Saturday, October 12, 2019

Travel - Bird Photos

I've taken lots of bird photos in the last few years. I went through them and pulled out about 115 of my favorites, then went through them again and whittled that number down by more than half. The following are my favorites:

Sometimes much of what I like about the photo is the reflection of the bird in water. 
This green heron is in the Viera Wetlands, just south of Cape Canaveral in Florida.  
A juvenile little blue heron in the Okefenokee NWR in southeastern Georgia. 
A roseate spoonbill at Merritt Island NWR near Cape Canaveral, Florida. The reflection is nice, but I really like it more for the angel-like wings, the outrageous flat-ended bill and the drum-stick-like legs.  
A saddle-billed stork in Hwange NP, Zimbabwe. I was very excited to see this wonderfully beautiful stork. The colored bill is one of my favorites. To get a reflection was an added bonus. 
An Indian pond heron in Udawalawe NP, Sri Lanka. 
A horned puffin near Gull Island outside Homer, Alaska.
I also love photos of birds in flight. 
This is not one of my best photos, the clarity could be much better. But it was the first aerial photo that I really liked and it is a wood stork, a normally ugly bird that is quite striking in flight. Everglades NP, Florida. 
This red-tailed hawk in Organ Pipe Cactus NM, Arizona, is flying right after a tremendous rainstorm and everything, including the hawk, is soaked. Note the haggard-looking feathers. 
A turkey vulture in Cabeza Prieta NWR in Arizona. I like the flight, but is also the cactus in the foreground and the billowy white clouds behind it. Almost more of a landscape shot.
Snowy egrets in Merritt Island NWR in Florida. 
An Asian open-bill stork coming in to land in Yala NP, Sri Lanka. 
Black vultures in the Orlando Wetlands, Florida.
Another black vulture from the Orlando Wetlands.
One of my favorite bird photos, if not my favorite. The focus is on a gray heron, but to its side is an out-of-focus African openbill stork and the legs of another bird hanging down into the photo on the other side. In the Okavanga Delta of Botswana. 
A captive Harris hawk after a piece of bait thrown into the sky. San Diego County, California. 
A little blue heron in Orlando Wetlands, Florida. I'm not particularly fond of little blue herons, but they keep showing up as some of my favorite photos. 
Another photo I really like. An African sacred ibis flying with white-faced whistling ducks in Botswana. 
Another photo of the same grouping. I love the green in the wings, the red on the inside of the extended wing and the grace of kind of an ugly bird. 
Two yellow-billed storks, juxtaposed together, in Botswana. 
I like some photos because the bird is doing something unusual, or I'm catching an unusual motion, or it has an unusual body part or trait.
This great blue heron near Winter Haven, Florida is tossing a fish with its bill to eat. 
This great egret in the Viera Wetlands of Florida is tossing either a snail or some sort of plant with its long yellow bill. I also love the green around its yellow eye and the edge of the mouth, a sign that it is mating season. 
A great shearwater in the Bay of Fundy outside St. Andrews, New Brunswick, running along the water as it tries to take-off. 
White storks in Marrakech, Morocco. They have just finished mating and the male, who has been on top of the female (who is standing on the nest), is hopping off. 
A gray-headed swamphen in Yala NP, Sri Lanka. Their gangly long feet allow them to stand on lily pads in the water. 
A purple gallinule in the Orlando Wetlands, Florida. Beautiful purple, green, blue feathers and gangly long, hideous feet that allow it to stand on lily pads like the related swamphen above. 
A sandhill crane near Winter Haven, Florida. So beautiful from a distance, close-up it looks like is has a bad case of acne. The hole in the bill, the orange eye and the water dripping from the bill add interest. 
A red wattled lapwing in Sri Lanka. It looks like silly putty has been wrapped around the edges of its red eye, connected by more silly putty to the red-plastic base of the bill. 
A nesting yellow-wattled lapwing in Bundala NP, Sri Lanka. Like its relative above, it has a yellow version of the silly putty around the eye, but then even a more bizarre plastic yellow mustache hanging down from the base of the bill. 
A secretary bird in Etosha NP, Namibia. Maybe my very favorite bird. Black feathers stand on end above the back of its neck, an orange/red bare face and yellow base of bill and beautiful gray and black feathers. 
A kori bustard, also in Etosha NP. I love the textures and patterns in the feathers, particularly the feathers fluffing off the base of the neck and the brown spotted feathers on the wings. 
A white-winged dove in Organ Pipe Cactus NM, Arizona. The doves are drawn to the saguaro cacti in bloom. 
An osprey in Merritt Island NWR,holding a fish in its claws. 
An amazingly interesting crested hawk eagle in Yala NP, Sri Lanka, holding a snake in its claw. I love the feather top-knot and the open beak. Watching this bird was a National Geographic moment. 
For some of the photos, I just love the color of the birds.
Metallic blue on the back of this common kingfisher in Sri Lanka.
Green bee-eater with forked tail, blue throat, orange cap and red eye - in Udawalawe NP, Sri Lanka.
White-fronted bee-eaters near the Zambezi River, near Victoria Falls, Zambia. Rufous chest, black eye strip, white throat and crest, red neck, green and blue back feathers. 
Yellow-billed stork, also along the Zambezi. The golden light of evening shines on its yellow bill and its pink legs and some pink in its back can be seen when focused on. 
Cape turtle doves near Capetown, South Africa. The coloring is more subtle, but absolutely stunning. Light blue head, extending on to the bill. Violet neck, varying shades of brown and gray on the back and wings. 
Ostrich near Cape Point, South Africa. The color here is not the ostrich, but the amazing landscape, yellow, orange, greens and blue. 
A male and female jungle fowl in Yala NP, Sri Lanka. They don't get much more colorful than this male. 
Rose-ringed parakeets in Bundala NP, Sri Lanka. Beautiful light green with some blues and the stark red bill. 
Egyptian geese near Capetown, South Africa, with feather patterns like a patchwork quilt. 
Lilac breasted roller in Hwange NP, Zimbabwe. Stunning light blue, lilac, and a red patch, stunning. 
For some of the birds, I just like the composition.
Heerman's gull at Puerto Penasco, Sonora, Mexico. Very simple, but wonderful shades of gray and the dark red bill with the black tip. 
White-tailed ptarmigan in the high country of Colorado. The camouflage is amazing and the little red patch above the eye adds a bit of daring - although there is some red lichen and flowers that mimic the same color. 
Bald eagle at Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. This majestic bird is next to varying shades of rock. 
A snowy egret and tri-colored heron among winter colors in Merritt Island NWR. 
Painted storks are a beautiful ugly in Udawalawe NP, Sri Lanka. 
An ostrich in Nairobi NP, Africa. Pink legs and neck, tail fanned-up, muscular thighs, like an athlete in very short-legged gym trunks and the Nairobi skyline behind. 
This cute little great-horned owl, just out of its nest, in our front yard in Redlands, California. Round yellow eyes with a black pupil. 
More little blue herons, in Orlando Wetlands, Florida. Light shimmers off the water. 
Pale chanting goshawk. Orange legs and beak and sleek gray feathers with black barring on the underside. 
There is something haunting about this southern yellow-billed hornbill in Hwange NP, Zimbabwe. Reminds me of the Joker. Red-ringed yellow eyes, red neck, yellow bill with a gap, black-edged gray wing feathers. 
Tri-colored heron at Merritt Island NWR. Upper left is like a painted canvas, bold orange/yellow behind and underneath the bill. Red on the back of the neck, white/yellow on the front of the neck. Another photo I really like. 


  1. Wow, you have some absolutely fabulous photos! How can I choose a favorite? I love how you've grouped them by what you like about the photo. (Okay, I really like that super close-up of the baby owl from our front yard.)

  2. Nice photos. It is clear that Sri Lanka was the winner.