American Pipit displaying defensive behavior – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1250, ISO 320, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
Earlier this week while photographing birds at Farmington Bay WMA I was able to take images of a one second scuffle between two American Pipits. I actually only took four frames between the time the American Pipit in the photo above assumed a defensive posture to when the intruding pipit chased off the first pipit. The American Pipits I am photographing now in their nonbreeding season are displaying some agonistic behaviors including aerial flights and chases even though they are not on their breeding territory. When I saw this pipit open its bill, crouch and call I hoped to get an action shot or two.
American Pipits scuffling over a perch – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1250, ISO 320, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
Two frames later the intruding pipit showed up in my photo and both birds acted aggressive towards the other. The frame after this one shows the blurry tail feathers of the bird at the top of the rock flying away and the second bird moving towards the top of the rock, before I could lock focus on the intruding bird it too had flown away.
It was interesting to not only see but to photograph this interaction between the two American Pipits. I could wish that the setting had been less cluttered, that the interaction had lasted longer so I could have had more time and more images of their behaviors but I am happy to have just these few frames of the American Pipits scuffling.
Life is good. Birds are great.