Birds In the Air

The Great Blue Heron (BELOW) is a shadow in the sky above the bridge in Napoleon, Ohio. Notice how his long, long neck is pulled into an “S” as he flies high. The heron’s equally long legs and stick feet fly straight out behind him as he glides along.

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(BELOW): When he lifts off, the Great Blue Heron displays beautiful, incredibly huge wings of purple-blue edging and relatively small, fan-like tail feathers.

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(BELOW): Pigeons that live under the bridge give their own impression of shades against the sky. They regularly give a fly-by show around and under the bridge as a troupe.

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(BELOW): The Great Egret shares fishing space with the Great Blue Heron. They rarely argue on territorial water rights.

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(BELOW): Notice the Great Blue Heron’s head is straight up, and that’s because he/she just watched the Great Egret fly over his/her head and land in front of him/her.

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Turkey Vultures, or “buzzards”, as the ones (BELOW) are easily recognized on the ground for their red, bare-skinned heads. But in high flight, they display silver-gray outer flight feathers and black feathers in front, while their white, short beaks are more visible than their red heads. Highly predatory, Turkey Vultures flap and soar in circles above prospective ground prey.

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(BELOW): Geese fly above the Maumee River at Napoleon, Ohio.

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Waxwings Return

A group of Cedar Waxwings visited the backyard a few days ago. I was able to get nice shots that highlight the “red wax” tips on the wing feathers.

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I’m always happy when I can get a view of the bird’s claws clutching the branches in the trees as he observes his surroundings.

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The Cedar Waxwing is named for these red tip “wax-like” highlights seen in these photos.

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Camouflaged

The male and female American Goldfinch usually wait until the trees have adequate foliage to camouflage in before they begin flirting about and nesting, respectively. The male, shown here front and back, is very bright yellow with black tail and wing features and a black crown.

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The female (not shown) has no black on its head and has a brownish yellow underbelly and brown wing and tail feathers, but is also very camouflaged in bare branches and Spring leaves of the trees.

 

A Wing Abnormality

This particular Robin is easily recognizable in our backyard in Napoleon, Ohio, as he/she has a abnormality, or some sort of break, in her wing. The white portion showing within her back feathers isn’t a blossom. It’s part of her wing, and if you look closely, you can see a portion of feather bone lying across that white patch. She, however, functions normally, and gave birth to a brood this Spring.

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Downy White

A Downy Woodpecker gave me a gorgeous under-belly view the other day, posing as I tried to focus in from the distance I stood away from him, about 10 feet. I couldn’t zoom these photos up too far without losing focus, but you certainly can catch the unusual view of white feathers!

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The remaining pictures, taken at different times, are more what one is used to seeing when spotting a Downy; his backside, with the red stripe at the back of his head (squint!).

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