Friday Night Photos On The Wing Edition

Happy Friday everyone. Post any photos, memes or music you like.

Next Friday I will be on the road headed to Utah and wont be able to host FNP. If someone will be good enough to host in my absence it would be greatly appreciated.

Here's some of the birds that reside at Santee Lakes.

Female Mallard
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Female Great-tailed Grackle
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Cassin's Kingbird
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Female Wood Duck
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Snowy Egret
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Green Heron
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dystopian's picture

Howdy all! Hey SP! AWESOME shots man! Outstanding! Fantastic! Beautiful! Flight photography rules! Wink
Love that Cassin's Kingbird. Great catching that speculum on the female Wood Duck. The male Wood Duck is a fly-tiers dream, and their cousin the Mandarin Duck too.

In the 1960's Great-tailed Grackles did not occur in coastal socal. The first one was in the late 70's at Pt. Fermin Park in San Pedro. Birders drove many miles to chase it. I lived there so did see it. They only arrived at the Colorado River in the 60's. It is believed man colonizing the deserts with golf courses, water, and 'greenery' allowed it to hop its way across what had been a desert barrier to their range, to California. They predate other tule nesting birds nests in marshes too, so can be a problem for native species. But those males calls and iridescence are great. Once they got to coastal socal, they exploded.

P.S. I heard you can take some nice photos in Utah...
sure hope Janis wants to be the hostess with the mostest. Smile

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8 users have voted.

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

Socialprogressive's picture

@dystopian
My first exposure to the Great-tailed Grackle was at a golf course in Las Vegas. I didn't know what they were but I loved their call. It sounded like a call you would expect to here from a bird in the jungle. I'm sure they're in other areas of San Diego county, but the only place I've see them locally is at Santee lakes, and only at lake four.

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When you're born you get a ticket to the freak show... when you're born in America you get a front row seat. _George Carlin

Fuck MAGA. We need MOFA. Make Orwell Fictional Again.

janis b's picture

@Socialprogressive

that with the press of a button you can hear the sound of a bird a hemisphere away. I loved the whistling sounds.

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Socialprogressive's picture

@janis b
you can find more than disinformation on the internet.

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When you're born you get a ticket to the freak show... when you're born in America you get a front row seat. _George Carlin

Fuck MAGA. We need MOFA. Make Orwell Fictional Again.

travelerxxx's picture

@dystopian

Back when I was still working as a helicopter mechanic, one of our company's bases was located just outside of Sabine Pass, Texas. It was close enough to the Gulf of Mexico that you could hear the surf breaking at night. Our base was surrounded on three sides by marsh/swamp. At the end of the day, the aircraft stationed at our base came back and parked on little concrete pads in a large grassy field. That field was considerably larger than a football field and the grass was kept short. Grackles loved it and they hung out with us by the hundreds.

Part of our large hangar building was a lounge for employees. There was somewhat a tradition at all the company's bases that they would provide a popcorn maker and keep it supplied with popcorn, oil, etc. The pilots left the duty to make popcorn to the mechanics, which was smart. We made much tastier popcorn than they did. Perhaps they really could do it, but they acted as though they couldn't. In any event, as mechanics, one of our traditional duties was to fire up the popcorn maker. By the way, this popper was large. It stood about five feet high, had wheels, a huge glass enclosure with the popper kettle inside. It also had a tendency to not be kept cleaned out properly by the same pilots who seemed to not be able to make popcorn. So, we mechanics cleaned it daily.

The popcorn cleaning ritual involved Grackles. Whoever cleaned the popcorn machine scooped up the remains from the previous day's popping and took them outside, strewing the uneaten popcorn into the yard in front of the building. Grackles are very smart creatures and it does not take them long to figure out that some easy pickings happened about the same time every day. Grackles love popcorn. Grackles will even fight other Grackles for popcorn, even when there's a lot of it just laying all over a lawn.

So, there was a daily popcorn feast for Grackles. Every Grackle for his or herself. It was a crazy thing to watch them scurrying all over to snatch popcorn. Often there were around one hundred Grackles vying for a gallon or two of old popcorn.

If you've watched Grackles on the ground you know that they can not only hop, but can run very well. If you're a Grackle who can run well, you're going to get more popcorn than a slower Grackle.

There was one particular Grackle in the group who faired more poorly than the others. This Grackle had only one leg. He could pogo around on that leg, but in the race to snatch popcorn, he was at a distinct disadvantage. Or was he.....

Outside the door to the lounge, overlooking the popcorn feeding ground/yard, was a small, cheap bench. You could sit and watch Grackles. It was actually put there to placate ostracized cigarette smokers, who could no longer smoke indoors. Consequently, there was a large cylindrical ashtray thingy next to the bench. Over time, it was no longer used as an ashtray (in fact the actual ashtray top was gone), but rather as a small trash can. Usually, it was filled with the special paper popcorn bags that we used to dispense popcorn from the popcorn maker. Folks would come outdoors with their bag of popcorn, finish it, wad up the bag and toss it into the (former) ashcan.

One afternoon, I was sitting alone on that bench, the ashtray/trashcan next to me. Suddenly I was very startled by a large amount of racket coming from the ashtray/trashcan. It scared me enough that I jumped away from it. More racket continued and a lot of rustling noises. All at once a large Grackle came popping out of the ashtray/trashcan! Scared me to death! It wasn't just a Grackle, but a Grackle with a popcorn bag in its mouth! The Grackle didn't fly far, only a few yards in front of me. Right away I realized that this was the one-legged Grackle! He'd used his head and hit the goldmine of popcorn. All the other Grackles had long since eaten all the yard popcorn, so he had no competition. He calmly opened the wadded up bag of popcorn and finished the remains. Easy pickings and no Grackle conflicts.

I had a one-legged Northern Shrike who used to like to be with me when I worked in my vegetable garden. He had some similar tactics to what the one-legged Grackle used, but that's another story and there are no Grackles involved, but it does involve Tomato Hornworm caterpillars.

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dystopian's picture

@travelerxxx Wow, great awesome story man! Good old-fashioned bird watching can be interesting and enlightening! Fascinating observations... yeah man they are smart birds. Thanks for sharing that!

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6 users have voted.

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

janis b's picture

@travelerxxx

It has me wondering about the truth in the saying that ‘necessity (adversity) is the mother of invention'.

Did you also have movies to go with the popcorn ; ).

Thank you traveler.

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travelerxxx's picture

@janis b

In the event that we finished early with the all-night helicopter maintenance, we would sometimes catch a movie using one of those ancient huge satellite TV dishes. Usually, that didn't happen as we often pushed past quitting time. More likely we'd all head to our company-provided quarters at the base and stare at the Three Stooges for a bit ...then crash from exhaustion. Next day, same routine.

Those were generally about 14-hour work days. We'd do seven in a row, then have a week off. After about five or six days of all that, the Stooges seemed pretty fitting.

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janis b's picture

@travelerxxx

I trust you guys were more productive than these three ...

I can imagine the relief of some comedy during a 100 hour a week work commitment.

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travelerxxx's picture

@janis b

LOL! We were more productive ...but we weren't geniuses like these guys!

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janis b's picture

@travelerxxx

when it comes to practicality ; ).

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Don't know how you do it, but the female Mallard standing on the water is wild.

Acorn Woodpeckers discussing life over their morning orange juice ..

acornwoodpecker_Kitty-Warner.jpg

Mountain Chickadee lost in the woods ..

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And a colorful Bluebird ..

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Enjoy your Utah adventure. Maybe look-up Snoopy?

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janis b's picture

@QMS

Thanks for the images of three of my favourite birds from my youth. Here are two more ...

Enjoy the beautiful NE

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Socialprogressive's picture

@janis b
Nice shots of the White-breasted Nuthatch and Gilded Flicker.

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When you're born you get a ticket to the freak show... when you're born in America you get a front row seat. _George Carlin

Fuck MAGA. We need MOFA. Make Orwell Fictional Again.

janis b's picture

@Socialprogressive

I found them online.

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dystopian's picture

@Socialprogressive @Socialprogressive Maybe it is my monitor, but I am seeing reddish orange for the undertail color and underwing color, as well as the feather shafts (quills). Gilded shows yellow, like a Yellow-shafted flicker in undertail and underwing and feather shafts. It's head is like Red-shafted (gray face, red whisker), but wing/tail color like Yellow-shafted. In finer details there are other differences, like Gilded's more crescent shaped markings on underparts, instead of rounder spots, more cinnamon head where brown on crown, paler back with narrower black barring, and it is an inch smaller than the other two. It was caught up in the species lump when all three species were lumped into one called Northern Flicker, but eventually since re-split and restored to full species status as Gilded.

Gilded is actually a very range restricted species mostly of the Sonoran Desert in southern Arizona. A small population lives in the Joshua Tree woodlands of the Mojave Desert in eastern California centered around Cima area. The common widespread two (Red-sh. and Yellow-sh) are mostly Red-shafted in west, Yellow-shafted in east, and lots of hybridization in the contact zone in central U.S. About 10% here are hybrids often with orange wing and tail color (but can be red or yellow of either adult too). Actually not safe to ID them by wing color alone here without checking whisker, nape crescent and face vs. crown color, there are so many hybrids.

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4 users have voted.

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

Socialprogressive's picture

@QMS
Beautiful bird images.
I know we have Acorn Woodpeckers here in socal but I have yet to see one. What I always see are the Nuttall's Woodpecker.
I sent Snoopy a PM. I'm waiting to here back.

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5 users have voted.

When you're born you get a ticket to the freak show... when you're born in America you get a front row seat. _George Carlin

Fuck MAGA. We need MOFA. Make Orwell Fictional Again.

dystopian's picture

@Socialprogressive Go to live oak woodlands... they are all about those Acorns. They are in the coast range down there where extensive live oak woodlands. They build their granaries for years and as such are fairly resident. They do have occasional explosions where they vacate ares and wander or occur as vagrants elsewhere. These are tied to drought and acorn crop failure.

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4 users have voted.

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

dystopian's picture

@QMS neat pix QMS.

The Acorn Woodpecker was once commonly known by layfolk as Clown-faced Woodpecker. They can destroy telephone poles with their acorn caches, thousands of them put in holes they drill just big enough to hold them. It was the actual species the Woody the Woodpecker inventor (Freiling?) was at war with at his cabin in Utah from which he got the inspiration for the cartoon. It and the Mountain Chickadee are strictly western species. The bluebird is a male Eastern Bluebird, the Western the whole head is blue, the eastern has the rust of breast go through throat to bill. Neat pics!

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6 users have voted.

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

janis b's picture

The photo of the female wood duck flying over the water blew me away with its colours and patterns.

Thank you for the photos and trippy music. Enjoy a safe and inspiring road trip.

I will cover for you, and I'm also happy if someone else out there would like to.

Be well and enjoy everyone.

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@janis b

Almost like a blossom of sorts. Love the colors.
Reminds me of this trippy bird sound thing I put in the OT Wednesday.

This is a visual concoction of the effects with a Grey Shrike Thrush on
some kind of particle simulation based motion graphics ..

Hope Zeeland is fun for you.

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janis b's picture

@QMS

The songs of the thrush are among the most beautiful. We even have some here of and they are always a great pleasure to hear. The graphics and seed shaking sounds added were a fascinating addition to the sound of the Thrush.

It is a flower.

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janis b's picture

@janis b

Zeeland is still fun, but so is sharing the space on c99.

Slaap Lekker

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@janis b

I know Covid stuff is not exactly protocol here, but running thru some of this guys' stuff,
this one caught me.

cheers!

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janis b's picture

@QMS

is quite intense and powerful. I will look at more of his work.

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Socialprogressive's picture

@janis b
I was able to get 3 shots of the Wood Duck as it flew off. The one posted here was the only one where you can see the coloring on the wing feathers.

Love the color and lighting on your flower. I would say it qualifies as trippy.

Thank you for volunteering to host next Friday.

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6 users have voted.

When you're born you get a ticket to the freak show... when you're born in America you get a front row seat. _George Carlin

Fuck MAGA. We need MOFA. Make Orwell Fictional Again.

janis b's picture

@Socialprogressive

one of its feathers!

The photo is kind of trippy, I agree. I surprised myself.

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dystopian's picture

@janis b @janis b Awesome photo Janis! I love it. I don't know what it is, but I love it. Great light and color. Beautiful! I see pistils or stamens so clearly floral. Gorgeous! Thanks!

P.S. The colored part in the inner part of a ducks wing on the trailing edge (the secondaries) is called a speculum. Generally on diving/sea ducks it is white if they have it, but on dabbling pond ducks it is usually metallic blue or green.

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5 users have voted.

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

orlbucfan's picture

Thanks and Rec'd!! Smile

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Inner and Outer Space: the Final Frontiers.

Socialprogressive's picture

@orlbucfan

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When you're born you get a ticket to the freak show... when you're born in America you get a front row seat. _George Carlin

Fuck MAGA. We need MOFA. Make Orwell Fictional Again.

janis b's picture

@orlbucfan

How did you and yours weather the hurricane?

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