Male Common Kingfisher.

Throwback Thursday travels back to Cheshire, England in the early 1990s. Having posted a photo of a North American Belted Kingfisher for Wordless Wednesday I thought I would follow up with another Kingfisher species on a different continent.

This is a male Common Kingfisher that is found across parts of Eurasia and North Africa. Other common English names are Eurasian Kingfisher and River Kingfisher. The background is an out of focus hay meadow. I had a portable hide (blind) set up next to a pond in the meadow.

Male Eurasian Kingfisher.

 

Hidden behaviour in plain sight.

This week’s Cosmic Photo Challenge is Hidden In Plain Sight: Photo Elements You Might Have Missed.

This is a photo of a pair of American Avocets in Saskatchewan, Canada. They’re in breeding plumage having arrived for the summer. You may wonder what I missed? The photo was taken in the mid 1990s but until I copied the slide a couple of years ago I hadn’t noticed the behaviour of the two birds.

The bird on the left seems to be ready to mate while the other bird appears to be preening as if getting ready to go on a date. By the curve of their bills it’s a female ready to mate and a male preening.

Two American Avocets.

Week 31. Backlit Sandhill Cranes.

Sunday morning of week 31 saw me returning from the sunrise at Colpoy’s Bay when I spotted two Sandhill Cranes in a hay field.

The sun was still low in the sky and behind the birds providing some interesting lighting. There was still round bales in the field so I spent some time waiting for one or the other to appear from behind a bale. At on point the two birds started calling to each other but one of the birds was mostly hidden behind a bale at the time.

Sandhill Cranes at sunrise.

A feather for lunch.

This week’s Cosmic Photo Challenge is The Food of Love.

I gave this some thought and then remembered this photo. It shows a fairly common piece of behavior for various species of Grebes that researchers and scientists have yet to fully explain.

The photo shows an adult Great Crested Grebe feeding one of its breast feathers to two of its young. One theory suggests this behavior is an aid to digesting their food by protecting their stomach from sharp fish bones. Another theory is that the feathers help the birds form pellets of undigested fish bones allowing them to regurgitate the pellets.

Adult Great Crested Grebe with young.

Fish for breakfast.

An American Herring Gull eating a dead fish. Or a Herring Gull or a Smithsonian Gull depending on the source you refer to.

Taken last Sunday morning on a visit to the Lake Huron shoreline in Southampton, Ontario.

The status of various Herring Gull subspecies seems to change almost daily. I have photos of the nominate species and two subspecies from the U.K. Or I did when I captioned the photos. One of the subspecies is now classified as a separate species, the Yellow-legged Gull, by some authorities.

The American Herring Gull is classified as a subspecies by the American Ornithologists’ Union. But lots of references give it the scientific name of Larus smithsonianus which means it should be a separate species. Just to confuse things even more, the British Ornithologists’ Union recognise the American Herring Gull as a separate species.

Smithsonian Gull.