Readers’ wildlife photos

January 13, 2021 • 8:00 am

Today John Avise presents one of his “bird theme” posts. The title is below, the captions and IDs are John’s, and you can click on the photos to enlarge them:

Avian Yawns (Open-Wide)

Strangely, I won’t be disappointed if some readers yawn their way through this set of photos (because yawning can be contagious).  I’ve noticed that many vertebrate animals, ranging from mammals to fish, occasionally yawn, perhaps merely to stretch jaw muscles or maybe as an indication of sleepiness.  Except when singing or eating, birds normally keep their upper and lower mandibles shut.  But this batch of photos shows several birds caught with bills wide open in what might be interpreted as a yawn (or in some cases a yawn stifled).  Can you get through these pictures without wanting to yawn too?

California Gull (Larus californicus):

Western Gull (Larus occidentalis):

Another Western Gull:

Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis):

Heermann’s Gull (Larus pipixcan):

Forster’s Tern (Sterna forsteri):

Another Forster’s Tern:

Sandwich Tern (Sterna sandvicensis):

Caspian Tern (Sterna caspia):

Limpkin (Aramus guarauna):

Clark’s Grebe (Aechmophorus clarkii):

Ferruginous Hawk (Buteo regalis):

Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna):

Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris):

White Ibis (Eudocimus albus):

Roseate Spoonbill (Ajaia ajaja):

African Spoonbill (Platalea alba):

17 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

    1. I wonder how to preserve the rhamphotheca when I get a bird skull & allow nature to deflesh it…? I must look that up!

  1. What an amazing photo collection you must have to show a collection on just this one topic, John! Very interesting.

  2. Why can’t you durn biologists figger out why critters yawn?

    This is highly conserved behavior, so it must be serving a very important purpose. There are lots of hypotheses, but no settled answer.

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