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
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
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
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?
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?
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