Thursday, March 12, 2020

Including habitat in photos

Too often, I strive for "bird guide" photos, side-on, in perfect light and showing every plumage detail. These views don't usually happen in real life. So many of my shots show nothing but leaves and twigs or empty sky. 

An American Kestrel was so far away that its cropped image would not merit publication on glossy paper, but the original illustrates its habit of selecting a high perch atop a Royal Palm:

American Kestrel on Royal Palm shoot 20191206

Seeing a Yellow-rumped Warbler perched out in the open lets us better appreciate its small size as well as its namesake field mark:

Yellow-rumped Warbler 20200105

Blurred wings provide action as a Blue Jay snatches fruit from a Royal Palm:

Blue Jay 02-20191206

This male Northern Parula warbler is at home in mid-winter, among the emerging leaves of a Red Maple:

Northern Parula 05-20191223

Northern Mockingbird on Brazilian Pepper-- Birds and berries go together...

 Northern Mockingbird 01-20191130 do butterflies and blossoms-- Giant Swallowtail and Lantana flowers:

Giant Swallowtail 20181005

Is this a picture of the bird or the background? Great Egret:

Great Egret 01-20191108

A tight crop would keep us from learning something about the food preferences of a tiny Barred Yellow butterfly on Largeflower Mexican Clover  (Richardia grandiflora):

Barred Yellow butterfly 20191211

The aesthetics are horrible, but can a hawk and a dove tell a story? Red-shouldered Hawk watching a Eurasian Collared-Dove: 

Eurasian Collard-Dove and Red-Shouldered Hawk 20191016

A "field guide" view would eliminate the reflection of this Great Egret:

Great Egret in morning light 01-0190114 

Another messy egret photo, not fit for publication:

Great Egret 20190623

An egret hunts in unsightly periphyton* which blankets the surface of a cove. It is a rich source of food and hiding places for prey species:

Great Egret and periphyton 05-20181208

Its back is to the camera and the light does not catch the eye of this Black-throated Blue Warbler, at home in a Firebush (Hamelia patens):

Black-throated Blue Warbler male 091-20191009

The Eastern Phoebe is primarily a flycatcher. Not a great shot, but it is eating a large cutworm caterpillar!

Eastern Phoebe with caterpillar 01-20191206

Black-necked Stilts on still water:

Stilts on still water 20190401

What is most important here, the Bald Eagle or the golden sky at sunrise? What is one without the other?

Bald Eagle on golden sky 04-20190728

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*Periphyton is a complex mixture of algae, cyanobacteria, heterotrophic microbes, and detritus that is attached to submerged surfaces in most aquatic ecosystems... Periphyton serves as an important food source for invertebrates, tadpoles, and some fish. It can also absorb contaminants, removing them from the water column and limiting their movement through the environment. The periphyton is also an important indicator of water quality... REFERENCE

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Linking to

Fences Around the World

Skywatch Friday

Weekend Reflections

Saturday's Critters


Camera Critters

All Seasons

Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday)

Our World Tuesday


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


  1. Wow! Ken, this is really nice. You do great work❤❤❤

  2. Lovely set of photos. I love the hawk and the dove in the same shot. The butterflies are also pretty. Enjoy your day, Diane

  3. wow your nature is amazing love from Europe

  4. You may not consider them fit for publication, and others might not, but they are beautiful and spotlight all of the natural surroundings as well as the birds, which makes them winners to me.

  5. Wonderful photos! There's a lot to be said for including the habitat. A couple of my favorites here are the blue jay and the great egret.

  6. A wonderful variety of birds, and all of them very interesting photos. Thanks Ken!

  7. Hello, I love both the birds and the background. You have so many beautiful birds and photos, I can not choose a favorite. They are all gorgeous! Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend! PS, thank you for the visit and comment on my blog.

  8. The Swallowtail is a fantastic picture. A lovely post Ken. Have a great weekend.

  9. You have some truly increadible bird shots here, and there's even a few awesome ones with birds and sky. TFS.

  10. You can't go wrong with including a reflection! Great post.

  11. Fabulous photography Kenneth especially love the reflection shots. I hope you have a great week ahead and stay safe from this virus. Thanks for all your comments..

  12. Each and ALL are terrific photos in my opinion. Gives us the opportunity to show surroundings in nature. Great ones & favorite today is the blue Jay.
    Thanks for coming over to I'd Rather B Birdin this weekend and linking up with us.

  13. Really great reflections Ken!

  14. These are fascinating pictures of a bird world !!!

  15. I love seeing the habitat and case in point, the American Kestrel

  16. Love the blue jay shot!

    Thank you for sharing at

  17. You do have some very lovely photos! The ones of the butterflies just took my breath away!!
    Happy St. Paddy's Day to you and yours!

  18. Beautiful photos Kenneth! I love the birds and the butterflies (although I am scared of butterflies, don't know why. But I find photos of them very charming)

  19. Such beautiful photos! That kestrel perched on top of the palm is fascinating. What a balancing act! #MCoW

  20. Another wonderful series of beauties! I, too, have to think sometimes about what I want to convey in my photos and adjust accordingly (as opposed to the close up shots).

    Thanks for your contribution to 'My Corner of the World' this week!

    My Corner of the World


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