Posts Tagged: scalderphotography

Greater Roadrunner standing on the ground

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Greater Roadrunner standing on ground in south Texas

I encountered this Greater Roadrunner running through the desert in South Texas. He paused and posed long enough for me to photograph him standing on the ground in the shrubby dry dirt. They are quite prevalent in the Southwest but are a treat for me because they don’t exist in the North Carolina mountains. This Greater Roadrunner has its crest elevated, showing the blue and red patch behind the eye. This bird is quite agile on the ground and is able to outrun humans and can actually jump up and grab smaller birds in flight, but they don’t fly very well themselves. If they need to fly, it is usually just a glide from a perch to the ground. The Greater Roadrunner is entertaining to watch because of its unusual characteristics and habits.

Male Least Bittern lifting off in flight from reeds

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Male Least Bittern lifting off in flight from reeds

Least Bitterns are remarkably elusive birds. This Male Least Bittern is lifting off in flight from his perch in the reeds. They live in marshes with tall reeds where they regularly hang motionless with their feet grasping reeds, known as the “bittern pose”. Least Bitterns sway in these reeds, which conceal these small herons. It is difficult to photograph Least Bitterns in flight because they fly suddenly from an invisible position.

Pied-Billed Grebe Swimming in a circle

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Pied-Billed Grebe Swimming in a circle with wings aloft

I was meandering around a Florida wetland and saw this Pied-Billed Grebe swimming in a circle with its wings aloft. He or she looked like he was dancing, but to his own silent music. Maybe it is a courtship ritual? The Pied-Billed Grebe has a black band on its bill during breeding season, but I didn’t notice another Grebe anywhere nearby!

Male Gambel’s Quail walking through the Desert

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Male Gambel's Quail walking through desert

I photographed this Male Gambel’s Quail walking through the desert in New Mexico. These Quail are frequently in large coveys or groups, but this Male was walking alone. It seems these desert residents would rather run or walk than fly. The Gambel’s Quail lives in thorny vegetation and they eat mostly plants and seeds. They are entertaining to observe with their comma-shaped top knot and plump round bodies.