Sunday, October 30, 2005

A Surfbird (top) and a Rock Sandpiper were illustrating their protective coloration today at Depoe Bay on the Oregon Coast. The flock of about 15 Surfbirds (and a few Black Turnstones) was feeding among the mussels and barnacles in the splash zone near the Spouting Horn.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The Red-breasted Nuthatch, motionless -- for half a second.

Red-breasted Nuthatch

This Red-breasted Nuthatch was a little concerned about my presence so close to his food supply today, but he's determined not to let the chickadees get all the sunflower seeds. He's carrying them away one-by-one, as fast as he can, to hide them in secret nooks and crannies. Some of them I'll probably find sprouting there next spring.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Winter Wren

The Winter Wren can be found in many countries around the world in the northern hemisphere, but that does not mean it's easy to find. This one found me a few days ago when I invaded its domain in a dark, damp brushy forest, reminding me again about the appropriateness of its scientific name: Troglodytes troglodytes.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Common Four Ring

India's list of flying creatures includes many butterflies, including this Common Four Ring I found near Parwanoo in the state of Himachal Pradesh. Since there are really five rings (one mostly hidden in this photo) I'm curious about the origin of the name.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Common Kingfisher

This Common Kingfisher (all six inches of him) was a bright highlight of a boat ride along a canal near Colombo, Sri Lanka. Not only did he allow us to approach within about 8 ft., but he then plunged into the green water and came up with a wiggling 1-inch fish in his bill, and sat on his perch to bask in our admiration.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

House Crow

Even non-birders who visit India cannot ignore the House Crow, probably the most conspicuous bird in the cities. I found them to be quite entertaining, and handsome, too, in their two-color suits.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Indian Flying Fox

I returned today from my trip to India and Sri Lanka. I did not find my target species, the Hoopoe, but I was quite impressed by the colonies of a very large fruit-eating bat, the Indian Flying Fox. I estimated the wingspan of this one at about 3 ft., and it was not the largest that I saw. In Colombo a "camp" of about 50 of these bats was roosting in trees at eye-level from my room window in the Hilton Hotel.