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Old 02-10-2010, 04:59 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2010
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Default Funny Birds...Fun Pictures

Bird sanctuaries are another great place to capture pictures of funny birds if you're lucky enough to have one near you. I try to make a couple of trips a year to the Reifel Bird Sanctuary in Delta, British Columbia. Unfortunately it wasn't until I moved away and really got into nature photography that I discovered this gem of a bird-watching location.

One thing that really fascinates me about Reifel Bird Sanctuary is their resident Sandhill Cranes. They are definitely what you'd call funny birds! I still remember rounding a corner and seeing four of them on the trail ahead of me. I was in seventh heaven! Especially when one of the cranes decided to do his dance moves for his unimpressed partner...
He's about a foot off the ground there. Here he is continuing with his performance...
Still no reaction from his buddy. Well, how about this move then?
Look at me! Look at me! Nothing. No reaction. I was impressed though, and I got some funny bird pictures too.
Sandhill cranes are the most common crane in the world. A ten-million-year-old fossil was found to be structurally the same as a modern-day sandhill crane's skeleton. Did you notice their rusty coloring? That is created by the crane preening iron-rich mud into its feathers, an effect which lasts through spring and summer until the crane's feathers molt in fall.

Cranes "dance" throughout the year, and this behaviour isn't necessarily related to courtship. They jump, bow, run, throw sticks, and flap their wings.

Another thing cranes are well-known for is their ability to guard private property...
One more thing sandhill cranes are known for is their fabulous singing voice...
All kidding aside though...mated pairs of cranes engage in "unison calling", which is a complex series of co-ordinated calls. The female begins the display by uttering two higher-pitched calls for each male call. While calling, the female raises her beak about 45 degrees above the horizontal while the male raises his bill to a vertical position. Looks like my picture is of a male crane doing his thing.
That's enough about cranes for now. Time for some ducks! I found this female mallard high above the crowd at the Reifel Bird Sanctuary...
Looks like she needed some alone time.
I don't know why, but when I photograph tree swallows they often seem to be arguing. This swallow was really putting her foot down about something her mate did...
Now I'd like to leave the bird sanctuary and share some pictures of funny birds I got in the area where I live.
I thought this pair of young crows was amusing. They were so wrapped up in each other they didn't even notice me on the beach. One crow showed off his fine feathers first...
Afterwards there was a long, involved grooming session. The other crow really seemed to enjoy it.
I'm not sure if they were getting along or not, but I captured this pair of eagles having a chat in a snowy treetop right outside our house...
Talk about yelling right in each other's faces! Maybe one of the eagles was hard of hearing like my husband though. By the way, did you know that men first start to show deafness in the tonal range of the female voice? I kid you not.
We live close to the ocean so seagulls are all around. They can be real characters and a good source of funny bird pictures. I often see them eating starfish. They wait until low tide then help themselves to the starfish that are left behind. One time I photographed a seagull flying by with an unusual smile...
Yes, that's a starfish sticking out of his beak, looking like a couple of horns.
I'd like to take you to Costa Rica for my final funny bird picture. I was kayaking through a mangrove swamp (did you like how I threw that in so casually? Like I kayak through mangrove swamps every day) when I spotted a white ibis that apparently didn't want to be spotted...
Or maybe the ibis was waving...I'm still not sure.
Well, that wraps up my gallery of Funny Birds. I hope you enjoyed it!
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