I introduced this series of posts addressing “agonistic behavior” with the following definition, from the Wikipedia article on the subject: “The term has broader meaning than aggressive behaviour because it includes threats, displays, retreats, placation, and conciliation.” This post highlights wing flapping by ducks as an example of agonistic behavior that is clearly not fighting (but could … More Wing Flapping Displays As Agonistic Behavior
One clash, two photos— Red-winged Blackbird Harrassing Great Blue Heron on banks of Francis Short Pond. In the first, the blackbird passes by the heron. In the second, the heron seems to me more worried. Once again two species clash, and once again the smaller seems to have the upper hand— or at least it … More Agonistic Behavior: Small Vs. Large Once More
Juncos are fairly tough birds. They hiss and click if you unwittingly get near their nests. So if they can challenge humans, ground squirrels may well appear to them to be relatively easy to chase off. That is the way it seemed a month ago when two juncos challenged a rock squirrel in our front … More The Agoni(stic) And the Ecstacy (Or Not): Bird Vs. Mammal
A useful introduction to the term “agonistic behavior” is found here,” from Wikipedia—”Agonistic behaviour is any social behaviour related to fighting. The term has broader meaning than aggressive behaviour because it inecludes threats, displays, retreats, placation, and conciliation.” My camera and I see it all the time, from our bird bath to clashes in the (relative) wild. I have documented such … More “Agonistic Behavior” Among Birds: More Than Just Fighting
You have noticed by now that there are two connected ponds on the Old Walnut Canyon Road (the road that leads to Walnut Canyon National Monument) that attract a variety of waterfowl as well as ospreys, bald eagles, and swallows. Once again I turn to my cache of photos taken there for another favorite— the … More Motion Blur Photography #3: Flock of Geese
I live hundreds of miles inland from the Pacific, but late in August, Flagstaff was visited by a flock of American Avocets. As you saw in my first Motion Blur post, the technique produces some cool effects. (By the way, like yesterday’s post, this shot was taken at the Old Walnut Canyon Road Ponds. I … More Motion Blur #2: Photographing American Avocets in Flight
It’s been a frightfully warm winter, but not so warm as to completely melt the ice on our fair city’s beloved municipal pond near a couple of our public schools. Frances Short was an “educator and city councilperson” in Flagstaff. (For more information, click here.) The pond and its immediate environs are home to waterfowl … More Waterfowl on Frances Short Pond (Flagstaff)
Ordinary Cameras, Extraordinary Encounters:Taking Wildlife Photos From the Heart A Workshop Led by Jim Wilce, and Sponsored by the Northern Arizona Audubon Society Saturday, June 24, 8-10 a. m., Kachina Wetlands (near Flagstaff, Arizona) What do you want from outdoor/ wildlife photographs? How can you take photos that you and others will enjoy? And how … More Photo Walk With Jim Wilce, June 24
One of my favorite places in Flagstaff is Frances Short Pond. It is a hotspot for members of the Order Odonata— dragonflies and damselflies like the one below, which is, I believe, a “bluet.” But now the show I promised—a shaky video of two orange dragonflies and their mid-air mating dance. The still photos on … More Dragonflies mating mid-air
The other day, I came in from a photographic moment down on my knees in the front yard. This put my legs in direct contact with a pile of dead plant matter. So I should have seen this coming— a hitchhiker apparently crawled onto my blue jeans. So it was not until I came inside … More Hitchhiker butterfly
Back in April I visited Frances Short Pond here in Flagstaff— a pond fished by man (sometimes woman) and osprey alike. Blackbirds and grackles occupy trees and the marshy island in the middle of the small pond. Here is a great-tailed grackle (I think), caught mid-hop. Click here to see the full-sized photo of the … More Reflective great(-tailed) hop
I’m posting this on Reddit ( /r/whatsthisbug). For you who once saw me post HERE rather regularly, I apologize for my long absence and offer this strikingly beautiful insect (a beetle?). I was seeing this orange-winged insect (probably a beetle) this spring, then suddenly it reappeared today in the Rio de Flag, Cheshire neighborhood, Flagstaff, … More Unidentified insect: Beetle?
Anywhere you see hawks you are likely to see them being chased by smaller birds and not just chasing after them. The following photos (some of which are links to wilcephotos.com) tell two stories. The first story consists of a single photograph of what we might expect to be most common—a bigger, more carnivorous bird … More Hawks: Chasing and Being Chased
Raptors are birds of prey. I try not to overuse the word “awesome,” but raptors are awesome, awe-inspiring. I love it when raptors, who have extremely sharp eyes, are so generous as to allow me to photograph them. So, I have gathered here, in one place, photos of four different raptors— three diurnal and one … More Four Raptors
This brief video (about 7 seconds long) captures a pair of beetles, apparently “Darkling Beetles” (family Tenebrionidae). It shows one beetle touching the other with its antennae. The video was shot September 5 on Fatman’s Loop trail (Mt. Elden area of Flagstaff, Arizona). I removed the sound track and edited out most of the effects … More What’s the beetle doing to its companion?