Category: Birds

Photoshop illustration of a Labrador Duck.

Labrador duck drake

Labrador Duck drake (Camptorhynchus labradorius), an extinct species that once wintered off the New England and mid-Atlantic coasts. Last seen alive in 1875. A reminder that we can lose whole species, and that we stand to lose many more in the next century if we don't change our ways very soon. Photoshop illustration.

Common Tern chicks and an egg in a nest on the beach.

Birth of a Common Tern

A sequence (on Flickr) of photos of a Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) hatching from its egg. Shot in 1981 when I was a volunteer on a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service tern banding project on Falkner Island, off Guilford, Connecticut, U.S.A.

killdeer-camouflage

Disruptive camouflage

When you look at a Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) in isolation it looks boldly-striped—the antithesis of what you'd expect from an animal trying to blend into its background. But in natural settings the black-and-white stripes work very effectively to break up the silhouette of the bird, making it surprisingly hard to spot against the background. At Hammonsasset ...

Wood Duck family. Photoshop. ©Patrick J. Lynch, 2017. All rights reserved.

Wood Duck (Aix sponsa)

Wood Duck family (Aix sponsa). Photoshop painting. Available as a limited edition print.

Photo of a Great Black-backed Gull with a leg entangled in fishing line.

The dangers of ‘ghost gear’

Discarded monofilament line and other fishing gear can be incredibly persistent and deadly in the environment. Experts estimate that modern monofilament line will take as much as 600 years to fully degrade in marine conditions. That's 600 years of deadly entanglements and thousands of dead or maimed animals. This Great Black-backed Gull's foot is entangled ...

Photo of a Great Blue Heron.

Great Blue Heron

“Your sigh, I am told, is like the sound of rain driven against tower bells. You smell like wild ginger. When you lift your foot from the river, water doesn't run off it to spoil the transparent surface of the shallows. The water hesitates to offend you.” —Barry Lopez, The Search for the Heron, River ...

Illustration of a Blue Jay, see in a side view.

Local toughs

For some reason many people aren't fond of Blue Jays (Cyanocitta cristata), but I just love it when a gang of these big raucous songbirds show up at the backyard feeders. American birders often take this gorgeous bird for granted, but Blue Jays are usually the first species European visitors want to track down in ...

Little Blue Heron walking across tall reeds in a marsh.

Long toes

Now you know why their toes are so long. Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea), Green Cay Wetlands, Boynton Beach, Florida.