Up with the Birds




Purple-Martins-6Above: Purple Martins in flight

I stopped in to see the Purple Martins after a very early start to my day. If I were a Robin I might have got the first worm…

There is a lot of activity as they are busily collecting materials for their little nest-box homes. I spotted a pair of Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) attempting to build a nest in one of the boxes. It seemed that the Martins were discouraging their presence but those Starlings are tenacious.

StarlingandNestMaterials1Above: Moving in ~ A Starling in flight, gathering nesting materials

Each type of bird has its own wonderful shifting form when in movement. I don’t think I could ever tire of observing and trying to capture these various forms. Anyway, I like how these images look a bit like drawings and this process is giving me some ideas (and reference material) for an art project.

© Karen McRae, 2014

45 thoughts on “Up with the Birds

  1. Karen, I have to stop and comment on how just incredible these compositions are. The counterpoint of how the birds are facing/interacting is just magnificent, particularly in Pieces 1 and 4. I have been watching all the birds here since Spring began, and I would die to see birds such as you’ve captured and shown to us here! These do look like drawings in its elegance – and the way you rendered those shadows on their wings – wow!! I can think of nothing else but uplifting flight! Thank you.

    1. Thanks very much, Patricia! They are somewhat comfortable around humans so fortunately one can photograph them as they zip in and out of their nesting boxes. It was pretty early in the day when I made these images so the light was lovely.

  2. I’d have to say that they strike me as ethereal, or coming from a dream-state, maybe…especially the third image….very nice, Karen.

  3. Oh yes, the form as they glide, swerve and pick up speed-marvelous for sure. Love the graceful, dynamic images you’ve captured. Especially with the nesting material in their packed into beaks.

  4. Oh, how fun to be able to watch them in action! Thanks for sharing this with us! 🙂

  5. Beautiful pictures, Karen, especially the top one – an aerial ballet! And I didn’t know you have European Starlings over there – are they an introduced species? I love the starling shot with the nesting material – that inspires me to try something similar! Adrian

  6. Wonderful movement captured once again Karen. We have house martins visit us here every year from Africa. Watching them swoop for insects is fascinating to watch and their skills as fliers is always cause for admiration. They are such chatty, happy sounding birds too which always makes me smile. I wonder if your martins are the same.

  7. There are times when one feels privileged to witness scenes like these. Such a feeling is conveyed in these images and the accompanying text.

  8. Wonderful shots. It’s very easy to get lost watching birds – they’re so fundamentally alien. Fascinating. I’m really interested to know what your project is – will you be posting any pictures, Karen?

  9. Very beautiful Karen. You captured them beautifully. It’s so lovely to see their wings wide open. Wonderful photography 🙂

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