Tag Archives: Country Birds

Pueo stare

This week’s Friendly Friday challenge theme is ‘Capturing a Feeling.’ See more responses here.

A fair number of my photos of perched pueos (Hawaiian short-eared owls) show the birds giving me a scowling look of disapproval. This one has a bit of that, but there’s also a look of astonishment. If I had to give this bird a speech bubble, it would be something along the lines of, ‘He took my picture. He didn’t even ask. The nerve.’

I like this photo for two additional reasons. One is that single, visible curved talon resting on the post. Easy to imagine the effect of that on some unfortunate rodent. The second reason is the eyes. Notice anything about them?

Also posted in response to Becky’s July Squares challenge theme of ‘Perspective.’ See more responses here.

Dawn chorus

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Awakening.’ See more offerings here.

Around here, awakening is usually courtesy of the dawn chorus. That occurs when the birds themselves awaken and announce to the world that they made it through the night. Pretty much every bird species that lives within earshot takes part, but there are some standouts.

Roosters (above) are the traditional greeter of the new day and that’s true here, though it has to be noted that they’re equally likely to sound off at any time of the day or night. This neighborhood used to be rooster-free for several years. Then one wandered in from across the road and now there are several in the vicinity. One in particular keeps trying to make my yard part of its territory. I am resolved to prevent this.

Gray francolins (right) are smaller than roosters but might be even louder. Their call has a little wind up before soaring to full screech. It gets people’s attention at any time of day, but at 5:30 in the morning it’s more effective than mainlining caffeine.

The northern cardinal (below) is a smaller bird still but, from its typically high perch, its variety of powerfully-sung songs tend to ride over everything. But rest assured, the other birds contribute, from the red-billed leiothrix, to Japanese white-eyes, to an assortment of finches, they make sure that I’m up to greet the sunrise, whether I want to or not.

Cattle and egrets

This week’s Friendly Friday challenge theme is ‘Odd Couples.’ See more responses here.

It’s common to see cattle egrets in the company of cattle and yet they still make an odd pairing – the bulky, stolid cow or bull and the slender, flighty cattle egret. The benefits for the cattle egret are clear. They catch insects and other prey disturbed by the grazing cattle (or horse, sheep, goat, etc.). But they also remove flies and ticks from the cattle themselves, which also benefits the cattle.

The cattle also don’t seem to mind being used as a perch. I imagine the egret above giving directions: ‘take a left up ahead buddy.’ The one in the middle is switching allegiances. Below, gotta find someplace with a view when in the tall grasses.

Birds in a row

This week sees the return of the Friendly Friday challenge with a theme of ‘All in a Row.’ See more responses here.

I’ve plumped for some bird photos. Above, a trio of common myna birds stand on a railing looking severe, as they always do. Middle, wild turkeys form two lines, as if they’re performing some kind of dance routine. Below, African silverbills perch on a fence overlooking the ocean.

Wild turkeys

wild turkeys

wild turkey and chickWild turkeys are often seen wandering through pasture land in small groups. In the photo above, a large male shows a female what a fine specimen he is. In the second photo, a mother guides her chick through the long grass.

Egrets and turbines

Egrets and turbines

Today marks the 1,000th post on this blog. To mark the occasion I looked for a suitably appropriate subject and couldn’t find anything! So instead I chose this photo since it featured a couple of subjects I must have seen a thousand times.

I pass the turbines at Hawi Wind Farm on my way to the part of the coast where I regularly walk. And I’ve seen an awful lot of cattle/horse/sheep/goat/lawn mower egrets since they are omnipresent. Plus I have a soft spot for them.

In this photo, a flock of egrets is on a mission to get from one pasture to another one. They aren’t the most graceful of flyers, but en masse I find they make a very pleasing sight.

Bold gray francolin

Gray Francolin

Gray Francolin headGray francolins are a favorite bird of mine, not for their loud and raucous call, especially early in the morning, but for their goofy behavior.

They blend in very well in dry, grassy surroundings. I often encounter them when one or more loses it’s nerve and shoots out from cover, which leaves me as startled as the francolin. Sometimes they’ll fly out, but more frequently they take off running. When this happens alongside a fence the bird will run along, pausing occasionally to probe for an escape route, with me calling after it, ‘You can fly you know.’ If it doesn’t find a hole in the fence it will eventually take off, but it’s as if they’ve all been told they can only take off 20 times in their lifetime.

The gray francolin in these photos neither ran nor flew. It stood its ground quite boldly, making sure to keep a sharp eye on me as I edged past trying not to alarm it. When I’d done so it wandered off through the grass looking quite pleased that it hadn’t used one of its 20 airborne escapes.