Thursday, May 2, 2013

Lucky Me! A Kingfisher Tale

Douglas County, Oregon

Sometimes long, long stretches of patience pays off and we get an unusual photograph ... and sometimes luck just jumps in and things happen so fast I have to pinch myself to be sure I wasn’t just dreaming.  

Dale and I were slowly driving along when I spotted a kingfisher sitting in a tree next to the road.  Kingfishers always seem to perch just a tad too far away or flush as soon as we get near.  Rule #1 when photographing wildlife is to ‘give it a try.’  Dale slowed down and I eased my camera up on the bird.   

I had just time enough to fire off a couple of shots and check my exposure when suddenly the kingfisher’s mouth opened.


and wider, but no sound.

Suddenly I realized I was watcing the kingfisher cough up a pellet ... just like owls do!  

I’ve since learned a quite a few birds, that swallow whole prey items, cough up pellets.  In addition to owls, hawks do, and crows, herons, and kingfishers.      Probably several more species of birds do too.

That feels much better!


  1. wow - what a moment to experience- and to photograph - then to share with us all

  2. For goodness sake. I didn't know this. I sure haven't seen this. What great photos. I kept feeling like I need to clear my throat after reading this.

  3. Hi, Elva,
    Nice shots! Thank u for sharing the wonderful photos and the interesting post!
    Cheers, Sadami

  4. Wow, great photos, and a complete surprise to find the cough up pellets!

  5. I bet there are few who have ever captured that moment in a kingfisher's life! That photo ought to win an award!

  6. Wow.. those are AMAZING shots. What perfect timing on 'trying' to get one photo. :)
    He did look like he felt better when it was out.
    Not sure what the pellet consists of but looks nasty. :)

  7. Oh wow!!!! Never seen that before even in pics!