Saturday, October 8, 2011

Roosting Behavior


Lately, I've been fascinated by these birds roosting in a tree on the path where I walk each morning. They are there every single day and I can't resist taking photos of them in their various positions.  My archives are full of these spooky little guys.  I have a feeling they will be making several appearances in this blog during the month of October.

My fascination with these birds is on par with my fascination with Jerry's Shadowhouse Creations textures. I could work for days combining these shots with the various textures and still want to do more. This particular image uses the "Blackbox Mask-1" and "Hauntings-5" textures.  I also used a bit of Photoshop trickery combining  one image of the bird in flight with the roosting birds and I put the moon in place by creating a little Photoshop brush out of one of my moon shots and popping it in where I wanted it.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, my photography has also made me quite curious about the natural subjects I am photographing.  I had no idea what these birds were until my aunt, Sissy as we call her, sent me a poem she'd written about Starlings after I'd posted this image.

I once again consulted the mighty oracle Google,  and I do believe that is exactly what they are.  The species species is known for their roosting behavior and spectacular aerial displays, but can be quite the little terrorists wherever they decide to invade:

Starlings are fierce competitors for nest cavities, and frequently expel native bird species....They steal grain, ravage crops, and out-compete native birds for winter fruits.
Source: Tennessee Watchable Wildlife

They are as tough as any Los Angeles gang!

Speaking of roosting behavior, I have roosted so much in my chair processing photos before and after work that my back is killing me.  My job keeps me tied to a chair most of the day and neither my work chair or the one in my home office are that ergonomically sound.  Plans for today include a trip back up to the holler with dad to take some photos (and hopefully get a few of my scavenger hunt items knocked out), and I'm popping ibuprofen hoping for relief.  I thought about cancelling, but getting off my roost will probably do my back more good than what I'd probably do if I stayed home (i.e. sitting right here.)

So, with that I will leave you with the poem my aunt sent me.  Such a creative family I have.

by Maxine Murray Cothron 
Soaring specks of graphite 
Against a winter sky. 
What compass guides your jagged path? 
Which voice, a leader’s cry? 
Within your ranks, a sentinal, 
A warning note to sing? 
Each fragment then, in unison, 
Responds as one great wing.
Does hunger drive your frenzied flight; 
Or a voice felt instead of heard? 
Do you soar for joy on shining wings, 
Oh, magnificent black bird? 
In the night, where is your home?
For surely you need rest, 
Before the sun, do you arise, 
And leave some sheltered nest? 
Once more to sail upon the wind, 
Following a plan; 
Laid out for starlings long ago, 
By God’s Omnipotent Hand.


  1. Perfect october subject. We have thousands of birds which hang around on all of the wires, especially around the parking lots. Hope you have a great weekend.

  2. You are so incredibly creative. It's fun to learn from you, just as I know some learn from me. I love what you've done with this image and your aunt's poetry is lovely. So inspiring.

    Glad to hear you're going to get out after all.

    I think I'm going to go take pictures of silos, even though it's gray and overcast out today here in Colorado.

    Enjoy your day with your dad!

  3. Yep! Your aunt Sissy was spot on...Starlings! Your bird in flight was the big give away...wings spread! I love this image, very well put together and the placement of your moon shot is just perfect!!

  4. Great post! I too like to watch the birds in their spots...very entertaining and pretty too.
    Great blog!


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