I’m always looking for great action or interesting poses when I am out photographing birds and usually I am not disappointed and once in a while I get some very funny images. Mondays just seem like a great day for some humor.

Roseate Spoonbill

Roseate Spoonbill (Platalea ajaja) – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/1250, ISO 200, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm

I was laying in the mud of a tidal pool photographing this Roseate Spoonbill when it stretched out its bill, fluffed its feathers and it looked kind of goofy in this frame right before it shook its head.

Long-billed Curlew Long-billed Curlew (Numenius americanus)  Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/180, ISO 320, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 280mm, low light

I was photographing this Long-billed Curlew as it preened on a foggy morning when it gave me this great pose.

American Oystercatcher butt shot American Oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus) –  Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/640, ISO 250, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 4oomm

Each time I see this image I have to laugh because the pose is so funny, at least I got a catchlight in the eye!



  1. Larry Jordan February 14, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    I applaud your grit and tenacity Mia! I know how difficult it can be to get shots like this. I think you might want to try some waders to keep you from the cold when getting photos like these. That Roseate Spoonbill look is so comical, it must be thinking “what in heck is this girl doing down there?” Love the Curlew preening and the American Oystercatcher shot is priceless! The pose, the line of the beak next to the leg with the eye showing (with the catchlight) and of coarse those lovely undertail coverts so well depicted, I hope you didn’t get your camera wet!

    • Mia McPherson February 15, 2012 at 9:13 am

      Thank for commenting Larry and for the giggles I got reading your description of what the Roseate could have been thinking! In all my thousands of hours photographing in the water, near it or in waves I never once dunked my gear. I was always soaking wet, covered in mud or sand but my gear stayed cleaner than me.

  2. Cindy February 14, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    Oh I loved these. Found this link from one of Steve Creek’s tweets.
    What characters these fellas are, huh? Love how you get down with them, and I laughed at
    Aristarkhos and Kathy Finnerty and many of the other comments!
    At any rate, terrific photography.

    • Mia McPherson February 14, 2012 at 2:39 pm

      Cindy, I’m very glad you found my site through Steve, thanks for visiting and for your comments on these images.

  3. Chuck Gangas February 14, 2012 at 9:59 am

    Mia-the Oystercatcher reminds me of the yoga pose I was in the other day-but you wouldn’t want to see a photo of that, I’m sure. Fun images all.

    • Mia McPherson February 14, 2012 at 2:45 pm

      Chuck, I would love to see you in that Yoga pose or better yet next time you visit you can get into the pose and I can photograph you!! Thank as always for your comments, they make me smile.

  4. Julie G. February 14, 2012 at 7:01 am

    These are fabulous, fun images, Mia! Great angles on all of them. Thanks for the chuckle!

    • Mia McPherson February 14, 2012 at 7:08 am

      Julie, glad to supply a chuckle! Thank you for commenting.

  5. Aristarkhos February 14, 2012 at 6:32 am

    Very comical poses indeed. 🙂 The spoonbill looks hunched and curious, much like a neighbour trying to get a fix on what’s going on in your yard. The curlew is being the kid who likes to stick his tongue out before the shot. And the Oystercatcher, why he just be checking his knees out. 😀

    • Mia McPherson February 14, 2012 at 6:52 am

      Aristarkhos, all of your descriptions of the birds in this post have me laughing! Thanks so much for commenting and the fun!

      • Aristarkhos February 14, 2012 at 11:55 pm

        PG Wodehouse passed away on 14th Feb (in 1975) – what better way to pay tribute to a great humourist? 🙂

        • Mia McPherson February 15, 2012 at 9:13 am

          I didn’t know that Aristarkhos!

  6. Dan Huber February 14, 2012 at 4:54 am

    Wonderful photography Mia. Love the poses

    • Mia McPherson February 14, 2012 at 6:55 am

      Thanks Dan, I hope the funny poses made you grin!

  7. Tammy Karr February 13, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    Great unique poses you’ve captured! They all kind of look like bird yoga poses:)

    • Mia McPherson February 14, 2012 at 6:55 am

      Tammy I agree, they do look like yoga poses! Thank you for commenting.

  8. Laurence Butler February 13, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    hehe that is one LONG billed Curlew. This birds must feel pretty comfortable with you to lounge and stretch so grandiosely.

    • Mia McPherson February 14, 2012 at 6:57 am

      Hi Laurence! I was sitting (or kneeling) waist deep in the water when I took the Long-billed Curlew image. Quite often I would sit there for long periods of time being very still and I would be rewarded by the birds coming closer to me. The really long bill of the Curlew indicates that it is a female, the bills of the males are shorter.

      • ingrid February 14, 2012 at 12:11 pm

        Isn’t that the most gratifying thing? I like what Laurence says. I always take it as a sign of comfort when birds sit and preen in front of us — a subtle invitation into their world. By the way, Mia, on quite a few photo excursions now, I think of you. Often, I’m in work clothes, on my way home, and have to decide whether to get down in the dirt. I always think — Mia would probably do this. And then I get just so low, crouching, but can’t bring myself to wade into the thick of it for the best shot. 🙂 btw, I’m in love with the oystercatcher image, and the perfect DOF, too.

        • Mia McPherson February 14, 2012 at 2:44 pm

          Ingrid, I find it very gratifying when the birds relax in my presence and even come closer. One time I had a Wilson’s Pover that must have seen its reflection in my lens that came so close to me that several of the images were a bit blu of the bird. I still laugh about that. It might be better to get down and dirty once it warms up a bit, cold, wet mud isn’t a great feeling! I used to shiver so much that I’d finally give up because I knew my shots weren’t going to be sharp with all that shaking going on. I’m so glad you love the Oystercatcher image, I just thought it was so darn cute.

  9. Nicole MacP February 13, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    Too funny! I especially like the Curlew photo, very cool!

    • Mia McPherson February 13, 2012 at 5:12 pm

      Thanks Nicole! Good to see you.

  10. Bob Zeller February 13, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    I agree, Mia, those are some very funny poses.

    • Mia McPherson February 13, 2012 at 5:13 pm

      Thanks Bob, I figured funny might be a nice way to start off the week!

  11. Kathy Finnerty February 13, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Very comical – but it helps provide personality to these birds and adds spark to the image. I must say, getting lower than a bird’s butt to get an image is a feat you’ve mastered!

    • Mia McPherson February 14, 2012 at 6:59 am

      Kathy, you had me laughing out loud with “getting lower than a bird’s butt to get an image is a feat you’ve mastered!” I wonder how many times you saw me getting lower than a birds butt, a lot I would bet!

  12. Gene Vermillion February 13, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    They really are funny. I wonder how we look to them.

    • Mia McPherson February 13, 2012 at 4:07 pm

      Thanks for commenting Gene. I’m pretty sure I looked funny to the birds when sand crawling towards them, or laying there covered in mud or sand with one great big, reflective eye!

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