27 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. Someone pointed out to me that the swallow in the second photo isn’t really doing a roll. Its head is swiveled 180 degrees.

  2. Lovely pictures.
    One can appreciate how the tail is spread and rotated in these pictures, no doubt to deftly adjust their flight for a tiny second. It is awesome how birds fine-tune their contours on the fly like that.

    1. It is amazing indeed. I often think that while it would be cool to be a bird of prey (especially a peregrine), it would be really cool to be a swallow or swift. Talk about having command of the air!

    2. Yes, I can watch swallows and swifts all day and never get tired. I don’t really understand how they can process information quickly enough to do what they do.

    1. Relativistic swallows! If you ever catch one like that, it’d be interesting to see if you measure the Lorentz contraction from the photo….


      1. Relativistic swallows!

        At a million miles an hour? That’s (/self : counts on fingers ; removes shoes and continues counting) 278 miles per second, or about 0.0015 of The Speed Limit.

        1. Considering it’s all relative, 0.15% c qualifies as relativistic in my book!

          …besides, GPS satellites, which are relativistic enough that your iPhone has to know Einstein to know what continent you’re on (not that it does them any good when you just want to pop down to the pub for a pint), are “only” moving at 8700 mph, or about 0.0013% c….


          1. Imagine what would happen if two swallows collided head-on at a million miles an hour. They’d create an incedible mess of subparticles.

  3. About every year some chimney swallows would build a nest in our fireplace chimney (which we rarely use). A couple times one of them would get down into the fireplace, and could not get past the damper to go back up, so I would catch it to let it free outside. But before I did that I could not resist having a good look at it. Big black eyes, very long, tapered wings. I could feel its tiny heart beating several times a second.

    1. Thank you. That’s a nice compliment. Birds in flight is my art, but I won’t pass up something standing still. 🙂

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