A "lifer" for birdwatchers Ben and Luke

Lifer (LEYE-furr)—a designation for a species that an individual birder has never seen previously.

The birders Ben and Luke (5 and 3 years old) view a Great Horned Owl. Note the toilet tissue roll binocular being used by Luke. He made those at a birthday party. He was enticed to use a real binoc later.


The bird they saw (4 views)




David Sparks

I retired in 2005 after 40 years of research and teaching at the University of Alabama in Birmingham (24 years), the University of Pennsylvania (8 years) and the Baylor College of Medicine (8 years). Photography is my retirement hobby.

Nature photography, especially bird photography, combines a number of things that I really enjoy: bird-watching, being outdoors, photography, travel, messing about with computers, and learning new skills and concepts.  I now spend much of my time engaged in these activities.

David Sibley in the preface to The Sibley Guide to Birds wrote "Birds are beautiful, in spectacular as well as subtle ways; their colors, shapes, actions, and sounds are among the most aesthetically pleasing in nature."  My goal is to acquire images that capture the beauty and uniqueness of selected species as well as images that highlight the engaging behaviors the birds exhibit. 

Pictorial Definition #6 - Protective Coloration

Pictorial Definition #6 - Protective Coloration

protective coloration, coloration or color pattern of an animal that affords it protection from observation either by its predators or by its prey. The most widespread form of protective coloration is called cryptic resemblance, in which various effects that supplement the similarity of color between the animal and its surroundings enable the creature to blend into the background of its habitat.

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