Thursday, June 16, 2011


About the time our plum tree blooms the bright colored Bullock’s Orioles come to visit.
I like the black eye liner this guy wears.

 We’ve had too much rain and too much cold this year.  
This weather isn’t even for the birds.

Another visitor I see in the late spring is the Western Tanager. 
I watch them from the window over my desk.

Sometimes they watch back.

 The red pigment in the face of the Western Tanager 
is rhodoxanthin, a pigment rare in birds.

 It must be acquired from the diet, presumably from insects 
that themselves acquire the pigment from plants.

These little guys eat wasps!  Something that hot would turn my face red.


Debbie said...

these birds are just beautiful!!

you are soooo lucky they visit you right in your backyard.

awesome photo's!!!! xo

Carla said...

How cool! I love learning new things. Rhodoxanthin! I found out last year that the strangely colored variation in my house finches was caused by something they were eating too.

Anonymous said...

Those orioles are wonderful splashes of delight!

Buttons Thoughts said...

These are beautiful birds their colours blow me away. I wish I could see out your window. True nice eyeliner. B

TALON said...

They are beautiful! Gorgeous shots, Leenie. We don't have these birds around here so it's extra delightful to see them. The eyeliner is a lovely touch, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

What fabulous birds - so much more colourful than any we get here!

Anonymous said...

Your photos are amazing! I love visiting here and seeing what I can learn.


Sarah said...

Gorgeous little birds! The only tanagers I have seen before were on ebay stuffed so it is nice to see some real live ones. They must have little leather mouths to eat wasps though. Interesting about the pigment too.

susan m hinckley said...

Oh, thank you! The Western Tanager is a personal favorite -- I have a large painting of one in the front hall. Unfortunately my painting does not eat wasps. Lovely, Leenie!

Bill S. said...

They are sure fun to have in the yard. Great pictures.

Anzu said...

They look busy under the shining sun.
Black eyeliner is like the eye contours called kumadori.
Thanks to you fantastic skill.

Linda Sue said...

WOW there you go again with your ninja photography! Excellent with the bug in it's mouth ( poor bug) Great shots Ms. Fabulous! Such a gorgeous little bird! I will have what he's having- I want vermilion hair!