Thursday, September 20, 2018

Crops & Clips: Birds preening

Too often I have discarded bird photos because the subject suddenly turned away, closed its eyes, or started picking at its plumage. Yet, some of my more interesting images have been those of birds preening and ruffling their feathers. 

Of course this is a vitally important behavior, as it cleans and restores integrity to feathers which have been soiled or disrupted. 

Individual feather barbs which arise from the feather shaft are attached to one another by tiny barbules and hooks (nature's "Velcro"). These become separated and must be carefully straightened, realigned and joined together to permit flight and protection from temperature extremes, wind and precipitation.

Herons take on such interesting shapes. The absence of hands makes them contort their necks into some unusual postures.

Great Blue Heron:

Great Blue Heron before sunrise 04-20171215

Great Blue Heron 03-20170207

Great Blue Heron backyard 06-20161210

Tricolored Heron:

Tricolored Heron 03-20160519

Tricolored Heron preening HDR2  20150722

Immature Little Blue Heron:

Little Blue Heron immature 20141118

Little Blue Heron immature neck 20141118

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron:

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron preening 20150311

Great Egret:

Great Egret preening 20131210

Great Egret preening 2-20150105

Great Egret preening 03-20180717

Wood Stork:

Wood Stork FOUR nestlings 02-20180411

Anhinga preening:

Anhinga preening 20150212

Anhinga 2-20131210

Sandhill Crane:

Sandhill Crane preening 06-20161027

Turkey Vulture with two heads (actually a companion is looking over its shoulder as it preens):

Two-headed Turkey Vulture 20140302

American Kestrel

American Kestrel preening 20151207

American Kestrel preening 4-20151207

Kestrel stretching 20101210

Bald Eagle stretching and preening:

Bald Eagle female stretching 20170106

Bald Eagle female preening 20151025

Bald Eagle male preening 20141229

Adult Preening 20090320

Mourning Dove:

Mourning Dove preening 20111105

Savannah Sparrow:

Savannah Sparrow preening HDR 20160629

Painted Bunting:

Painted Bunting preening 2-20170211

Perfect viewpoint early in the morning:

196th Avenue Canal HDR 20180724

= = =  = = =  = = = =  = = = = =

Linking to Misty's  CAMERA CRITTERS,

Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS,

Linking to SKYWATCH FRIDAY by Yogi, Sylvia and Sandy


Linking to BirdD'Pot by Anni

Linking to Our World Tuesday by Lady Fi

Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday by Stewart

Linking to Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday) by NC Sue

Linking to ALL SEASONS by Jesh

 Linking to Fences Around the World by Gosia


Please visit the links to all these memes to see some excellent photos on display



  1. Love how these shots show the vulnerable and gentle side of these gorgeous creatures.

  2. Great set of photos and interesting. Love the one with the reflection. Have a good day Diane

  3. Stunning shots. The shots of the herons preening are excellent!

  4. Even preening and cleaning, birds look elegant like ballet dancers. I love that last shot of your shadow in the vista. Something mystical about the scene.

  5. These herons must have great neck muscles to be able to do what you show in your images! The yellow crowned one is so pretty, but so is the immature blue one ...and I could go one and on for each one you captured! Many thanks for sharing with All Seasons all the stunning positions of these birds your caught - they are truly stunning! Have a beautiful Fall week!

  6. Lovely images! You capture such exquisite detail.

  7. A unique collection - so glad you kept them and put them all together in one place for us. The one of the immature little blue heron was a bit shocking - almost as though its neck is broken. I adore the shots when the head is hidden behind an enormous wing, as though for privacy. Mah-velous!

  8. Love all the preening shots..... they're great...


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