June Birds and Insects

 Most of the photographs I made in June were done near water where thirsty birds gather in late afternoon.  The exception was a pair of Altamira orioles nesting on Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge in the longest oriole nest I’ve ever seen.  Their young should be fledging today, so I guess it will be another year before I get to watch the golden birds building another incredible nest.

Some of the following shots are files I lifted from past folders.  I think you saw the mud dauber photographs about two years ago.  You didn’t see some of the images that showed other wasps, hornets and such buzzing around the mud daubers’ heads.

Some of the following photos were done at the Laguna Seca Ranch last week.  It was extremely hot for photography, but  most of the birds visited the pond in late afternoon.  We got painted buntings, Bullock’s orioles, great kiskadees, groove-billed anis, and several other species.  All of the south Texas photo ranches are productive when the weather turns warm (above 90).

Don’t forget to click in the upper right portion of a photo to make it larger and sharper for viewing.  You can click through the photos by going to the upper right area of each and clicking on “next”.


Altamira oriole bringing food to its young.

Approximately half of the oriole nest above is visible in this photo with a landing adult.  The nest is approximately 20 feet up in a hackberry tree.  Altamira orioles always build their nest on the northwest side of a tree to avoid the strong, prevailing southeast winds of northeast Mexico and south Texas.

Adult altamira oriole leaving the nest.


Brown-crested flycatcher marching to water, south Texas.


These photos were made at Santa Clara Ranch west of Edinburg, Texas.


Greater roadrunner taking a dust bath.
greater roadrunner after dust bath.


Greater roadrunner enjoys a cool drink at the Santa Clara Ranch.


Hornets attending a mud-gathering mud dauber at a ranch photography pond.


Hornet wondering why that mud dauber is standing on its head.

The following photos were made at Laguna Seca Ranch while I was guiding four other photographers.

Male summer tanager perched close to fruiting manzanita (Barbedos cherry).


male Bullock's oriole perched above potted plant brought from home for color.


Great kiskadee eating a manzanita fruit.

I had a bad angle on this kiskadee.  You should see the image Ed Jacoby captured!


Female painted bunting drying feathers after a good bath.


painted bunting, male, flying down to an afternoon bath.
Courtship ritual of male northern cardinal feeding female.

In spring and early summer, if a male and female cardinal come to your feeder/water hole, be ready to capture this shot.  He will feed her; you just have to supply the nice perch and quick focus. Grab your “Swet Towel” (athletic cooling towel available on Amazon and at larger sporting goods stores like Academy) and Gatorade and head for the blind before the summer molt begins.