Another Day in Malheur National Wildlife Refuge

Wednesday’s drive back through Malhuer started very differently than Tuesday’s drive. I was greeted by two large birds in a snag, this Red-Tailed Hawk

Red-Tailed Hawk

sitting on the left side, higher up, and this Magpie


sitting on the right side, slightly lower. I was rather surprised by their juxtaposition, especially since they seemed largely indifferent to each other. I wondered if the Magpie was playing “Chicken” and would fly away first, but that didn’t turn out to be the case, as the hawk flew away as I sat there, and the Magpie remained, unconcerned.

I took the pair as a sign that I was going to have a good birding day, and I was determined to make it so. So, even though I had trouble getting close to most of the birds I spotted, a worked on getting shots like this one of a White-faced Ibis,

Ibis Silhouette

where the setting is as important as the bird itself knowing that the birds and I come to experience this place.

Which isn’t to say that an unexpected face-to-face meeting with a pair of beautiful Tundra Swan,

Pair of Tundra Swans

wasn’t greatly appreciated.

On the way out of Malheur, I stopped and watched the Western Grebes interacting with their chicks. Here the parent finally feeds a chick after making the chick catch up with the parent. Apparently there’s no more free-lunches for Western Grebe chicks this time of year.

Western Grebe Feeding Chick

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