Readers’ wildlife photos

August 7, 2022 • 8:45 am

Today’s group of photos is from John Avise, who every Sunday contributes a themed batch of birds.  His notes and captions are indented, and you can enlarge the photos by clicking on them.

Power Lines and Barbed-wire Fences

Given the ubiquity of human artifacts on our planet, it can actually be quite difficult to photograph a bird without also getting some man-made object into the picture.  Indeed, many  birds love to perch on seemingly hazardous things like power lines and barbed-wire fences.  Here are just a few examples of what I’m taking about.

Osprey (Pandion haliaetus):

Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto):

Fish Crow (Corvus ossifragus):

Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus):

Gray Kingbird (Tyrannus dominicensis):

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher (Tyrannus forficatus):

Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus):

Lark Sparrow (Chondestes grammacus):

Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon):

Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta):

Western Kingbird (Tyrannus verticalis):

Vermilion Flycatcher (Pyrocephalus rubinus):

Rock Pigeons (Columba livia):

Blue Grosbeak (Passerina caerulea):

California Towhee (Melozone crissalis):

Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris):

White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys):

11 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

    1. I won’t try to translate all of them but here’s one rather clear example. The scientific name for the Vermillion Flycatcher, Pyrocephalus rubinus, roughly derives from Latin words for “fire”, “head”, and “red”.

  1. As the photos show birds are able to land safely on the cables without being electrocuted but it is a different story when they land on the pylons where potentially they can make a circuit between the conductor cables and the pylon. Research has shown that considerable numbers of birds (especially larger species) do get killed in this way but that the design of the connections at pylons can substantially modify the risk. The other risk posed by power cables to birds is collision risk which also tends to affect larger species such as storks, eagles etc. Again design (including routing) can help mitigate this risk.

  2. We’ve been watching a pair of ospreys raising a single chick in a similarly situated nest. The nest is supported by both the cross bar and the 720,000 volt wire. The birds and nest survived a Derecho and several lesser storms. Amazing how fast the chick grows in its early weeks.

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