Readers’ wildlife photos

February 5, 2023 • 8:15 am

It’s the Sabbath that was made for man—and birds. Today, then, we have our weekly allotment of themed bird photos from John Avise. John’s notes are indented, and you can enlarge the photos by clicking on them.

Drinking Birds

Of course birds must drink water as well as eat, but taking a drink is usually a quick maneuver that can be hard to photograph.  The exception may be hummingbirds, for whom drinking nectar and eating are basically the same thing.  All of these photos of birds caught in the act of drinking were taken in Southern California.

Black-throated Gray Warbler, Dendroica nigrescens, drinking from a puddle:

Yellow-rumped Warbler, Dendroica coronata, drinking in flight from a dripping tap:

The same Yellow-rumped Warbler chasing another droplet from a dripping tap:

Western Gull, Larus occidentalis, drinking from beach runoff:

Another Western Gull drinking from beach runoff:

California Thrasher, Toxostoma redivivum, drinking from a bowl:

American Coots, Fulica americana, drinking from a waterfall:

Townsend’s Warbler, Dendroica townsendi, drinking from a puddle:

Rock Pigeon, Columba livia, drinking from a water fountain:

Anna’s Hummingbird, Calypte anna, drinking from a flower:

Allen’s Humingbird, Selasphorus sasin, drinking from a flower:

Hermit Thrush, Catharus guttatus, drinking in flight from a dripping faucet:

9 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. Great photos! Imagine the skill a bird needs to catch a droplet in the air! Skill on the part of the photographer too.

    I enjoy watching swallows drink in flight by skimming a lake.

  2. Makes a person think twice about outdoor drinking fountains…does this water taste, I dunno, pigeony, to you?

  3. Nice photos! Lots of excellent contributors to this on a daily basis. But, as a bird guy, I especially look forward to the Sunday posting.

  4. I’m curious about the coots. Since they spend much of their time sitting on fresh water and presumably can drink at any moment they feel like I wonder what exactly about the waterfall makes them choose to drink from there?

    1. These particular birds swam in from a brackish-water estuary to drink water flowing into the estuary from a freshwater stream. They do this routinely throughout the day.

      1. … and much the same can be said for the gulls, who routinely come in from the ocean to bathe and drink in freshwater streamlets entering the sea. I never cease to be amazed about how attuned many birds seem to be to the degree of saltiness of water.

  5. Thanks for these photos of birds getting buzzed…I mean drinking water. Though we do know birds like getting buzzed off fermented berries and such.
    These were terrific photos as usual, esp. that yellow rumped warbler.

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