Feathers.

The new Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge is Feathers.

An easy challenge for me having been photographing birds for decades. So I decided to do something a little different, rather than just picking photos of birds I would select shots where the birds feathers were a feature of the photo.

Feather maintenance. A well camouflaged juvenile Red Knot preening on the Lake Huron shoreline in Southampton, Ontario, Canada. The bird has stopped over on its way south for the winter.

Feather maintenance.

Feather washing. An adult European Robin bathing which is an important part of feather maintenance. Hatherton, Cheshire, England.

Bath time

Feather iridescence. Iridescent feathers on a male Common Grackle are used to attract a female and are an indication of the health of the bird. South Bruce Peninsula, Ontario, Canada.

A shiny male Common Grackle.

Feathers for insulation. A male Evening Grosbeak warms one leg and foot in its feathers at -30°C. Greenwater Lake Provincial Park, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Evening Grosbeak in the winter.

Feather feeding. An adult Great Crested Grebe feeding one of its own breast feathers to its young. Hurleston Reservoir, Cheshire, England. There is some debate about why many species of Grebe feed their breast feathers to the young.

Adult Great Crested Grebe with young.

Feathers spread for take off. A Black-capped Chickadee taking flight on the South Bruce Peninsula, Ontario, Canada.

A Black-capped Chickadee taking off.

Shiny Grackle.

The new Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge is Shiny.

My initial ideas involved ice as winter seems to be dragging on in this part of Ontario.

I then started thinking about some of the bird species with iridescent plumage and thought of the male Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula) that should be arriving in Ontario soon. They’re quite a colourful species in the right light although not very popular with some people who feed the birds when they descend in large flocks.

A portrait of a male Common Grackle on the South Bruce Peninsula, Ontario in the spring.

A shiny male Common Grackle.

Some birds from week 21.

First, a Pine Siskin (Spinus pinus). Normally an occasional winter species for us but we had large numbers last winter and we’ve still got a dozen or so around this spring. They’re an irruptive species meaning numbers vary from year to year as the birds follow food sources.

A spring Pine Siskin.

Next, a Turkey Vulture soars overhead while I waited for an uncooperative Baltimore Oriole.

Looking for something to eat.

Finally a female Common Grackle searching for a meal in the yard. An often overlooked species, a lot of people regard them as a nuisance around their bird feeders. I rather like them although I don’t have a lot of shots of the species.

A spring Common Grackle.