It’s often the case, that only in death can many animals be examined in detail; their intricacy of texture and form eludes the eye admidst the fleeting motion of life.
Click on the images for high res photos.
This is parakeet.
The projections on the foot of this red tailed hawk are called “spicules.” They are specialized scales that increase the surface area and help improve the hawk’s grip, allowing it to take better hold of struggling prey. Spicules are particularly prominent in birds of prey that feed on fish, like osprey.
The wing of a raven in black and iridescent blue.
As an invasive species in the US, the European starling is much maligned. They are the target of many pest management efforts, and represent such an ecological disaster that it’s actually difficult to find information on starlings written in anything bordering on a neutral tone.
I’ve always thought of them as unremarkable, until I had the opportunity to see this one up close.
They’re really quite beautiful aren’t they? Perhaps the admiration that must have belied their misguided introduction is somewhat ……..understandable.
This guy was found dead in winter and is in his non-breeding plumage. You see how in the above photo, the white tips of his feathers are chipping off? By spring, he would have lost all his white “stars”’ to enter his glossy black breeding plumage.