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Western Sandpiper with Worm

A Western Sandpiper stops on the Washington Coast on a late April morning, and refuels on polychaetes, a type of marine worm, before continuing its migration to the Arctic Circle. Photographer Gregg Thompson noted that the sandpiper had to stand w-a-a-a-y on its tiptoes to pull the long worms out... read more »

Fighting Western Sandpipers

On the Washington Coast early one May, photographer Gregg Thompson witnessed a couple of Western Sandpipers fighting, well away from their Arctic breeding grounds. Western Sandpipers are aggressively territorial, more so than any of the dozen species of related shorebirds that also breed in... read more »

Belted Kingfisher Catches a Tidepool Sculpin

Photographer Gregg Thompson shares these photos of a Belted Kingfisher at the Edmonds Marina in Washington State. Having caught a tidepool sculpin, the kingfisher shows its nimble moves for getting this meal down the hatch!Note the nictitating membrane covering the Belted Kingfisher's eye in this... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  photography

Great Blue Heron Catches a FROG!

Mike Hamilton captured a sequence of images of a Great Blue Heron catching and eating - GULP - a large bullfrog! Herons stalk a wide variety of prey, from fish and insects to small mammals, reptiles, amphibians - and even birds. ###Listen to BirdNote shows about Great Blue HeronsThe Heron... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  photography

Horned Grebe Catches a Bay Pipefish

Photographer Gregg Thompson watched a Horned Grebe catch — and eat — a bay pipefish at the Edmonds Marina on Puget Sound in Washington State.Wondering how this bird got the descriptor "Horned"? Check out its breeding plumage!Gregg writes: "Bay pipefish are family relatives of seahorses. The males... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  photography

Harlequin Ducks at Alki Beach

Photographer Gregg Thompson encountered these handsome male Harlequin Ducks at Alki Beach in Seattle, Washington.Could Gregg have been spotted?Putting the "histrionic" in Histrionicus histrionicus:Check out this BirdNote show about Harlequin Ducks:The Hardy Harlequin###All photos © Gregg Thompson... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  photography

Black Oystercatchers

A few summers ago, photographer Gregg Thompson followed a Black Oystercatcher family near the Tsawwassen Ferry dock outside of Vancouver, British Columbia. Look at the way they change as they grow!# # #All photos are © Gregg Thompson and may not be used without permission.Check out this story... read more »

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In Winter, Puffins Lead Very Different Lives

Every summer, puffins — like this Horned Puffin — grow blazingly colorful layers over the bases of their huge beaks. But in the winter, puffins lead very different lives, and they shed their bright ornamentation. Puffins in winter are largely solitary — and silent. They spend about seven months... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  plumage

Late Summer Shorebirds

Celebrating Shorebirds!It's late summer and all across North America, millions of shorebirds — sandpipers and plovers — are on the move. Seattle photographer Gregg Thompson has been following the annual pilgrimage for the last few years.Here's a handful of the birds he's seen. Thanks, Gregg... read more »

Have You Ever Seen a Pink Gull?

Some gulls and terns may show a glowing pink color, similar to that of flamingos and spoonbills. This pink color comes from pigments in the birds' food called carotenoids. These gulls and terns are able to convert these naturally occurring pigments to hues that may enhance their success at... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  plumage

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