My name is H.J. Ruiz; I live in Georgia with my wife Lucy and son Tyler. I’m an avid photographer and bird watcher. I created my Avian101 blog in order to have an opportunity to share my experiences and also display my bird photos  and what ever information that pertains to birds. The birds I seek to photograph are not exclusively domestic but from all the world. I have been very busy reading and doing research to learn more about avians. On my blog you’ll be able to read about my own observations and personal opinions referring to the many species of birds. There are many factors in the lives of birds, I consider factors such as descriptions, behaviors, habitats, migrations and other general relevant information about birds.

H.J. Ruiz


When I started my blog, I was limited to my backyard, then later I realized that the whole world is my backyard!

Very Important Note:

“My Backyard Visitors” is a non-profit Blog, created for informative and educational reasons only. Authors credits are mentioned for copies or quotes. All images (Photos or illustrations) © HJ Ruiz.

My email:   hjr4birds@gmail.com

Other Information

My photo  equipment consist on the following:

  • Fujifilm XE-1 Mirrorless
  • Canon 60D
  • Canon 5D Mark ll
  • Nikon D750
  • Sigma zoom 100-400mm
  • Canon Rebel T1i
  • Sigma DG  zoom 120-400mm
  • Sigma DG zoom 150-500mm
  • Canon zoom 75-300mm
  • Canon zoom 18-55mm
  • Teleconverters 1.4X,
  • Teleconverter 2X
  • Polarizer filters, UV etc.
  • Monopod with quick release grip
  • Tripods
  • Induro Gimbal head

All images are property and copyright of H.J. Ruiz. – Avian101

In case that you might like to use one of my photos for your Web Page or Blog, all you have to do is just ask me. Please do not download any content without my permission. Thank you!

I do encourage you to write your comments about what you see on this Blog. 🙂


Special gift  from a friend:

Flight Of Love

Beautiful American Robin -You fly

Cool crisp morning -Across the sky.

Linger for a moment – To catch your breath

Longing looking for – A place to nest.

American Robin your- No different now

Than the others around you – that perch on a bough.

Your skills abound the – the world you grace

Motor skills better – than an indie car race.

Yes little Carolina Chickadee – you may be small

But flying around – you astound us all.

Petite or immense – you land on the fence

Look across the land – where you have been banned.

You carry along – you tune, your song

And live life with luster – although you cluster.

We appreciate you – in all that you do

As you fly above – and remind us of love.

Melanie Copeland © 2011

Written in dedication to H.J. Ruiz

“May you always notice the small creatures that vie for our attention.”

137 thoughts on “About

  1. Dear H.J. Ruiz –

    I apologize for leaving a message via your comments, but I am trying to reach you with this information. I hope you will respond privately.

    I am writing today from Princeton University Press. I have just visited your birding blog and would like to alert you from time to time of new field guides and books we are publishing. We specialize in international books as well as American guides. For example, we recently published the Small/Sterry guides — Birds of Eastern (or Western) North America: A Photographic Guide — and we will soon release new and highly anticipated editions of BIRDS OF EUROPE and BIRDS OF PERU. We will also publish the incredible, game-changing ID Guides by Richard Crossley in 2011.

    What I would like to do is add you to our media database so we can alert you to new titles like these and occasionally send you review copies for your personal use and for review on your blog.

    Please let me know what mailing address we should use or if we should continue to contact you via email.

    Thank you so much,


    Jessica Pellien
    Assistant Publicity Director

    Princeton University Press
    41 William St.
    Princeton, NJ 08540
    Phone: 609-258-7879


    Read the latest on our books at the Princeton University Press Blog: http://press.princeton.edu/blog/
    Follow us on twitter: PUPBlog

  2. Hello Jessica,
    Thank you very much for your visit. Of course I’d be very honored and happy to help you in any way. I’ll be writing to you directly via email and we can discuss whatever is that I can do for your Institution.
    H.J. Ruiz

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  4. Hi H.J.,
    Your photos are beautiful and I’m very impressed by your collection of photography equipment! So many cameras and lenses. And here I am with only one camera and two lenses. I better step it up!
    Happy Holidays,

    • Thank you very much Clara for your comments. Don’t worry about the cameras, it takes only one at the time to shoot a masterpiece! 🙂 Happy Holidays to you too!

  5. Very impressive site you have here. You have the goodness to include a great deal of natural history with your photos.
    If you – or someone you know – is considering Arizona for a birding vacation, You might want to look at this new site which lays out a complete birding trail and also offers many extra items of a vacation interest.
    http://verdebirding trail.com

    • Hello Dennis,
      Thank you very much for your kind comments. I’ve just briefly perused your website and liked what I read. Tomorrow will go through it with a little more time and see more of Verde valley birding. I’m always on the look for good bird hot spots. I’ve been to Arizona in several occasions and loved it every time. I’m glad that you liked my blog, have you visited my website http://www.avian101.com yet? It’s more photography oriented.

    • Thank you very much for your visit and the helpful suggestion. For some reason It didn’t cross my mind to do that. I appreciate your kindness! 🙂

  6. HJ! I’ve never been able to find your blog because you list yourself under email on my blog. But I googled you (hope that’s not creepy) and I LOVE BIRDS. Really, I’m forever walking around my neighborhood trying to get a shot of a cardinal or a bluejay. I just love them. I even have a bird tattoo on my wrist. I’m excited to finally see what you do and it seems you’re beautiful at it because the pictures are glorious. Have you seen the movie The Big Year – it’s about a year of bird watching and collecting. If you haven’t, you should check it out.

    Can’t wait to read more. : )

    • Thank you C.You make me happy with your visit! I haven’t seen that movie but maybe you can tell me about it sometime. I’m glad that you like birds, if you ever have a need for pictures of birds you are allowed to download. On the side bar of my blog you’ll find a link to my Photography blog I write there silly stuff and post a photo daily. If you have time you’re welcome to visit it anytime. Thank you again C.! 🙂

  7. I thank you for creating this blog! I don’t reaaly know that much about birds and your is been invaluable. Thanks again for visiting Onelifethislife and imparting your knowledge of birds! It is always welcomed!! 🙂

  8. HJ, because I enjoy and admire your blog so much, I have nominated you for the ABC Award.
    http://bayphotosbydonna.com/2012/04/13/abc-award/. In order to accept this award, you must comply with the two rules. Then you may place the Award logo on your site. Please do not feel any pressure to accept this award, I understand if you do not wish to participate. But know your site is appreciated, and your captures are beautiful! I enjoy seeing your backyard visitors! Have a great weekend! Donna

  9. Wow, your blog is very interesting. Your photos are great and i like how it is entirely devoted to sharing knowledge about birds in the form of photos and words. Your about page is unique as it also lists what type of equipment you use. I will be back to visit more about your blog and hope to see some posts in the future.

  10. Hi! I’ve nominate your for the VIBA award (very inspiring blogger). I love learning about birds the easy way. The award should be on my home page, if you would like it. 7 things people don’t know about you & then nominate 5 people. I’m going to try & find your nomination for me.
    Thank you! Amy

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    • I feel honored that you’ve awarded me the One Lovely Blog Award I really appreciate your kindness. I have to decline the award at this time. It’s award enough the fact that you picked my blog because you think is wonderful. I sincerely thank you Daphne. 🙂

  12. Hi HJ; The wife and I are what I call bird hobbyists. Tonight we had a visitor to our back yard feeder we had never seen. We scrambled for our guides but couldn’t come up with the bird. I started typing and finally hit on a 2010 entry in your blog with a photo and was able to identify the bird as a male immature brown-headed cowbird that was molting. Thank you.

    • That’s great Neal! I’m glad that my blog gave you the key to solve the mystery. I really appreciate your writing this comment because it shows that my blog is serving its purpose! Thank you and your wife for caring about birds! 🙂

  13. Happy New Year and thanks for the comment on my bird shots. You set the standard! I will be posting more pictures I took this summer before the storms hit:) Thanks for all the helpful information.



  14. I am glad I found your blog. Although, my no means am I a bird expert-they fascinate me. I am currently walking the entire Lewis and Clark trek for a historical study and have seen thousands of birds. I would say that 50% of them I can identify, 50% I have no idea. If I send you pics in the future (they will be basic) could you help me identify them?

  15. Dear H.J. I’d like to be in contact with you personally, but for now I’m writing on this page. I note you have information about Bali Starlings – I’d like to invite you to look at our website and our facebook page to see updates on our most recent developments. I hope that you may visit us in Bali and be able to look at our wild birds first hand. Hope to hear from you.

  16. I just read someone suggest Arizona for bird watching…Yes…I lived in the Phoenix area for 7 years. Also incredible India. We had a guide in Delhi who was certified bird guide so we lucked out with the birds as well as history and architecture. He said that people go to India on bird safaris for 2-3 weeks! If you are interested, I am sure the information is available. Happy bird watching and filming! Namaste. . . . India is incredibly reasonable for Americans at the moment. But the tickets from US to India are quite pricey!

    • What a coincidence, my sister in law is flying to India as part of a group tour in a couple of weeks. Yes, I’m aware about birding in Arizona, I’ve been there several times. This year I spent 2 months in South America visiting many places that provided me with a great amount of information about birds as well as photos I shot. I don’t have any plans for traveling next year yet. Thanks for sharing Anne! 🙂

  17. I apologize to have to contact you via comment – I would very much have preferred to do so with a direct email. (I hate feeling like I am cluttering up somebody’s page!)

    Nevertheless, I wanted to get in touch with you because of the fantastic photos on your blog! Your recent post “Getting Some Grub” had pictures that caught my eye in particular.

    I work with Birdfeeders.com and currently they have me searching the internet far and wide for the best of the best birders with the photography to back up that claim. I feel that the work on your site more than qualifies you in this regard!

    We would very much like to award you for the work we’ve seen of yours with our new “Eye in the Sky” badge. You simply post the badge on your site, and when we have a few more participants we will be building a page to honor all the winners!

    Please let me know what you think. I would be happy to send over the code for the badge.

    Best regards,
    Ernie Allison

    • Thank you for your kind comment Ernie! I really appreciate your award but I respectfully will have to decline it, just like I have done to most awards.

    • Hi Ed, please excuse me for doing it so late, I tried before but never got the email notices. This time apparently worked! Have a Happy New Year too! 🙂

    • That’s a male Eastern Bluebird. Thanks for the question Jean! 🙂
      Note: This is considering that you shot it somewhere Eastern USA

  18. Your blog is beautiful. I would love to get into capturing our feathered friends, but boy do they ever know when I’m nearby with a camera…even with a zoom lens. I think I’m going to have to clean our windows so I can try to catch them from inside the house!

    • Thanks Elisa! You can try that or if you can open the window and set up your tripod and camera and just do not move for a while, the birds will feel comfortable enough to proceed to the feeders or the place of their interest. After a while you can actually know how each species of birds behave and be ready to shoot some nice pictures. I’ll be happy to answer any questions if you decide to pursue bird photography. 🙂

  19. “You do not have to be good.
    You do not have to walk on your knees
    for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
    You only have to let the soft animal of your body
    love what it loves.
    Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
    Meanwhile the world goes on.
    Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
    are moving across the landscapes,
    over the prairies and the deep trees,
    the mountains and the rivers.
    Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
    are heading home again.
    Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
    the world offers itself to your imagination,
    calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
    over and over announcing your place
    in the family of things.”
    ― Mary Oliver

    Thanks for a beautiful blog

    • Dear Anne, I’m very flattered by you nomination to not one but 7 awards! I, humbly and with all due respect, decline the awards.
      I consider your friendship as is with the rest of my followers the biggest award that I could ever be offered. I do appreciate your thinking of me for the nomination and I thank you very much for that effect.
      I hope to continue having your comments on my blog and I visiting you wonderful blog. 🙂

  20. Hello H.j
    Thank you for stopping by @hadorable.
    Your photos are amazing, love your passion in birds which i want to experience too.

  21. My friends of Sparkonit recommend you (as you know), and so I have come to check you out. Lucky me ! – you’re what the Poms call “a twitcher” ! I am totally ignorant about birds, but I am growing more fond of them with every day that passes. Looking forward immensely to following you and your avian adventures … 🙂

    • I’m honored to have followers such as yourself that inspire other people with your words but is also eager to learn about other significant natural living things as per avians. You’ll be surprised how much fun they can be and how agonizingly dramatic their lives can turn to be. Thank you for your confidence Margaret! 🙂

      • Aha ! – caught you out … I have to point this out to everyone, first time – so don’t be peeved, OK? 🙂
        If you would be kind enough to find time to visit my
        “ATLMD” page, there is a point there I would very much appreciate your taking on board. You’ll know it when you see it, I promise …

  22. I really like the image of the hummingbird. I think they are so beautiful, I’ve yet to actually see one. Thanks for taking a moment to photograph our beautiful creatures in their natural habitat.

  23. Thanks a lot your your wonderful blog. I do love birds, and birds names – they are very inspiring, and thanks to yo, I can learn new words 🙂 – I’m not a native speaker.
    Here is a website about birds in France and their birdsong
    I do love swifts, because they really “dance in the sky”…
    It seems you are very lucky where to live, there are such wonderful birds!
    Kind regards from France

    • Thank you FGM! I’ve seen the website that you mentioned and will check it more later. I do like your poems and will continue reading them in the daily basis. 🙂

    • Sound good Leya, enjoy the view and don’t be shy to ask any questions or communicate with me, I always answer my messages. Thank you too! I don’t grin, I “smile” at the end of my replies. Like this: 🙂

    • My dear Neha I’m flattered by your nomination but as always I have to decline with all respect. In the past I made some rules for this blog and posted them. One of those rules is not accepting rewards. Thank you immensely for considering me for the award. 🙂

  24. hola de Tolosa, Francia! 🙂 long story, short: I do love birds and your blog is really awesome… my very best, tons of inspiration and muchas gracias for dropping by my crossroads… buenas noches in Georgia! 🙂 con amistad y hasta luego! Mélanie

    • Dear Anne, I’m very flattered that you’ve nominated me for that distinguish award, unfortunately, my blog is award free and nonprofit. I do respect and appreciate your nominating my blog for it. Thank you very much. 🙂 ❤

  25. Hi
    We’re happy to report that we braved the minus 20 degree chill and took a long enough walk to get some decent shots of the poor little chickadees that don’t migrate from frigid Alberta and will share them with you after we get home and place them on the real PC

    We’re not sure why they don’t get cold? We also got some shots of ravens and magpies, the only other two species we commonly see in the winter up here. We know there’s woodpeckers also but we couldn’t find any this time.

    Anyway thanks for always readings posts. I have to share another blog with you that I think will amaze you that’s written by two teenage girls who take incredible urban pics of birds mostly from their house or other locations in Singapore. When we get home I’ll find the blog link and send it to you

    Happy new year
    Rob and Diane

  26. I am looking forward to learning more about birds from you! There are so many I will never see with my own eyes and it will be exciting to see them through your blog. Super thrilled I fell upon your blog. Best wishes to you! Happy birding! Koko:)

    • You’re welcome to visit my blog any time that you want. I’m glad to meet you Koko. I’m always happy to meet new friends. Thank you! 🙂

      • I just saw a wild turkey in my yard today. One year about a dozen adults came through with many, many babies following! It was an awesome site. I will definitely come back and check out what your camera caught! Be well! Koko.

  27. Thanks for stopping by my nature blog today. Looks like you have some serious photography equipment on your shelf and that you have the same Sigma 150-500 that I have for ‘birding’. Unfortunately I can’t get very close to birds now since I moved 3 months ago, but I shall enjoy your images instead. (note: I am live about 100 metres from a nature reserve but the foliage and undergrowth is so thick that I haven’t made much headway in catching any water birds near the fringes yet).

    • Thank you Vicki for following my blog. Once you familiarize with the natural reserve you’ll learn about the best spots where you can shoot more birds and better quality shots! Meanwhile, you can peruse my blog any time you want. 🙂

  28. I’m doubly delighted — not only to find your blog, but also to see Texas Tweeties in your sidebar. I’m in Texas myself, and a very new photographer. I’ve had my DSLR for only about a year (maybe longer — time does fly) and have much to learn: not only about photographing nature, but also about processing images.

    I’m looking forward to exploring your archives, and learning from you, too: as I have from so many others.

    • I’m friends with Bob (Texas Tweeties), we both have started blogging about the same time (over 7 years). Please go through my archives, explore all you want and keep in mind that I’ll be here to help you with whatever questions you might have about what I do. Thank you Linda for your visit, it was a pleasure to have met you. – H.J.

  29. came here from Busbboy’s blog – and so glad I did – because you share some wonderful bird and nature photos. and love the quote:

    “When I started my blog was limited to my backyard, later I realized that the whole world is my backyard!”

  30. Hi H.J.

    I was wondering if you had or could write an article for my blog about General Bird health. Something like your recent article on moulting. Or if it’s too much trouble, I could just use that one. Fully credited to you and your blog of course?
    Let me know what you think?
    My blog is of course normally just about my budgies and doesn’t have the massive reach that yours does. But I thought it would be interesting.
    Plus you did let me write a post for your blog all that time ago too!

    Best wishes


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  32. Hi HJ – You were interested in exchanging ideas about blogging via email. Here is my address: xxxxxxxxxx
    Whenever you wish, just drop me a quick line and we can communicate that way. Cheers – Chris

  33. Pingback: Mallard Mania – In Pics and Words

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