I drove up Snowbowl Road and managed to arrive at the top of the road just in time to get my camera out, steady it on top of my car, and shoot. That was 5:19 a.m. Tomorrow morning’s moonset should be at 6:01. Ample time to plan, get the tripod and camera ready, shoot some … More This Morning’s Moonset
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)
It’s always nice when I discover that my camera has seen more than I did when I took a shot. That has happened lately, as spring gets ready to turn to summer, when I see “Well well, the little creature seems to be building a nest!” (Of course I am also very aware of seeing … More Spring (or at least nest-building material) is in the mouth
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
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?
My first “wow” butterfly moment in the summer of 2015, described in Butterflies Part I, was really about butterflies and moths, and their antennae. The second moment of amazement is this realization: One butterfly, and in fact each individual wing of that one butterfly, can be very different when seen from above or below. Their … More A summer of learning: Butterfly upperwings and underwings
It has been a summer of wonder and amazement, based on apparently chance encounters of this insect or that. But of course what we see— if we are watching—reflects what is here for now, in this season (or sub-sub-season). And so, it seems that one week, quite suddenly, our Cheshire neighborhood (Flagstaff, AZ) was home … More A summer of learning: How to tell butterflies from moths
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