Adult Western Kingbird perched on rusty barbed wire – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
Barbed wire is everywhere in the West, people have fought about fencing since the pioneers moved out this way. I hate when birds and wildlife get tangled up in it like Galileo, the Short-eared Owl that I helped to rescue, did two years ago. Love it or hate it though that damned barbed wire is here to stay and will be in my photos as long as I photograph birds.
I don’t mind old barbed wire in my photos because once it gets rusty it isn’t so jarring to my aesthetic senses, it is that brand new, shiny wire that gets me.
Last week I photographed this adult Western Kingbird perched on rusty barbed wire up in northern Utah with spring greenery behind it and I liked the greens, yellows, grays and whites in the photo. Because of our high temperatures in the Salt Lake Valley during the summer that “spring green” soon turns to tans and browns. Except for the irrigated lawns and fields that is.
Life is good.
Western Kingbird facts and information:
- Western Kingbirds are grayish on top, have whitish chests and throats, yellow bellies, black tails edged in white, large heads with heavy, straight bills.
- Western Kingbirds are “tyrants” and will attack much larger birds that come near their nests.
- Western Kingbirds are migratory. They spend winters in southern Mexico and Central America.
- Western Kingbirds preferred habitats include overgrown fields, forest edges, desert shrub, savannas, pastures, open areas with scattered shrubs or trees, urban environments including golf courses and parks.
- Western Kingbirds eat insects and on occasion they may consume fruit.
- Western Kingbirds lay 3 to 7 eggs which hatch in 18 to 19 days. The female incubates and they are monogamous.
- A group of kingbirds can be called a “court”, “tyranny” or “coronation” of kingbirds.
- Western Kingbirds can live up to 6 years