Portraits of Wildflowers

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Archive for July 13th, 2013

Cliff swallow

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Cliff Swallow Flying Away from Nests 7665

Click for better clarity.

Cliffs are the natural places where these birds, Petrochelidon pyrrhonota, have made their nests of mud for eons, but in recent decades cliff swallows have found that the undersides of highway bridges work pretty well too. It was on June 28th that I used my longest lens to photograph this cliff swallow flying away from a row of nests beneath the southbound Loop 360 bridge over [Old] Spicewood Springs Rd.

I was surprised at being able to stop the bird’s flight with a shutter speed of “only” 1/500 of a second, but the swallow was just taking off and hadn’t built up speed yet. Isn’t it curious the way the edge of the tan patch on the bird’s upper bill lines up with the similarly colored edge of the hole behind it? That makes it look as if the outline of the hole is beginning to spiral outward, or maybe it’s just my perfervid (no, not perverted) imagination.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 13, 2013 at 6:20 AM

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