This being Sunday, you are about to see a themed batch of birds from John Avise. John’s captions and narrative are indented, and you can enlarge the photos by clicking on them.
Birds of a Feather
“Birds of a feather flock together” is of course a famous saying, but did you know that nearly 50 percent of such flocks consist of odd numbers of individuals? [Think about it, with tongue-in-cheek!]. This week’s post shows examples of avian flocks with various odd numbers of birds. All of these photos were taken in Southern California. [And 10 of the numbers pictured also happen to be prime numbers; do you know which these are?]
3 American White Pelicans, Pelecanus erythrorhynchos:
3 Black-necked Stilts, Himantopus mexicanus:
3 White-faced Ibis, Plegadis chihi:
5 Willets, Catoptrophorus semipalmatus:
7 Sandhill Cranes, Grus canadensis:
9 Mallard drakes, Anas platyrhynchos:
11 White-faced Ibis:
13 American Avocets, Recurvirostra americana:
15 American Coots, Fulica americana:
17 Snowy Egrets, Egretta thula:
17 White-faced Ibis:
19 Black-necked Stilts:
21 Cedar Waxwings, Bombycilla cedrorum:
41 Swainson’s Hawks, Buteo swainsoni, forming a “kettle”:
67 Western Sandpipers, Calidris mauri:
251 White-faced Ibis:
7 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos”
Well, that is intriguing – I never thought of the numbers falling into a pattern before.
Wonderful photos! Thank you.
I’ve seen groups of hawks or turkey vultures soaring in circles on occasion, but I did not know the term “kettle,” nor had I thought much about why they were doing it. Of course, searching online turns up a lot of information about this, including a 2019 post on this very site:
So now I know. Another day, another new thing learned on WEIT.
Another great series…but where are the 7 swans a swimming, or 3 French hens, or 2 turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree?
Or maybe when you show the even numbers, you can show 6 geese a laying (and a repeat of 2 turtle doves?)
Wow! Beautiful pics!! Thanks, John!
Well that’s an interesting piece of information, and another mystery for science to solve. Great photos as usual.
And a partridge in a pear tree