Mountain Bike Birding

Before three days ago, I had never mountain biked in my life. Now that I am a pro at my new sport, I have expanded my exercise to include birding. If you have never used a super zoom camera, getting away from a trailhead via hiking or in my case … mountain biking will immediately help you understand the usefulness of a bridge or super zoom camera. It would be 100% impossible to bring a DSLR with a decent zoom on a bike, but my Canon Sx-60 fits nicely in a camera case strapped to my handlebars. See my photo taken yesterday morning up atop a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Some things I have learned via my two birding rides which will be incorporated into tomorrow’s 6 am jaunt. First, I will strap my monopod to my bike. It is hard to hold a camera steady when the body is heaving from heavy breathing. Mountain biking definitely gets the blood running! Second, I will have a washcloth along to wipe sweat and condensation off my camera. A few photos I took this morning were through a steamed over lens. Drying same on a sweaty bike jersey is sub-optimal!

Thus, here are today’s images … and another bird ID challenge. I have named the first bird the Fork Tailed Bike Bird (edit addition: figured it out on my own …  Turquoise-Browed Motmot) while the second bird is a Blue Grosbeak. Apparently SW Minnesota in the extreme northern edge of this birds range, while Costa Rica is at the very south side of it’s range.

Finally, at the end of yesterday’s mountain bike ride I heard a loud hourse howling or yelling. Twas not a bird, but upon looking up to the high canopy of trees, I was rewarded with the sight of Howler Monkeys. Cool!

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