he observed a woodpecker hollowing out the rotting stump of a freshly felled tree, making more room for their brood, and he managed to identify a favorite hummingbird flower. He began to recognize bird calls, starting with “chicka-dee-dee-dee,” and used his camera.
A pretty, albeit noisy, star pictured at Barr Lake (a popular bird-watching spot in the Denver area) was followed by an early picture of a tiny wren.
“As a new photographer, you don’t know at first glance how special it is,” he commented on the portrait of this charming little creature.
“Oscar the Grouch” was the name for a loud magpie, but Paulson also noticed the iridescent glow in the bird’s wings.
At Reynolds Landing, he picked up a gray heron that had just impaled a rainbow trout for lunch …
And handsome Steller’s jays frequented his back yard. “You’re not supposed to be here.” (We have heard other reports of migrants who have gone a little off course lately. Probably a common thing, but it seems the world is off course …)
A bald eagle was shown “enjoying the thermals”; A red-tailed buzzard carried a rabbit home for offspring, and a red-naped juice treat in Staunton State Park enlarged a cavity for its babies.
Two black and white down woodpeckers were “right outside my window,” Paulson said, and a breathtaking shot shows a golden eagle coming straight into the camera with a crawdad in its beak.
Cedar waxtails are a favorite subject, commented Paulson. “I have one that snaps a mosquito straight out of the air!”
A petite white-breasted nuthatch ran headfirst down a tree trunk, as is the custom …
And then there was a shot of a beaver swimming happily, followed by a breathtaking image of a western tanager … and a sparrow with young people.
Seemed like “All right with the world” for an hour that passed too quickly!