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November 2023
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Bathing Beauties
Filed under: General, Birding & Outdoors, NM & SW US
Posted by: Ken @ 8:17 pm

Bullocks Oriole
Laura (Somewhere in NJ) recently mentioned in her Blog that one bathing bird often attracts others. She inspired me to rummage through my photos of bathing birds. How I miss our ponds in the front and back of our New Mexico home! They were one of the few sources of drinking water at 7000 feet in the Sandia Mountains, so they provided me with many photo opportunities. However, most of the opportunities did not result in photos.

The above candid shot was not very flattering to this adult male Bullock’s Oriole.

These pictures were taken from inside our family room, through sometimes dusty windows, using a Kowa spotting scope and a small point-and-shoot Canon A40 camera. Click here to see my makeshift equipment. While the images lacked the detail that would have been possible with more megapixels and better lenses, they did serve to capture some private bathing moments.

Male Western Bluebird
This image of a male Western Bluebird is technically very poor, what with the vignetting and the hazy focus, but it surprised me with its subtle beauty. If I had set out to achieve such an artful effect, I am sure I would have failed miserably.

Its mate also appears poorly exposed, but this picture of a female Western Bluebird is one of my favorites:
Weatern Bluebird , female

One day when I was running the garden hose to water a Ponderosa Pine seedling, a Townsend’s Warbler came right up to my feet to drink and bathe. Warblers, such as this Black-throated Gray, were particularly attracted to the water.

Black-throated Gray Warbler

We had many visits from locally breeding Virginia’s Warblers, but their constant motion and the delay inherent in my little camera’s shutter action always made me miss a good pose. I did click at the right time to capture this male Wilson’s Warbler.

Wilson's Warbler

Finally, a blurry portrait of part of a family group of Bush-tits.


5 Responses to “Bathing Beauties”

  1. Laura Says:
    Love all the views of those exotic western birds! Lucky you to have them bathing right in your yard. Your pics could easily be improved with a little editing in PhotoShop - although I agree the soft foocus effect is pretty nice! ;-)
  2. Janine Says:
    Those bush tits are so cute!!! Great photos, as usual!
  3. Ken Says:
    Thanks, Janine and Laura, The Bush-tits almost look like museum specimens, all puffy and posed just so. There were actually about ten in that group. Ken
  4. Veery Says:
    I think the Bullock’s Oriole is beautiful in that picture. We have had many migratory birds travel through our yard, more once we installed a dripper. Water is a definite bird magnet.
  5. DavidBeoulve Says:
    You say you used to live in New Mexico, but don’t now? You should post all of your photos, and include the original sizes. Use Flickr or something.

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