Turning Their Backs On Us

Yellow-rumped warbler, Frick Park, 26 Oct 2023 (photo by Charity Kheshgi)

5 November 2023

Some days it seems like all the birds are turning their backs on us. Warbler season is especially challenging because they tend to pose just like the yellow-rumped warbler above. Fortunately The Warbler Guide by Tom Stephenson & Scott Whittle includes a butt-shot for every bird so if you take photographs you can look them up when you get home.

Most birds just happen to be facing away but others, like this hermit thrush, do it intentionally. The thrush was keeping an eye on us while he hid in the shadows with an escape route mapped out ahead of him.

Hermit thrush presents his back and keeps an eye on us, Frick Park, 26 Oct 2023 (photo by Charity Kheshgi)

Kinglets face every which way as they busily flit to find tiny insects. Inevitably they end up in a butt shot.

Ruby-crowned kinglet, Frick Park, 26 Oct 2023 (photo by Charity Kheshgi)

Sometimes we see a new feature of the bird from behind. This golden-crowned kinglet shows a bit of red at the back of his yellow crest …

Golden-crowned kinglet showing a hint of red in his crest, Frick Park, 26 Oct 2023 (photo by Charity Kheshgi)

… as seen in this closeup.

Closeup of golden-crowned kinglet’s head with hint of red in his crest (photo by Charity Kheshgi)

Surprisingly, some sparrows have faces on their back ends as seen in Wes Iversen’s photo of a fluffed up sparrow. Notice how the secondary wing feathers, back, and undertail coverts form eyes, nose and smiling mouth. The photograph is embedded from Wes Iversen’s original here on Flickr.

Bird Butt
The face on the back end of the bird. Fluffed sparrow from behind (embedded photo by Wes Iversen on Flickr)

Check out more of Charity Kheshgi’s and Wes Iversen‘s photos at these links.

(credits and links in the captions)

One thought on “Turning Their Backs On Us

  1. I love this article! I’ve often thought that there should be a book that identifies birds from the back, and now I know of one :-), at least for warblers. Thanks for always sharing such interesting points of view on our natural world!

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