“Death from the Sky”.

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Peregrine Falcon with Talons Open
The Peregrine falcon may be the perfect predator.
It dives from the sky in a daring plunge, snagging other airborne birds in mid-flight with its deadly talons.
Its body is the epitome of aerodynamic design, allowing it to reach—and survive—speeds that would kill other animals.
As it reaches its terminal velocity of over 200 mph, baffles in its nostrils prevent the force of the air from exploding its lungs—a feature that has been incorporated into jet engine design—and nictitating membranes on its eyes protect them from debris.
It snags its hapless victims in its talons, ending their terror with a killing blow from its deadly-sharp beak.
Read more via The Peregrine Falcon | Mendocino Brewing.

The Fairy-wren.

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Usually very skittish, this variegated fairy-wren (Malurus lamberti) stopped on a fallen log just long enough to have her picture taken in Oxley Creek Common, Queensland. Image Credit: Brodie James.
“I’m a 14 year old bird and photography enthusiast living in Brisbane.
This shot of a female variegated fairy-wren (Malurus lamberti) was taken at Oxley Creek Common at mid-morning.
I was following a group of wrens when this one flew to a fallen log close to me and faced the light, sitting for just long enough for me to get a photo.
Usually fairy-wrens are skittish until they realise you’re not a threat, and start to come closer like this one did,” says Brodie.
via Reader photo: variegated fairy-wren – Australian Geographic.

Birds ‘heard tornado coming.’

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Multiple tornadoes devastated parts of the southern and central US in April
US scientists say tracking data shows that five golden-winged warblers “evacuated” their nesting site one day before the April 2014 tornado outbreak.
Geolocators showed the birds left the Appalachians and flew 700km (400 miles) south to the Gulf of Mexico.
The next day, devastating storms swept across the south and central US.
Writing in the journal Current Biology, ecologists suggest these birds – and others – may sense such extreme events with their keen low-frequency hearing.
Remarkably, the warblers had completed their seasonal migration just days earlier, settling down to nest after a 5,000km (3,100 mile) journey from Colombia.
Dr Henry Streby, from the University of California, Berkeley, said he initially set out to see if tracking the warblers was even possible.
“This was just a pilot season for a larger study that we’re about to start,” Dr Streby told the BBC.
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 The golden-winged warblers were being tracked as part of a pilot study of their normal, seasonal migration
“These are very tiny songbirds – they weigh about nine grams.
“The fact that they came back with the geolocators was supposed to be the great success of this season. Then this happened!”
via BBC News – Birds ‘heard tornadoes coming’ and fled one day ahead.

“Azure Kingfisher”.

800px-Alcedo_azurea_2_-_JulattenAzure Kingfisher (Wikimedia)
With its combination of royal-blue plumage on its upperparts contrasting with orange on its underparts, the Azure Kingfisher is one of the smallest and most dazzling kingfishers in Australia.
This diminutive species inhabits the vegetation beside waterways and other wetlands, where it often perches on low, overhanging branches, searching for its prey of fish, crustaceans and aquatic insects, captured by shallow plunging into the water.
Anglers on lonely rivers are sometimes surprised to find an Azure Kingfisher perched quietly on their fishing rods instead of a branch.
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Illustration: Author Unknown (Wikimedia)

Read and See more via Azure Kingfisher | BirdLife Australia.

“Cockatwos.”

cockatoos_WEBA cheeky pair of sulphur-crested cockatoos (Cacatua galerita) peek out of their nesting hollow in Balyang Sanctuary in Geelong, Victoria.
Image Credit: Danielle Bamforth
This week’s reader photo was taken by Danielle in Geelong, Victoria.
“I love photographing birds! This is a couple of wild sulphur-crested Cockatoos (Cacatua galerita) I photographed at Balyang Sanctuary in Geelong, Victoria.
I just love their pose and expression in this shot; they almost look like twins!
They nest in that tree hollow and can’t wait until I see the next lot of little ones emerge from their cozy little hollow, with their heads poking out,” she says.
via Reader photo: cockatoos – Australian Geographic.

“Birds”.

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Grey Crowned Cranes – Each crowned crane was photographed on an acacia tree near Richards Camp in Masai Mara, Kenya. Mount Kenya was photographed from a Cessna.
Before attempting to explain what’s going on in these images, the artist, Cheryl Medow, might appreciate you taking a similar approach to experiencing her photography as she does to making it.
“I don’t think my pictures through,” she says, “I feel them.”
Medow_roseate_spoonbillsRoseate Spoonbills
Each bird was photographed at St. Augustine’s Farm in Florida. This is where they nest in the spring. The waves were shot in Hanalei Bay, Kauai.
She described this incident to me: Visitors at one of her gallery shows were asking questions about how she creates her work, and she was answering. But then a guest approached her and said, “No, no, no, don’t say a thing. I just want to enjoy these pictures.”
It was then that she realized that she was looking for an emotional reaction, for people to enjoy looking at the work without having all the answers.
So please: Look. Enjoy. Feel.
Medow_saddle-billed_storksSaddle-Billed Storks
This mother and baby were photographed in the Masai Mara Game Reserve. The landscape was shot by plane in the same area, traveling from Sirikoi Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Laikipia to Richards Camp in Masai Mara.
See more Images via The Art of Birds, Revealed Through an Altered Reality | PROOF.