Iridescent Starlings

You might have seen a flock of birds swoop down over a corn field or a meadow and then quickly change patterns and fly chaotically in a zigzag motion.  In fact this peculiar behavior by these birds has been the subject of fascination not just for birdwatchers but for scientists as well, who call it ‘murmuration’.   If you are interested in learning more about scale-free behavioral correlations and how flocks of birds respond rapidly to perturbations, then click here

The European Starling was introduced into North America towards the end of the 19th century.  However within a short time the starlings not only adapted to their new habitat but their population grew exponentially.  About the size of a robin, these black birds have unmistakable spots on their bodies especially during Fall/Winter and have iridescent greenish blue hues.  I happened to notice a flock of Starlings that had taken a break from their acrobatics and were resting on a tree branch.  Here are some pictures taken with Canon T2i, 100-400 mm lens, f/5.6, 1/1000 s, ISO 200 at the Celery Bog in West Lafayette.

European Starling

European Starling

European Starling side adn front pose


European starling eyes closed


Prey vs Predator

Despite its name, the Yellow-Crowned Night-heron (YCNH) forages during the day as well as night and is found mostly in the coastal regions of the Southeast.   Typically a solitary creature, it loves to feed on crustaceans, with crab delicacy an all time favorite.   I chanced upon this juvenile YCNH that appeared to catch a crab or was it the other way round!  It was hard to distinguish prey from predator as the drama unfolded, until finally…






Spring at last!

Spring has been playing hide and seek this season and I finally managed to get a glimpse of migratory birds at the Celery Bog…

Palm Warbler

Palm Warbler

Yellow Rumped Warbler

Yellow Rumped Warbler


Northern Waterthrush


Tree Swallows

Great blue heron

Great Blue Heron



spotted sandpiper amongst turtles

Spotted Sandpiper amidst turtles


Wood Ducks



Spring Bonanza

The quintessential joy of birding lies in the fact that each new outing brings a fresh perspective, in spite of seeing the same species again, especially when they are Spring migrants such as pretty little warblers that restlessly flit from branch to branch.  Spotting a new species definitely adds to the excitement and I was able to capture two first time species -White throated Sparrow and Ruby crowned Kinglet.

White throated Sparrow

White throated Sparrow

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Yellow Rumped Warblers

Last weekend was absolutely gorgeous, quite reminiscent of an Indian Summer and was perfect for a stroll in the woods!   As I gently tread on the bed of leaves looking at the barren foliage for signs of birdlife, a whole bunch of Cedar Waxwings swooped down and landed on the branches only to fly away, but they kept coming back.   And beautiful Yellow Rumped Warblers although not as striking as in their Spring plumage were flitting from branch to branch, ever so restless, which makes it very difficult to photograph them, The World of Warblers

YR warbler in flight2 Continue reading