Instant Gratification

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This week’s photo, taken August 24, 2016 at Richmond Beach Park in Shoreline, WA, features a CASPIAN TERN, the largest tern in the world and also one of the most widespread.

CASPIAN TERNS are a common sight during the summer months here in Washington state. They fly high above the waters of Puget Sound, looking for a meal. When they spot a fish, they might hover for a few moments, then tuck in their wings and perform a spectacular dive. Their plummet into the water can be as impressive to watch as some of the dives we saw during the recent Olympics, and while some of the athletes eventually receive medals for their efforts, the tern usually surfaces with an immediate award – a tasty fish in its bright red bill.

Bird cards and prints for sale: http://joe-sweeney.fineartamerica.com

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Young Gold

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This week’s photo, taken July 8, 2016 at Richmond Beach Park in Shoreline, WA, features a juvenile GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET. This youngster doesn’t yet sport a bright yellow-orange central crown stripe. Right now, it’s just trying to get used to its new world out of the egg.

Bird cards and prints for sale: http://joe-sweeney.fineartamerica.com

 

 

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Bird Yoga

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This week’s photo, taken August 10, 2016 at Richmond Beach Park in Shoreline, WA, features a BONAPARTE’S GULL slowly moving into a challenging yoga pose called Bird of Paradise. Unfortunately, right after I took this photo, my camera jammed, so I wasn’t able to photograph the completed pose, where the gull points its leg to the sky, wraps its wing under the raised leg and connects that wing to its other wing, which it crosses over behind its back.

The gull concluded its yoga session with Crow Pose, Eagle Pose and Pigeon Pose.

Bird cards and prints for sale: http://joe-sweeney.fineartamerica.com

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Light-eyed Female

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This week’s photo, taken August 3, 2016 at Richmond Beach Park in Shoreline, WA, features an adult female BUSHTIT. Notice the light-colored eye. Males, and all young Bushtits, have dark eyes.

Bird cards and prints for sale: http://joe-sweeney.fineartamerica.com

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A Western Gem

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This week’s photo, taken July 18, 2016 at Richmond Beach Park in Shoreline, WA, features a male BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER.

Alright, I admit that most of the wonderful warblers of North America frequent the eastern half of the continent, and we birders out here in the west often feel warbler-deprived. Fortunately, we do have a few gems of our own that rarely show up in the east, and the BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER qualifies as one of them.

Bird cards and prints for sale: http://joe-sweeney.fineartamerica.com

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Works of Art

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This week’s photo, taken July 20, 2016 at Richmond Beach Park in Shoreline, WA, features a BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE enjoying nature’s art.

One of the many reasons we watch birds is because they are such marvelous works of art. Well, birds also appreciate fine art, and here’s photographic proof: a BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE admiring the finer details of peeling bark on a Madrone tree trunk.

Bird cards and prints for sale: http://joe-sweeney.fineartamerica.com

 

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Topknot

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This week’s photo, taken July 13, 2016 at Richmond Beach Park in Shoreline, WA, features a headshot of a male CALIFORNIA QUAIL. Notice that its head plume, or topknot, actually consists of a group of feathers.

To see another closeup image of a California Quail, click on the link below.

Bird cards and prints for sale: http://joe-sweeney.fineartamerica.com

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