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
A week ago my wife and I visited my home town, Claremont California. Whenever I go there I prioritize taking a walk along Thompson Creek. As we walked, something caught my eye—a hawk on a 15-foot-high eucalyptus branch. I began to photograph what was apparently a red-tailed hawk. The next thing I know, another hawk … More Red-tailed hawk in Claremont, CA
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)
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
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?
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
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
Our stay in the Madison, Wisconsin area afforded us glimpses of birds large and small, such as this Great Blue Heron, flying over a pond that was still enough to reflect its image. Click here for more images from our Midwestern sojourn in September.