Thursday, May 22, 2008

Skywatch: Ash-troated Flycatcher in Flight


(Photo taken by Kathie @ 9:30 a.m. MST on May 22, 2008 with a Nikon D80)

I took this photo of an Ash-throated flycatcher today right after it gobbled up a huge bug it had caught mid-air. The flycatcher landed in this nearby creosote bush to finish off the meal. I don't know what kinds of insect it was, but it was a mouthful. The bird tossed the bug around trying to reposition it until it got it just right, then GULP!, it was gone. Look below for the rest of the series. This photo fits between "What are you looking at?" and the burp!



Settling down after capturing the insect.



The toss to reposition (Look above the bird's beak between the twigs and you can see the bug mid-air.)

What are you looking at?



BURP! Now leave me alone and let me digest!

Ash-throated Flycatchers live here in the desert southwest and hunt from the mid to upper levels of the trees and scrub. They usually fly out to grab an insect mid-flight then return to a branch or twig to consume their meal. They also feed on berries.

To see other Skywatch Friday photos please visit our gracious host old Tom Wiggly at Wiggers World. To see my husband, Gus' Skywatch photos please visit his new Blog Gusto!

32 comments:

Ida said...

Great series! :)
Love the first shot. In motion. Very well captured!

quinttarantino said...

Very well done the photo of the flying bird!

bobbie said...

These photos are just superb - as are all of your pictures.

SandyCarlson said...

Amazing and graceful! Thanks!

Ramblings of a Villas Girl said...

Hi! I love your first picture.

I guess congratulations are in order proud grandma. The baby quails are soooo adorable. Lisa

fishing guy said...

Kathie: Amazing capture of the bird on wing.

me and my camera said...

Your first picture is incredible; a great capture. Thanks for your visit to my blog. I will also link to yours.

Tommy said...

nice catch

Lynne said...

That is an amazing series of photographs!! Good Job.

Diane Vogel Ferri said...

that first one is incredible - I love the birds as well.

T.R. said...

I'm going to say, for me, that's one of the greatest bird photos I have ever seen. That should be printed and framed for all to see. What kind of lens do you use? I don't know how you get so close.

dot said...

Very nice especially the first one!

Musings said...

Wow! You did a fabulous job of catching that Flycatcher in action. Just wonderful!

Gary said...

Super set of pictures.

Gary

Old Wom Tigley said...

A fantastic set of pictures, the one in flight is awesome...

TSannie said...

Great action shot! Beautiful.

Kathiesbirds said...

t.r., I was only about 15 to 20 feet from the bird. I use a Nikon D80 with a Nikon ED 70 to 300mm Zoom with Vibration Reduction. Gus and I share the same camera. When he's with me he usually takes photos while I find birds but when I am alone I use my bins and the camera. I have my bins on a chest harness and I carry the camera slung over my shoulder ready to point and shoot. If I had been a little quicker I could have caught the photo of the bird capturing the insect for I was on my way out of the canyon and turned when I caught the shadow of the bird and the motion of flight, but by the time I got my wits about me and raised the camera it had landed back in the bush.

Everyone else, thank you for visiting and commenting on my blog. I really appreciate everyone and will stop by to visit your blogs also.

T.R. said...

I have a very similar Canon and the same comparable lens and I can never get that close. You are an inspiration - I'm just going to keep trying. It really is one of the most stunning bird pics!

Quiet Paths said...

I love watching birds so this was a treat. It's fitting for Sky Watch; the birds spend much of their time in the sky!

KatNell said...

Thanks for a great series of pics. The bird in flight and the tossing of the insect are great.

I also checked out GUSTO! Fabulous.

jalynn01 said...

I just love that first picture with the feathers all fanned out! Great capture. This flycatcher lives up to his name!!

Doug Taron said...

What an amazing sequence of action shots. Any idea what kind of insect was being consumed?

Daniel J Santos said...

All beautiful images, excellent.

Marie said...

Great series!

Lilli & Nevada said...

Wow these are beautiful

Texas Travelers said...

Great photos and story as usual.

Thanks for all of the pleasure that I have had in reading your wonderful posts about walks, nature and for the great photographs.

I have left an award for you at:

http://troyandmartha.blogspot.com/2008/05/blogs-that-make-my-day.html

Thanks again,
Troy and Martha

Sandpiper said...

Awesome pictures, Kathie! I would be thrilled to pieces with these pictures.

Amy said...

Wonderful photo series! You've got skills!

Anonymous said...

Sorry I'm late, been out bird and sky watching myself! Gorgeous Ash-throated Flycatcher photographs :)

Kathiesbirds said...

Doug, I KNEW you would ask about the insect! I can only tell you that it was very large and it flies because the bird caught it mid-air. It took several tries for the bird to get it down. None of my photos shows it very well but I will check again just in case.

Troy and Martha, thank you so much for the award.

Sandpiper, that's quite a compliment coming from you!

Thank you both Amy and anonymous!

Max-e said...

NIce shots here. Been looking at you older posts as well, you have a lot of great pics and posts

Kathiesbirds said...

max-e, well, thank you! I always appreciate it when people look past the most current post to get a feel for the blog and the blogger. I try to do that when I visit other people's blogs.