Anne Elliott

Anne Elliott

Posted on 06/16/2015


Photo taken on June 10, 2015


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Keywords

nature
banded
side view
Sialia
Turdidae
Mountain Bluebird
Sialia currucoides
SW of Calgary
Panasonic DMC-FZ200
FZ200
annkelliott
Anne Elliott
Bluebird
Alberta
spring
male
bokeh
bird
adult
ornithology
fence post
perched
avian
Canada
Lumix
early June


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Blue and banded

Blue and banded
Wednesday, 10 June 2015, was only what I would call a "magical" evening! Normally, I never go out in the evening - usually just too tired and there are all sorts of things needing to be done on my computer. However, having driven SW of the city the previous day and noticing a baby Mountain Bluebird poking its head out of its nesting box, I knew that any time now that it and its siblings would be suddenly gone. Since then, I have been back one time and a Tree Swallow poked its head out of the Bluebird nesting box, letting me know that this Bluebird family had fledged and moved away. The male Bluebird seen in this photo was taken at a different location the same evening.

In Bluebirds, the blue colour is produced by the structure of the feather - there is no blue pigment. "Tiny air pockets in the barbs of feathers can scatter incoming light, resulting in a specific, non-iridescent color. Blue colors in feathers are almost always produced in this manner. Examples include the blue feathers of Bluebirds, Indigo Buntings, Blue Jay's and Steller's Jays."

www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Mountain_Bluebird/id

www.jstor.org/discover/pgs/index?id=10.2307/4077277&i...

It was early evening when I left home on 10 June, after a volunteer shift and a haircut. Really, I was just going to check on the Bluebirds and was not expecting to see all that much else.That's how the evening started, but as the evening progressed, the world seemed to come alive with bird song and activity. It has been a long, long time since I've experienced that, if ever.

Though my trip was mainly just to check on the Bluebirds, I was also lucky to see an American Robin sitting on a barbed-wire fence just a couple of feet away from a brilliant blue male Bluebird (not this one). Talk about colour! They were way down the road, so I was only able to get a very distant shot. Also saw a number of Snipe that I love photographing.

When I reached the point where I was going to turn around and head for home, I saw yet another Snipe perched on a fence. Just a few feet from it, on the same fence, was a beautiful Swainson's Hawk! After posing for a while, both birds took off, with the Hawk in hot pursuit of the Snipe. I couldn't see how the chase ended, but hopefully the world is not missing a Snipe.

Closer to home, I suddenly spotted a beautiful female Moose at a small wetland, right before I turned on to the main highway. Not sure if it's because I took my first photos (including this one) of her from inside the car, across the passenger seat, but most were blurry. Eventually, she left and started walking along the road away from the highway. I crawled along, watching her way in the distance. She kept walking from side to side of the road and then stopped to lick some salt off the road, bending her front legs to kneel in what looked a very awkward move : ) At this point, I stopped my car and turned on the hazard flashing lights, as she wasn't too obvious in the shadows from the trees at the edge of the road. I can see how easily a collision can happen! Fortunately, only one car came along, from behind my car, and the guy slowed down and was smiling. Took a while, but eventually the huge, majestic animal leapt over a barbed-wire fence and sauntered off into the trees.

Driving back to the highway, I stopped to watch three or four young White-tailed Deer having fun at the same wetland. One of them was standing in the water and would occasionally stamp one of its front legs to make a splash and then bound away a few feet. Funny to watch and so good to see it playing so happily.

So, it was quite the evening, to say the least! I drove all the way home with a big smile on my face.

Peter Van Der Houwen has particularly liked this photo


Comments
Meadowmom
Meadowmom
Hard to believe that bird is not blue...
2 years ago.
Peter Van Der Houwen
Peter Van Der Houwen
What a beauty, excellent catch!
2 years ago.