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On the Edge

I love it when good birds turn up in unexpected places. Honestly though, a roadside puddle isn’t that surprising of an avian attraction. Birds love to bathe, and even after a shower of rain, they may still jump in a puddle and have a little fun. Some years ago, I stumbled upon a puddle bath that was being attended by at least five Yellow Warblers, two Prothonatary Warblers and a Grey Seedeater! That sighting of the Grey Seedeater was my only sighting of this bird in the wild, a former common resident but now only seen in cages across the country.

A relative of the two aforementioned Warblers and another relatively common migratory visitor during the northern winter showed up at a puddle in more recent times. American Redstarts are often difficult to photograph as they’re usually in the highest branches of some of the tallest trees. But you can’t bathe in a puddle all the way up there.

american redstart f










What really got me going was getting surprised by a male Black-crested Antshrike with two females in trail. For a brief moment, I was frustrated as they remained within the darkness of the mangrove. But that was strangely not to last, for they flew onto the road and hopped straight across to the puddle.

black-crested antshrikes in bath










It took a split second for me to realize that I wanted to include both birds’ reflections in the frame, and a bit longer to squeeze it all in.

black-crested antshrikes in bath-2






Interestingly enough, the females let the male bird bathe first, after which he promptly flew off. Leaving the girls to have their bathing time in privacy and leisure. Well, relatively speaking I guess, as I was still there, lying on the road, peering at them with invasive eyes. I feel like such a creep now as I laid it out like that, but say what. I managed to make a few reasonable images before the sun went down forever.

black-crested antshrike

5 thoughts on “On the Edge

  1. In a perfect world, the cats would be rounded up, neutered, and adopted as indoor cats. How, from afar, can I help? You have a huge amount of respect from me and many others….

    1. Oh boy, in a perfect world indeed! If you can help me spread the word internationally that’d be great, the more people that know of this problem the better. If some foreign body picks up this story and publishes it, the authorities will feel embarrassed, and that’s the only way something will be done quickly. Not waiting on that so I’m trying to figure out a plan with some local shelters in the meanwhile (those that don’t currently hate me, haha)

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