Archive for 'Birds'

Black-throated sunbird (Aethopyga saturata)

Jigme Dorji National Park, Bhutan Sunbirds are strikingly colorful, and you definitely get associations to the hummingbirds of the New World. Depending on the angle of the light the colors might seem bland or like flashes of iridescence, but come rain or shine, they are colorful. This was shot on a cloudy day, and the […]

Striated Laughingthrush (Garrulax striatus)

Jigme Dorji National Park, Bhutan I encountered this species many times during my time in Bhutan, but rarely in clear view like this. In fact I thought I was missing out on yet another clear shot here, as it was deep inside a raspberry thicket, gorging in yellow rubus berries. I’m not certain which species, […]

Rufous-gorgeted flycatcher (Ficedula strophiata)

One of a large number of bird species visiting the countless Rhodondendron trees in bloom. Elevation: 3267 meters. Aperture: ƒ/5.6 Camera: NIKON D4S Focal length: 800mm ISO: 140 Shutter speed: 1/400 s

Rufous-vented yuhina (Yuhina occipitalis)

This was perhaps just another spring morning here in Bhutan, but to me it was such a special time at this location. This day started with such a beautiful and colorful dawn with snowcapped mountains in the distance and a forest ablaze with flowering rhododendrons around me. And with flowers come birds – in droves! […]

White-browed fulvetta (Fulvetta vinipectus)

The colorful background in this image is one of the countless inflorescences of the amazing rhododendron. I was fortunate to travel in Bhutan as the rhododendron bloom was at its best, and all the rhododendrons were attracting so many birds. And me. Many species were feasting on the huge quantity of pollen, some for the […]

Red-billed chough (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax)

This was such a beautiful spring morning, with soft light, haze and mist in layers low above the farmland. The air perfectly still. There were quite a number of choughs roaming around the fields. Some perched and surveying the opportunities, while others were busy in groups. And then there were the couples like these two […]

Himalayan monal (Lophophorus impejanus)

Although this is not a threatened species that does not mean it is either common to see, despite its amazing iridescent plumage, or easy to find. This particular location, Choeje Dra Monastery, is known to be a rare spot where they can be seen regularly as the monks hand out rice leftovers that attracts many […]

Blood pheasant (Ithaginis cruentus)

After a beautiful sunrise as we were ascending towards the pass we encountered the first of several blood pheasants here. I find both male and females really beautiful in their own right. The male is flamboyant and conspicuous, but the female blends so amazingly with the surroundings. Unfortunately I did not have the camera on […]

Fire-tailed sunbird (Aethopyga ignicauda)

Driving ever higher, seeing more and more frost from last night, together with larger and larger patches of snow, one might not expect to see such lavishly colored birds. At least not so small – which means there must be lots of nectar producing plants up here to provide sufficient energy to stay in shape. […]

Red-billed chough (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax)

This was my very first encounter of this species, and what a lovely first contact. These two were enjoying what seemed like true affection and love for each other. The left one was the active one, preening the one on the right in many ways and parts of the body. The receiver closed the eyes […]

Hoary-throated barwing (Actinodura nipalensis)

Experiencing the rhododendron forests in bloom is an amazing experience in many ways as they are a magnet to so many incredible bird species. Sometimes you may arrive at a location in full bloom to find just a few sunbirds and some other species only to experience an influx of species foraging. But they often […]

Small niltava (Niltava macgrigoriae)

One of many small bird species not often seen, but its lovely song will tell you it’s there somewhere in the thickets. Every now and then it might venture out in the open, or on a favorite perch from where it will sing its announcements to the world according to its understanding of it. This […]

Crested serpent eagle (Spilornis cheela)

Crested serpent eagle (Spilornis cheela)

Without a long lens I would not have had any idea that this bird had blood around the corner of the mouth, and thus recently having had a kill and meal. Being content I guess it simply sat here to watch over its territory, perhaps feeling an achievement of having conquered it and its bounties. […]

Rufous-necked hornbill (Aceros nipalensis)

This incredible looking and large bird species is surprisingly not that easy to see as it can sit silently on a branch, barely turning the head to assess the availability of food around it. But when it decides to go to a higher branch you definitely locate it by the whooshing sound of the flapping […]

Rufous-necked hornbill (Aceros nipalensis)

This is a female, resting amidst the fresh leaves of spring. She has seen many springs and knows well what it brings, were to get the best food, where the best nesting holes are, as well as what she likes in a male. She is a living record of many encounters, and will share them […]

Blue-bearded bee-eater (Nyctyornis athertoni)

My first objective is to get a shot of a new (to me) bird species, then to get ever closer and thus better pictures. More often than not I experience a non-obliging bird taking off even before I’ve been able to point my camera in their direction. Much less reaching focus. This day had not […]

Black-tailed crake (Amaurornis bicolor)

It’s quite amazing to hear this loud and striking sound and not being able to see where it comes from. In this case, all I saw was a waterlogged landscape with lush vegetation surrounding rice fields, and this sound. Is it far, close by, or just under your nose? At first I thought it was […]

Himalayan bulbul (Pycnonotus leucogenys)

A bird with lovely simple vocalizations that you hear throughout Bhutan and the Himalayas and is one of 9 species in Bhutan. You will see this common species on a prayer flag pole, a roof top, on a power line, or in a tree. Out in the open or wherever it prefers it will babble […]

Grey-sided bush warbler (Cettia brunnifrons)

It’s amazing how such tiny bird species (just think of the house wren for instance) can produce such loud sounds, and that it is done so with seemingly no more energy than us having a conversation. The loudest pitch is heard far and wide, but come up close and you will also hear those intimate […]

Chestnut-bellied rock thrush (Monticola rufiventris)

What is a beautiful melody to us is dead serious to the bird as it is perched high to announce its presence to competitors and assure its claim to the area around him. Spring is a short but incredibly beautiful season in so many ways as that is when all species are at their most […]

Blue-throated barbet (Psilopogon asiaticus)

Barbets are such colorful birds and when seen out in the open on a naked branch, you would not think of this as a bird very hard to locate once it’s in the trees. Unless they are singing, all you see are moving branches and perhaps some fruits falling to the ground during their foraging. […]

Red-vented bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer)

No matter how common a species is I love to capture them when they have positioned themselves in an aesthetic or artistic way, and this one was in no rush to leave this branch. Bhutan has 9 species of bulbuls, so there is plenty of opportunities to capture them in beautiful locales. It sounds like […]

Long-tailed sibia (Heterophasia picaoides) on a Flame of the forest (Butea sp)

To the human eye a tree with just these flaming inflorescences is a wonder to behold, but for pollinators and nectar hunters alike this is a welcome and very popular food station. As this tree species shed its leaves in the dry season it is a definite sign of spring when the naked branches carry […]

Collared owlet (Glaucidium brodiei)

This very small owl (smaller than a common starling – just around 15 cm in length) is easy to miss if it doesn’t move, or stand out like it does here against the fog. It has striking pattern on the back of the head resembling another set of eyes, and if you look closer you’ll […]

Yellow-cheeked tit (Machlolophus spilonotus)

A brief encounter of one of the many species (12 to date) of tits. It was foraging inside thickets alongside the road and was easy to see but very hard to photograph with all the branches in the way. Here it was accidentally posing for me for a very brief moment. It sounds like this: […]

Rufous-necked hornbill (Aceros nipalensis)

The first time you encounter this large bird it’s hard to be silent! I for one just uttered WOW! This amazingly beautiful male was scanning the surroundings, possibly for food, and it was amazing to watch as he slowly turned his head and giant beak as the eyes focused on finding whatever he was looking […]

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. Aperture: ƒ/6.3 Camera: NIKON D4S […]

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. Aperture: ƒ/5.6 […]

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. Aperture: ƒ/10 Camera: NIKON D4 Focal length: 210mm ISO: 1600 Shutter speed: 1/1600 s

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. Aperture: ƒ/5.6 Camera: NIKON D4S Focal length: 700mm ISO: 1000 Shutter speed: 1/1000 s

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. Aperture: ƒ/6.3 Camera: NIKON D4S Focal length: 700mm ISO: 1000 Shutter […]

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 […]