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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Guard Duty

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This week’s photo, taken July 1, 2016 at Richmond Beach Park in Shoreline, WA, features an adult male CALIFORNIA QUAIL. This time of year when young quail are present, the adult male will perch above the shrubs and watch for danger, while the rest of the family forages in the thick vegetation below.

You may notice that this bird appears to have only one leg. It may have its other leg tucked up in its body, or perhaps it’s a member of a special subspecies of California Quail – the One-legged California Quail.

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

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Concentration

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This week’s photo, taken June 17, 2016 at Richmond Beach Park in Shoreline, WA, features an OSPREY hovering above the shore. A few moments later, it dove talons-first and caught a fish.

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

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Eye Color Counts

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This week’s photo, taken June 15, 2016 at Richmond Beach Park in Shoreline, WA, features an adult female BUSHTIT.

BUSHTITS, adorable little birds found in the western half of North America, are weak flyers. So, it may not be a surprise to anyone that Bushtits do not migrate. Although they rank high in the cuteness department, in the air they look like they are barely going to make it to the next tree.

Female Bushtits have light-colored eyes, while males have dark eyes. Yet, when you observe a flock of feeding Bushtits, you might wonder where all the females are because the majority of the flock may seem to have dark eyes. Well, juveniles of both sexes have dark eyes, so you’re probably looking at decent numbers of females – albeit young ones.

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

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A Swift Flyer

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This week’s photo, taken June 15, 2016 at Richmond Beach Park in Shoreline, WA, features a BLACK SWIFT, the largest swift in North America.

BLACK SWIFTS are uncommon migrants along the west coast. Although this is the time of year they pass through our area, and even though they are bigger than other North American swifts, they can be difficult to spot because they often fly high, and – true to their name – they fly mighty fast. Watching Black Swifts zoom through the sky is a thrilling experience for any birder, but you better not blink or else you might miss them altogether.

Black Swifts are mysterious birds in many respects. They often nest behind waterfalls in British Columbia, Canada, as well as here in Washington state. Since those nests are usually inaccessible to humans, not much is known about their nesting habits. Black Swifts probably winter in South America, but little is known about their wintering habits, also. They spend most of their life in the air. They sleep in the air, and they even mate in mid-air. Sorry, I have no photos of that event.

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

 

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Quick, Three Beers!

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This week’s photo, taken June 3, 2016 at Richmond Beach Park in Shoreline, WA, features an OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER ordering drinks.

The male OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER, known for perching high and for incessantly singing an easy to recognize song in the spring, behaved as expected when it showed up last Friday. It clung to the highest branch of the highest conifer, where it loudly sang “Quick, three beers” at a rate of several times a minute for virtually the entire 3 hours that I wandered the park that morning. Whether I was at the opposite end of the 40-acre park or down on the beach looking for seabirds, seldom did more than 10 seconds pass before I heard “Quick, three beers” from a very persistent flycatcher.

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

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