Wing Flapping Displays As Agonistic Behavior

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

The Agoni(stic) And the Ecstacy (Or Not): Bird Vs. Mammal

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

“Agonistic Behavior” Among Birds: More Than Just Fighting

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

Motion Blur #2: Photographing American Avocets in Flight

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

Waterfowl on Frances Short Pond (Flagstaff)

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)

What’s With the V-Formation?

It is an inspiring, though common, thing to see flocks of ducks or geese flying overhead in V-formation. A duck flying alone is also beautiful, as is this mallard… http://www.wilcephotos.com/Northern-Arizona/JMW-Birds-Bees-Etc/i-qndbZbn/0/Th/BIF-Duck%3B%20BubblingPonds%3B%20IMG_9073%20C1PSD1-Th.jpg … but a group of birds synchronizing or coordinating their behavior presents us with a different kind of beauty.  This group of Canada Geese flying … More What’s With the V-Formation?

Monarch Discovery

Google Doodles— the graphics atop Google’s splash page that change every day—are sometimes worth taking the time to consider. Such was the case with the 9 January 2016 Google Doodle. The Doodle acknowledges the “41st Anniversary of the Discovery of the Mountain of the Butterflies” The mountain in Mexico where the monarchs “overwinter” is the … More Monarch Discovery

Four Raptors

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