Black Oystercatcher, Haematopus bachmani, La Jolla

I don't have the discipline to be a real bird photographer, but when seabirds (which are my favorites) walk right up to me I will of course do my best to get an image. This black oystercatcher (Haematopus bachmani) was walking among the sea lions on Alligator Head one recent…
February 4, 2022

Cormorant Coming in Hot

Cormorants are another of my favorite birds. I've spent a lot of time underwater with them, watching as they submerge -- up to 100' deep! -- and hunt through schools of bait, or pick around among detritus on the sea floor. Photographing them in flight is not one of strong…
January 14, 2022

Preening, Seabirds and the Uropygial Gland

On Preening, Seabirds and the Uropygial Gland Many birds, including most seabirds, preen their feathers. This involves spreading a substance known as "preen oil", secreted from the uropygial gland (preen gland) near the base of the bird's tail, to feathers all over the body.  The preen oil protects the feathers…
January 10, 2022

Variability in California Brown Pelican Breeding Plumage

I spend an inordinate amount of time photographing California Brown Pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis californicus) each winter. It's partly because I need the practice and they are a great subject upon which to hone my topside camera skills, and partly because mornings on the ocean in La Jolla, without summer tourists and…
December 22, 2021

Speeding Cormorant

This is a photograph of a cormorant speeding over the ocean, viewed from above. Taken in pre-dawn light, the slow shutter speed of the camera allowed the details of the bird and water to smear across the image. Double-crested cormorants in flight at sunrise, long exposure produces a blurred motion.…
March 2, 2008

Western Gull, Larus occidentalis

The Western gull, Larus occidentalis, is a large white-headed gull common along the western coast of North America. The Western gull ranges from British Columbia to Baja California. It is exclusively marine, and nests on offshore rocks and islands. While offshore it feeds on fishes and invertebrates that it can…
April 18, 2006
BirdsGalapagos DiariesSeabird

Boobie Photos

For some reason many visitors to this web site have been searching for boobie photos. We simply do not understand the intense interest in photos of boobies, or in boobies in general. Boobies are just a bunch of seabirds and not even particularly rare. The blue boobies seem to elicit…
March 2, 2005