Archive for 'Birds'

Laughing kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae)

During my stay in Sydney I got real close to a family of kookaburras residing in the park just outside the house of my friend Pia Lindgren. First of all I was amazed by how tame they were. They could sit on the ground or on a branch, and when I slowly walked outside to […]

Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus)

This wonderfully colored bird is definitely into a balanced diet, as it will gladly take handouts like apples from us humans. In fact this is one of many pairs that regularly visit the garden of my friend in Sydney, and while there I could sit or stand very close to them. They primarily came to […]

Socotra starling (Onychognathus frater)

This is the only confirmed photograph of both sexes of the endemic species I got during my visit, as this is a couple (both sexes look the same, opposed to the Somali starling where the female has a grey upper body), and I heard their mellow one-note vocalization, which resembles that of the Eurasian bullfinch. […]

Socotra sparrow (Passer insularis)

On the beach of Shuab of west Socotra I had the most amazing backdrop and light and I got some amazing photographs of the Somali starling and the Egyptian vulture. This location was also brimming with sparrows, which I didn’t pay much attention to at first as I though they were ordinary house sparrows. Too […]

Somali starling (Onychognathus blythii)

This is the male Somali starling – all-black opposed to the female. He’s observing me from the branches of the endemic dragon blood tree (Dracaena cinnabari) that provides ample food during fruiting season, which is now coming to and end. The fruit is toxic to goats and I suppose many other species that have not […]

Socotra warbler (Incana incana)

I was on my way to the very eastern tip of Socotra, and was looking so much forward to the beach – alas! Last year torrential rain washed away the road from the plateau to the beach, and I had to stop where the road starts its descent. Here I had the most incredible view, […]

Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus)

Although this species seems common on Socotra, it is in fact threatened throughout its range due to human chemicals like pesticide, antibiotics and heavy metals like lead. I don’t know the status and health of the Socotri population, but they do bread, and I found several young birds. Perhaps the worst case of human impact […]

Somali starling (Onychognathus blythii)

This female Somali starling is in the middle of a morning preening and beauty session on the beautiful Shuab beach of Socotra. Ruffling the feathers and looking around for either her companion or prospects is an important part of the morning ritual – perhaps like we do when looking in a mirror, except its mirror […]

Socotra cormorant (Phalacrocorax nigrogularis)

Two Socotra cormorants was actually unusual, as I mostly saw them in one large mass. There are many of this species on the west coast of Socotra, especially around the Shuab area. A couple of times found them in a huge group fishing – that was amazing to see. No humans in sight – only […]

Socotra cormorant (Phalacrocorax nigrogularis)

The Socotra cormorant is both endemic to the region and thus a vulnerable species, but also due to excessive habitat loss due to human activities. It’s very different in behavior to other cormorant species in that it hunts in flocks! It’s a marvelous spectacle to see the moving blackness against the bright sands of the […]

Black-winged stilt (Himantopus himantopus)

It’s amazing how birds can navigate vast distances and find tiny plates of food like this small lagoon in the middle of the Shuab valley on the west coast of Socotra. Unknown why, many of the grey mangrove trees are dead and it seems there is little regrowth, which could suggest that the mangroves are […]

Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)

I found quite a few of this species in the small mangrove lagoon in the Shuab valley of western Socotra. They are migrants and will soon leave northwards to their breeding ground. It’s incredible how they have found this small speck of water on a tiny speck of rock in the vastness of the Indian […]

Little egret (Egretta garzetta)

This is the second of just 3 bird species I encountered at this lagoon in the Shuab valley on the west coast of Socotra. Here it’s resting in the warm light of the low-hanging sun in the west. Opposed to the Black-winged stilts, I found only one of this species.

Somali starling (Onychognathus blythii)

Around the cave by the beautiful Detwah lagoon I fond a large group of this species. They were congregating on the rock face and they were flying in and out of the area constantly, but I found no nests. The all-black male resembles the endemic Socotra starling (both sexes are black), and many local market […]

Sandwich Tern (Thalasseus sandvicensis)

There are many hotels very close to the nature reserve in Paracas, and here you will see many birds close to the hotels. As there are no trees here, many like to perch on the poles set up by humans. These terns rest right outside the DoubleTree Resort where I stayed 2 nights.

Royal Tern (Thalasseus maximus)

The entire coastline of Peru is a desert, but the cold and nutrient rich ocean is rich with fish due to the cold Humbolt Current. Thus the coast was once teaming with sea birds like these royal terns. Due to human activities the marine birds have become fewer and farther between, and breeding grounds previously […]

Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus)

A few places rock of unusual colors come up to the surface on the beaches of Peru, and here an entire beach is red by this rock. It has become so popular with tourists and commercial interests that it is now illegal to collect any from the beach. This migrant bird is of course oblivious […]

Guanay Cormorant (Phalacrocorax bougainvilliorum)

This has become a more uncommon species, and even here around havens like the Ballestas Islands in Peru I saw only a few individuals. None with chicks as I did with the equally uncommon red-legged cormorant.

Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis)

In the waters around the fishing village of Pucusana you’ll encounter many birds of several bird species, and some are very tame like these pelicans. They wait for humans to discard fish waste and here they are fighting over it right outside my boat. Me and the camera got saliva and water all over – […]

Red-legged Cormorant (Phalacrocorax gaimardi)

This is the second of the regional species of cormorant I encountered, also this one becoming more and more rare – just like the guanay cormorant. I was in luck and found this couple with two chicks, but photographing them was really hard as they were located outside the protected harbor of Pucusana, and the […]

Inca Tern (Larosterna inca)

In the harbor and waters around the fishing village of Pucusana in Peru I found lots of inca terns, and some places they were so tame that I could walk among them without disturbing them – other than that they walked a few paces in another direction. Some had chicks, and still they behave very […]

Black-fronted Nunbird (Monasa nigrifrons)

If you don’t see the nunbirds you definitely hear them, as they are very vocal. I found many of them in the forest aorund the Amazon Research and Conservation Center in Peru, and also found two roosting on palm fronds right outside my cabin every night. As the sunlight diminished they flew to their usual […]

Greater Ani (Crotophaga major)

The oxbow lake at the Amazon Research and Conservation Center is teaming with life, and is an excellent location to get up and close. As there is no current you can drift silently with the wind and when you sit still be somewhat regarded as part of the natural flow of things. Normally the anis […]

Capped Heron (Pilherodius pileatus)

The oxbow lake at Amazon Research and Conservation Center, deep in the Peruvian Amazon, was almost still as I watched this heron stand perfectly still and then almost eject its bill into the water like a harpoon. The long white head plumes fly in every direction as a result. What really surprised me was the […]

White-banded Swallow (Atticora fasciata)

If you’re on or by a river in the Amazon rain forest you will see this species, sometimes a single one like here, or if you’re lucky maybe a hundred roosting in one place. They usually fly away long before you can get a shot like this, but at this particular moment I was in […]

Neotropic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax brasilianus)

The oxbow lake at the Amazon Reaseach and Conservation Center holds enough fish to support ravenous giant otters, caimans, anhingas and neotropical cormorants. The cormorant is a common bird throughout South America, and this oxbow lake is no exception, but sometimes there are moments where they might sit or do something unusual. In this posture […]

White-bellied Parrot (Pionites leucogaster)

These wonderful and uncommon parrots just flew into the garden of the Amazon Research and Conservation Center (ARCC) and started eating from the fruits of this palm tree. They didn’t stay long, and did not show their front side, so this is all I got. This is what’s so great with ARCC – the garden […]

Blue-crowned trogon (Trogon curucui)

Amazon Research and Conservation Center (ARCC) has a canopy tower, and that is an excellent way to experience canopy dwellers. Unfortunately I didn’t bring my long lens here this time, so the trogon is somewhat far away. They can sit for long periods in the same spot, seemingly idle, but the eyes are always focusing […]

Ladder-tailed nightjar (Hydropsalis climacocerca)

Here in the Peruvian Amazon I found many nightjars around an oxbow lake at Amazon Research and Conservation Center (ARCC), and this one was perched in plain sight quite far out on the lake. They are so well camouflaged, that only when you know the anatomy of trees and branches will you suspect a perched […]

Black-capped donacobius (Donacobius atricapilla)

Where there’s water there’s Black-capped donacobius, and the oxbow lake at the Amazon Research and Conservation Center (ARCC) is no exception – you’ll hear and see them all the time.

Green kingfisher (Chloroceryle americana)

The Oxbow lake at the Amazon Research and Conservation Center (ARCC) offers many excellent opportunities for those interested in photographing or observing flora and fauna. This is a common kingfisher, and I’ve photographed it many times, but here I found the colors particularly beautiful.

Red-and-green Macaw (Ara chloropterus)

This clay-lick is about one our boat drive downstream from the Amazon Research and Conservation Center (ARCC) in the Peruvian Amazon. This lick was dominated by the red-and-green Macaw, but if you look closely on the top of the image, just a bit to the left, you’ll see a pair of green parakeets waiting for […]

Hoatzin (Opisthocomus hoazin)

The iconic Hoatzin is a strange looking bird as well as in behaviour, but it’s also beautiful I think. It’s like no other bird! It raises the head plume as seen here when excited – by each other or passers by like me. Nice hairdo! This is from the Amazon Research and Conservation Center (ARCC) […]

Hoatzin (Opisthocomus hoazin)

I’m fascinated by these prehistoric-like birds of the Amazon rainforest – they are like no other bird! They can hardly fly, they sound like a magpie stuck on the first note during the day, and they sound otherworldly at night especially around full moon. Here they’re temporarily perched on a fallen tree in the oxbow […]

Azure Gallinule (Porphyrio flavirostris)

Usually well hidden inside dense vegetation where the vocalization is the only sign it’s there. The oxbow lake at the Amazon Research and conservation Center provides an excellent way to get up close, as the float is only powered by hand, and thus you can slowly and silently glide along the edges of the lake.

Blue-winged macaw (Primolius maracana)

I was focused on photographing landscape panoramas, and did not bring my heavy lens! I have learned the hard way, and now I always bring all my gear even to the most barren of places! This species has a somewhat safe haven inside the Chapada dos Guimaraes National Park, and they need all remaining protected […]

Curl-crested Jay (Cyanocorax cristatellus)

The only encounter of the species during my short stay inside Chapada dos Guimaraes National Park. Unfavourable background, unfortunately – hopefully better opportunity comes along during my next stay in Brazil.

Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia)

The locked gate to the most remote part of Chapada dos Guimaraes National Park is guarded by a family of burrowing owls. A nice welcome I think, but if you drive all the way out here, know that you must make an appointment with the park authorities through a local authorized guide. The park will […]

Green-barred Woodpecker (Colaptes melanochloros)

This was a brief encounter with the species as I was about to leave SouthWild Pantanal and go to Chapada dos Guimarães – the rainmaker and the source of Pantanal’s water. It’s looking for food in the trees right outside the lodge. That’s what’s so amazing about Pantanal – you chill in a hammock, or […]

Ringed Kingfisher (Megaceryle torquata)

In this moment in time it really could look like it’s touching its head with the wing like we humans would when we think D’OH after we have done something stupid. This bird was in no such state, nor do I think will it ever be. It was simply having a preening session in the […]

Neotropic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax brasilianus)

This is a critical moment for the cormorant. It’s a large fish and from my vantage point it seems unlikely it would swallow it. If it struggles too long, other birds might try to steal it. If it swims into the vegetation, it could be attacked by a caiman. It’s fascinating how a bird can […]

Sunbittern (Eurypyga helias)

My first, brief encounter with this species in Pantanal. It took off right after this shot, so I was unable to get a shot in the clear at this location, which was really beautiful. Unfortunately I was also unable to photograph the beautiful plumage seen in flight, but I did see it and it’s hard […]

Boat-billed Heron (Cochlearius cochlearius)

It’s the end of the dry season in the Pantanal, and the torrential downpour of last night is now flowing towards the permanent rivers and lakes. In this photo the heron is walking in one such stream. This fresh water does not go unnoticed by those living in the permanent waters. Fish and crab will […]

Scarlet-headed Blackbird (Amblyramphus holosericeus)

On the way from Porto Jofre, on the Transpantaneira, to SouthWild Pantanal I stopped several times to take a closer look at the flora and fauna. This is the first time I have seen this species, and I was in luck as the seemingly lone male that caught my attention was in fact a family. […]

Wattled Jacana (Jacana jacana)

This one I encountered as it was preening the feathers, and my entrance did not disturb this behavior, so I could watch as it was doing its business in the light rain. This was on a very small river, almost clogged with water hyacinths. a Perfect place for the jacana to hunt, as it can […]

Striated Heron (Butorides striata)

This is a very skittish species, perhaps one of the most nervous of all. When I drive up any river these are the birds that first take to the wings to escape. This juvenile was a rare exception, as it was simply sitting there as I passed slowly. This is an adult which also is […]

Jabiru Stork (Jabiru mycteria)

The huge jabiru stork is a Pantanal icon, and I was in luck to encounter a few nests with chicks during my trips up and down the many rivers in Jaguarland. They always nest high up in the canopy and are hard to reach with lens or in person. When their nest is located on […]

Scaled Dove (Columbina squammata)

As I was waiting for the toucan parents to return with food to a nest I could also observe all the other species moving in and out of my area, and this one was part of a group of three ignoring my slow mowing presence. A good opportunity for me to photograph a species I’ve […]

Toco Toucan (Ramphastos toco)

It’s a rare opportunity when you find toucan’s nest, and even more so when you can follow their food delivery to the chicks. Here it’s coming with a large cicada in the beak. Sometimes the cicadas are not dead when they are handed over to the chicks and are able to escape, and one is […]

Ringed Kingfisher (Megaceryle torquata)

As I was enjoying my lunch in the shade of some large trees by the river this kingfisher swooped in and sat down on this branch right above me. Normally they would flee when humans approach, but because I was already there I guess it regarded me as part of the landscape.

Green Kingfisher (Chloroceryle americana)

A common species in Pantanal, but not so often confident enough around humans that you get a nice shot like this. I was eating lunch in the shade of some large trees alongside one of the many rivers upstream from Porto Jofre, and suddenly this female sat right in front of me. I assume this […]

White-eyed Parakeet (Aratinga leucophthalmus)

A common species in the Pantanal and in general in South America, and this one I encountered during one of several landings far upstream from Porto Jofre.

Guira Cuckoo (Guira guira)

A very common bird in Pantanal, but I think they are worth a photo nonetheless, especially when a group of fledgelings sit in a close group like this – enjoying the sun after a rain shower, as well as the sense of security in numbers.

Black Skimmer (Rynchops niger)

The breeding season is over, and only a few of the species remain. This couple had two juveniles practicing fishing and will likely leave this sandbank in the next few days. In a couple of weeks this sandbank will be submerged, and fish dispersed as the river will become a huge wetland and make fishing […]

Pied Plover (Vanellus cayanus)

On some of the sandbanks I saw chicks, like this one. At first I only noticed the adults, but As I noticed they were not fleeing, but preferred to walk away from my prescence I figured there must be young ones nearby. This one looks so small and frail, but is perfectly capable of finding […]

Pied Plover (Vanellus cayanus)

Many of the larger sand banks were housing one or more families rearing their chicks. The chicks need to be able to fly soon, as even the highest sand banks could be submerged in the near future, as this is the beginning of the wet season. Heavy local rain storms, and most importantly in the […]

Giant Cowbird (Molothrus oryzivorus)

There are many species of bird harvesting pests like ticks, horseflies and other bloodsuckers from the capybaras, and they love it! This bird spent a long time picking insects, and the capybara knew exactly when to lie down on its back. The total sum of insects draw a considerable amount of blood, not to mention […]

Monk Parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus)

For some reason this species has evolved very different nesting habits compared to the other parrot species. It’s hard work making and maintaining these structures, so many use the underside of jabiru stork nests. You can find trees with many of these nests along the rivers in Pantanal – some are quite large and noisy […]

Pale-crested Woodpecker (Celeus lugubris)

This was the only encounter of the species during my stay in Pantanal, and is a female seen a few hours upstrem from Porto Jofre.

Rufescent Tiger Heron (Tigrisoma lineatum)

This immature rufescent tiger heron is quite hard to see when it’s standing still among the branches seen here. As with the adults they first freeze into a stretched posture when they feel disturbed, and takes to the wings if the disturbance increases. This one first stretched really high and made a nice and slim […]