It's been a good year, so far, and since our trip to Trinidad & Tobago I've watched some interesting birds and gotten a few nice images. I've spent a couple of Springs at Leesylvania State Park in Northern Virginia trying to photograph warblers and I was lucky to get a few fleeting minutes of quality time with both a Yellow-throated Warbler (Setophaga dominica) and a Northern Parula (Setophaga americana) in a blooming Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis).

Yellow-throated Warbler (Setophaga dominica)
at Leesylvania State Park.

Northern Parula (Setophaga americana)
at Leesylvania State Park.


Over the 2018 New Year holiday we spent a week birding the islands of Trinidad & Tobago, where I discovered my new favorite bird, the Tufted Coquette. My humble photos don't do its beauty justice. Many hummingbirds have extremely colorful plumage that is more a refractive property of their feather structure than pigmentation. Therefore, their most spectacular colors are displayed when light strikes the feathers at just the right angle relative to an observer, which is very difficult to capture in photographs, especially when different feather regions are reflecting light in many different directions.

A Tufted Coquette feeding at Vervine (Stachytarpheta jamaicensis).

I spent quite a bit of time shooting birds and drinking rum punch from the Asa Wright Nature Centre veranda and I can't tell you how much fun that was!

The veranda of the Asa Wright Nature Centre.

Hummingbird feeders are suspended above the rails on the veranda and along the stone path of the backyard. There are also several fruit feeders in the backyard that entice birds to point blank range. To see a selection of the birds that got close enough for me to shoot, click here.

In August we went to Greenville, South Carolina to view and shoot the Great American Eclipse. The only other total eclipse I've seen was on March 7, 1970 when we lived in Norfolk, Virginia.

Great American Eclipse-2017, Greenville, SC

Gallery of Bird Images

A recent update to my gallery of bird images modifies Thraupidae, "true tanagers", within Passeriformes. According to Wikipedia, "Thraupidae are the second-largest family of birds and represents about 4% of all avian species and 12% of the Neotropical birds. [Burns, K.J.; et al. (2014). "Phylogenetics and diversification of tanagers (Passeriformes: Thraupidae), the largest radiation of Neotropical songbirds". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 75: 41-77. 2014.02.006. PMID 24583021]." I'm trying to "comply" with Clements v2017, 15 August 2017, but with all the ongoing DNA analyses to ascertain relationships within the avian class, the Clements taxonmic classification will be a work in progress for quite a while into the future and I'll be in a constant state of playing catchup.

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