It’s a Vermilion Flycatcher!!

It was about five years ago that I got into birding.  It was a by-product of photographing colorful birds.  Up until that time, I was really unaware of the beauty of those avian creatures.  In my mind, there were about four species of birds: i.e. ducks, pigeons, sparrows and hawks.  Then I found that there about 780 species in the United States alone.  Mind boggling.

Then after I got hooked, I had dreams of seeing certain birds that I had never seen before.  One bird that I longed to see was the Vermilion Flycatcher.  I had seen pictures, but never  a live one.  Friends that knew better would say, “Bob, they are out there, you just have to look closer”.

Vermilion Flycatcher

Vermilion Flycatcher

Then one day, I was startled to finally spot one.  I said, “so that’s what they look like”.  I watched it perch on a branch, suddenly fly down to snatch a bug of some type, then hurriedly fly back to it’s perch.  Now that I had finally seen one, it became easier after that.  So the point I am trying to make is that it is all in knowing how and what to look for.

Common Nighthawk

Common Nighthawk

The same for Nighthawks.  Never had seen one until one day birding, a friend pointed it out as it was sitting on a tree limb.  Even then I didn’t see what she was seeing as all I saw at first, was the proverbial bump on a log.  The all of a sudden it seemed to materialize in front of me.  I had been looking at it bit didn’t know what I was seeing.  Now it is my turn to impress people by spotting them when they can’t.

Learning birds by learning their habits and behavior can be a huge help.  Ann can even identify birds by their sounds.  I hear a lot of obvious ones, but I am not becoming very proficient at it.  I am getting better at visually identifying birds in flight.  They all have different moves and also you can see different field marks that you may not see when they are perched or on the ground.  Case in point, the American White Pelican, when in or on the water appears to be all white.  But in the air, they show they beautiful wings that have contrasting black markings.

American White Pelican

American White Pelican

American White Pelican in flight.

American White Pelican in flight.

And then you have the Wilson’s Snipe.  It is really invisible.  It loves the marshy grasses around ponds, and I have actually stared one in the eye, and didn’t see him for what it was.  This one is a little bit more visible.

Wilson's Snipe

Wilson’s Snipe

So as you can see it is good to pay attention to all of the field marks, habits, and how they look and act in flight.

Now I have to study up on the behavior of those darned Clay Pigeons.  They zip through the air, but disappear so quickly that I don’t get a good look.

Happy Birding!!  Click on any image to see an enlargement.

18 thoughts on “It’s a Vermilion Flycatcher!!

  1. That flycatcher is just amazing! I am in awe every time I see a photo. I also love your pic of the snipe – I know all too well how hard they are to see, let alone photograph! It’s hard to believe that your passion for birds only stems from about 5 years ago. You have shared it with so many people since then!

    • Thanks so much, Jo. Your comments mean so much to me, coming across from the UK. I am glad you are so impressed. I surprise myself. I believe it was in June of 2008 that i actually got to take some photos of a Cardinal out the front window of a friend’s house. I think that started the whole thing. Then about four years about the same people talked me into writing a blog. This post is my 700th. I can’t believe that I not only wrote that many posts, but managed to find that many things to write about. Again, thank your for your very nice comment. 🙂

  2. Beautiful birds and photography Bob. I have an ap on my iphone called ibirds that helps me identify bird songs. Anyway, about those clay pigeons, you are shooting with the wrong weapon. 😉

  3. Love the Vermillion Flycatcher..Arizona Country…that was for me along with the Cactus Wrens. Never had seen a Night Hawk…love all the dull life would be without our feathered friends..Have a great evening..

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