Dave Williams

Supermodels! Simply the best!

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Posted (edited)

Getting away from Hummingbirds for a moment, here's another beautiful genus from the Americas...the Tody.  This is the Cuban Today, but there are Tody's in Jamaica and Puerto Rico as well. I think the Cuban is the prettiest though!  These guys are super cute...very small...not much larger than some hummingbirds.

 

cuban_tody_1430a.jpg

Edited by janzin
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All wonderful photos in this thread, but this one is exceptional @janzin - an otherworldly beautiful bird.

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Thanks @michael-ibk! I do have to say that I think tropical America has, on the whole, much more colorful birds than Africa. (Of course places like Australia do too...) Just think of all the tanagers, hummingbirds, toucans, trogons, etc. I was looking through my photos deciding which to post here and I got an incredible yearning to return to Ecuador or Colombia! I need a tanager/hummingbird fix!

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15 minutes ago, janzin said:

 I need a tanager/hummingbird fix!

 

You and me both @janzin! I had the Cuban nTody in mind too, a stunning little bird and very confiding too in my limited experience.  Let's not forget Asia has a lot to offer too, in fact we tend to forget what's on our doorstep and enviously look at the big world beyond. 

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3 hours ago, janzin said:

we see that here in the USA too but not in as great numbers...still always impressive

 

In the context of North America, I find Starling murmurations "disgusting".  

 

That's because European Starlings are an invasive species here in North America and they compete with and even kill our native birds.   For example, more than once I have seen Sturnus vulgaris attack Downy Woodpeckers in attempts to take over the Downy's nesting cavity.   They often kill chicks and even adult native birds.

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@janzin lovely tody. One of the Jamaican endemics which we missed earlier in the year....

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14 hours ago, offshorebirder said:

 

In the context of North America, I find Starling murmurations "disgusting".  

 

That's because European Starlings are an invasive species here in North America and they compete with and even kill our native birds.   For example, more than once I have seen Sturnus vulgaris attack Downy Woodpeckers in attempts to take over the Downy's nesting cavity.   They often kill chicks and even adult native birds.

That's interesting. So it's not one way traffic then, I'm thinking Grey Squirrels,Mink and Crayfish that are doing much harm here in the UK. In fairness though they all got here thanks to human interference rather than under their own steam so to speak.

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Another European nomination from me has to be the stunningly beautiful Golden Oriole, Oriolus oriolus which is the Eurasian one. I have seen Orioles in both Africa and Sri Lanka but this one is the prettiest I have seen so far.

Perhaps you can show me differently!

17567023713_eda9c1a847_b.jpgGolden Oriole   Bulgaria by Dave Williams, on Flickr

All the Orioles I have seen though have had the same characteristics. Nice song, but shy birds that are difficult to see as they seem to hang around in the tree tops rather than down at ground level. To get these shots I was in a tower hide in Bulgaria overlooking the tree

17567019603_545d8137c5_b.jpgGolden Oriole   Bulgaria by Dave Williams, on Flickr

A bit precarious but worth it for the end result!

18145262582_ae251388d9_b.jpgIMG_0966 by Dave Williams, on Flickr

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A beautiful Oriole - though I am not sure I would be too keen to go up in that hide!

Interesting about the Starlings - I didn't know they had got to America. I was just checking how they got there. It appears that a certain Eugene Schieffelin wanted to import all of the birds mentioned in Shakespeare and he imported 60 starlings to New York, and another 40 a few years later. There are now estimated to be 200million in the USA.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugene_Schieffelin

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Posted (edited)

4 hours ago, TonyQ said:

 

Interesting about the Starlings - I didn't know they had got to America. I was just checking how they got there. It appears that a certain Eugene Schieffelin wanted to import all of the birds mentioned in Shakespeare and he imported 60 starlings to New York, and another 40 a few years later. There are now estimated to be 200million in the USA.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugene_Schieffelin

 

That's both amazing and terrible to have that much effect on the natural wildlife scene. However, numerically the interference of mankind can be matched numerically and beaten hands down on timescale.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cane_toads_in_Australia

 

 

PS @TonyQ  You are not wrong about the hide either. Getting down from the open hatch to say nothing of slightly dodgy treads on the stairs wasn't the best experience I have ever had!

Edited by Dave Williams
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Interesting discussion. Here's some more:

This same starling is now quite common in Cape Town.

Here on the Highveld, the same role is filled by the Common Mynah, an Indian import...

 

I want to ask @michael-ibk to post his Emerald Cuckoo shot in Ethiopia here...

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Chestnut-eared Aracari P1330815

[\img]

That motmot  is hard to beat! I  had no idea they could be found in the pantanal!  

I think this chestnut-eared aracari  is a real stunner! Taken in the Pantanal. I mean, just look at that bill! 

 

 

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I read an interesting article the other day, apparently the bills of Toucans and to a lesser extent the african Hornbills are actually radiators.

Blood flows in fine capillaries under the outer surface and thus radiate heat as long as the air temperature is lower than the bird's core temperature.

They can also shut off the blood flow when it's cold.

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Did we stall? How about a tanager to keep it going. The South American tanagers are some of the most colorful, beautiful birds in the Americas. And found only in the Americas!

 

This one is less gaudy than some (really!) but one of my favorites.

 

scarlet_bellied_mountain_tanager_9743agb

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We didn't stall... we were busy! Besides, no time limit on the thread.

The Tanager is a cracking looking bird and I'm sure you have a lot more to show us too.

Here is another of the UK's best lookers. The Atlantic Puffin  Fratercula arctica. Everyone loves a Puffin, some nationalities even love them to eat too which I wouldn't do .

19065171224_9c0838c88f_b.jpgPuffin by Dave Williams, on Flickr

Not the most colourful but ever so cute

27381863273_cb4e7893b7_b.jpgPuffin    Isle of May,Scotland 2016 by Dave Williams, on Flickr

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Stunning shots of a very enigmatic bird @Dave Williams.

 

While we're on seabirds, @Elsa Hoffmann, how about spoiling us with a Cape Gannet?

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Here's one foreign to the UK, Loten's Sunbird.Cinnyris loteniu found only in India and Sri Lanka, this one was actually taken in the latter.

 

 

The male in display mode showing bright yellow wing patches which are normally hidden and certainly caught my attention if not the females!!

 

23462545909_09d153487e_b.jpgLoten's Sunbird Sri Lanka  2015-11-20 by Dave Williams, on Flickr

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I see he's also sticking his tongue out at you? :o

 

Beautiful photo!

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Wow @Dave Williams - what extreme bill curvature on that Sunbird!

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Posted (edited)

Sorry for the late response @Peter Connan I have family visiting. And it IS as they say - family are like fish - after 3 days they go off. 
 

I had the privilege to spend 5 days in the middle of a Cape Gannet breeding colony. And I mean in the middle. I simply cant post all my favourites - it would fill up several pages. 

151213 Malgas 010.jpg

151213 Malgas 180.jpg

151215 Malgas 199.jpg

151217 Malgas 039aa.jpg

151217 Malgas 138.jpg

Edited by Elsa Hoffmann
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I must admit - my shots dont come close to the others posted in this thread - goodness gracious me - you people are GOOD! An absolute stunning thread. (and pics !!)

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7 minutes ago, Elsa Hoffmann said:

I must admit - my shots dont come close to the others posted in this thread 

 

 

Rubbish !!!!!!

A super series.

 

 

 

Our Northern Gannets  are fantastic fun photographing them diving for fish but you need to get away from the colonies otherwise there are just too many birds in the frame and they get in each others way

 

 

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Thanks @Dave Williams  - but seriously...
The colony I stayed at - was 60 ooo birds big. Yes. They were all over one another. Unfortunately I didnt get them fishing - just breeding. But bottom heavy they are ... :D

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Thanks @Elsa Hoffmann. Incidentally, I agree with @Dave Williamsregarding the quality of your work. The second one in particular has been a favourite of mine for a long time, but the last one is almost perfect (and I only say perfect because it has been drilled into me from an early age that nothing is ever perfect).

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How about another sunbird, the Orange breasted this time (I suspect @Elsa Hoffmann has better examples in her archive).

 

Orange1ODP.thumb.jpg.517736835c9377c7e1a4f6abddb07d31.jpg

 

Orange2ODP.thumb.jpg.5260d72854a513282f60dbbbe79420e8.jpg

 

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