Month: September 2020 (Page 2 of 3)

Birds Dying in the Southwest

Barn Swallow Ballona Creek Bike Path

Barn Swallow, Ballona Creek Bike Path, Los Angeles, CA

Migrating Birds Dying in Southwest

I recently did a post about how infrequently I find dead birds despite billions of them dying every year. Now come reports of unusually high numbers of migrating birds being found dead in the southwest. You can find stories on it herehere, and here. No certainty yet on the cause. Possible culprits include an early cold snap forcing migration before birds were ready, and the fires and smoke in the west causing early migration or forcing birds off their customary migratory routes. I imagine Antifa bears some of the blame, too, and armed patriots are planning on Facebook to gather in New Mexico this weekend to protect the birds.

2020 keeps finding ways to be the worst year. 



Brewers Sparrow and Blue Grosbeak

Brewer’s Sparrow and Blue Grosbeak, Inglewood Cemetery, CA

The Combo Shots

Many of us birders are also photographers, and we love our close-up, tack sharp pictures of birds. But good, close, sharp photos are hard to get. And they often don’t tell much of a story. We crop out all the context. So I’ve been making an effort recently to get pictures of birds that tell a story, and show the bird in its habitat.

Sometimes, when zoomed out, I end up catching more than one bird in a picture. Most of the time, it’s accidental for me. As I try to get a shot of a particular bird, another one happens to wander into the frame. Less often, it’s an intentional attempt to get two birds in one photo. This happened to me the other day when I had two uncommon birds for my 5MR in the frame at the same time: a Brewer’s Sparrow, and a Blue Grosbeak.

Inspired by the combo shot, I did a quick look through some photos and pulled out a few more shots where I captured more than one species. 

Black-crowned Tityra and Tropical Kingbird

Black-crowned Tityra and Tropical Kingbird, Selva Escondida, Costa Rica

European Starling and Cedar Waxwing

European Starling and Cedar Waxwing, L.A., CA

Western Gull and American Oystercatcher

Western Gull and American Oystercatcher, Royal Palms Beach, CA

Snowy, Reddish, Snowy, and Great Egret, Devereux Slough, Santa Barbara, CA

Hawaiian Duck and Red-crested Cardinal

Hawaiian Duck and Red-crested Cardinal, Kauai, Hawaii


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