Birding in Spain advent calendar December 24th

Good morning birders from all over!

I hope you have a nice tomorrow’s eve!

Today’s offering is a slightly risqué image of a Lammergeier, or Bearded Vulture (as they keep reminding us). Risqué because of the foot-dragging diversion away from the conventions of bird portraiture: the clipped wingtips, the visible narrow white border separating the bird from its background, and the very artificial background of scratches and grunge patches.

I often wish that I could go much further than this and apply some measure of real artistic ability to create nature-related images capable of captivating the audience, surprising or shocking them even, while still distilling some or all of what the bird is, what I’ve seen it to be after countless encounters in the field.

How many of us can see and feel, and would like to share, but lack the ability to communicate what we feel or see or hear?

Did you know that adult Lammergeiers don’t get that orange-yellow coloration on their underparts from plumage moult or anything of the kind? Maybe some of you didn’t, so I’ll continue: they actually get it by “bathing” in ferruginous springs – think iron oxides or ochre – to acquire what is termed “cosmetic colouring”.

Incredible, huh? Why they do that is another story, but like many things in the natural world it’s probably related to sex.

Lammergeier or Bearded Vulture

Advent calendar – December 24th – Lammergeier

Sing like no one’s listening, love like you’ve never been hurt, dance like nobody’s watching, and live like it’s heaven on earth.

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