Tag: Birds

Swan Lake

Close up of a mute swan cygnet (Cygnus olor) cleaning its feathers. 
A mute swan cygnet (Cygnus olor) cleaning its feathers. You can purchase this image in my online shop.

You’d think that photographing swans (or any other waterfowl) would be easy when you live on an island with plenty of birds around. And it is, most of the time. Not when you set out to photograph them, though. 

Close up of a mute swan cygnet (Cygnus olor) cleaning its feathers. 

During my usual walks along the coast, I could see many swans paddling quietly around the island, foraging, or cleaning their feathers, always close to the shore. So I’d think, “I’ll come back and take some photos.” Then I’d come back with my camera, and one of these two things would happen:

1) They wouldn’t be there. At all. Gone. Hasta la vista, baby!

2) They would be far away at sea, out of the reach of my telelens.

 

Mute swan cygnet (Cygnus olor)
Mute swan cygnet (Cygnus olor)

But time, patience, and perseverance paid off, so I could take the photos—eventually 😉. These are some of the photos I was able to take after several frustrating attempts.

Have you tried taking photos of birds or animals? 


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The Bath Habits of Eurasian Jays

Close-up of an Eurasian Jay (Garrulus glandarius)
Eurasian Jay (Garrulus glandarius)

A beautiful Eurasian jay with bright plumage, maybe due to ant bathing? Jays engage in a curious behavior called ant bathing: they climb an ant hill and let ants climb all over their body while moving around to excite the ants. The theory is that the formic acid secreted by the ants to protect themselves helps keep the bird’s plumage healthy and glossy. Then they’d take a bath to get rid of the poor ants!.


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Did You Know This About Woodpeckers?

Close up of a great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos major)
Great spotted woodpecker

The great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) has exceptionally keen hearing and can hear the larva moving under the bark of the trees. This is why you can often see woodpeckers standing still in a tree and turning its head towards the trunk, clearly listening.


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