30 Stunning Photos That Capture the Striking Beauty of Birds
With warmer weather comes more sunshine, spring flowers, and beautiful bird sightings. From owls to orioles, we’ve collected some of the best reader-submitted bird photos.
Via, Joanne Killmer
“One early spring morning, I noticed this Canada goose with her goslings sleeping comfortably underneath her wing. It was a particularly cool morning and her little ones needed warmth. I quickly grabbed my camera, hoping they wouldn’t move a feather until I had a chance to capture the moment. I was thrilled to see Mom and babies still snuggled in as I snapped this photo. I never knew Canada geese did this. So adorable!”—Joanne Killmer, Rindge, New Hampshire
Via, Craig Watts
“I had just put my oriole feeder outside when this Baltimore oriole stopped by for a picture. I love the contrast of the red begonia with the orange breast of the oriole.”—Craig Watts, Hartsburg, Missouri
Bonus Bird Tip: Did you know that fruit and nectar plants attract orioles, too? Try trumpet vine and crabapple trees.
Via, Dori Montgomery
“A splotch of blue gently swaying up and down on a piece of dried sea grass caught my eye as I was walking with my husband. I got closer, little by little, so that I didn’t frighten it. The blue grosbeak clung to its grass perch and I got the shot.”—Dori Montgomery, Rimersburg, Pennsylvania. We love these photos of beautiful birds, but have you seen these hilarious bird photos that shouldn’t be missed?
Via, Kathryn Aldrich
“Last summer, I was lucky enough to see two barred owls in Tualatin Hills Nature Park on several occasions. I was scanning the forest again in hopes of spotting them when I saw them together about 25 feet into the forest. One flew off in pursuit of something, and just up the trail, I came upon it. The owl was 6 feet up in a tree. I watched while at least 10 people walked right by it, not knowing what they were missing! I’ll admit I didn’t tell them, because I didn’t want the owl to get spooked and fly off.”—Kathryn Aldrich, Beaverton, Oregon
Via, Ramouna Minooeifar
“My mother has plenty of oak trees in her yard, and this male Nuttall’s woodpecker was trying to make a safe nest for himself and his mate. I watched the woodpecker pair for days and took a lot of photos. This was my best one.”—Ramouna Minooeifar, Gold River, California
Bonus Bird Tip: Did you know that although associated with oak trees, Nuttall’s woodpeckers eat a small number of acorns?
Via, Geri Anne Abeyta
“Don’t you love it when you’re in the right place at the right time? In late May, I was in the kitchen making hummingbird nectar and happened to glance out the window. A male western tanager was sitting on my oriole feeder, which I’d filled with orange marmalade. A tiny drip on his beak revealed he’d already had a taste. I snapped several photos before this brilliant creature flew away.”—GeriAnne Abeyta, Espanola, New Mexico. You can only see these beautiful birds in one place in the world.
Via, Julia Bartosh
“At the start of migration, I noticed an influx of male hummingbirds, but I had put off photographing them because of the heat and humidity of central Alabama. A day dawned that was cooler but rainy. Overcast weather isn’t the best for photographing hummingbirds, but I went outside anyway. The clouds broke just enough to bounce light off the big puffy clouds overhead, and the hummingbirds were going crazy. I spent several hours with this particular male ruby-throated hummingbird. I like this shot because it’s an unusual glimpse into the secret life of hummingbirds.”—Julia Bartosh, Notasulga, Alabama
Bonus Bird Tip: Did you know that to keep clean, hummingbirds preen their feathers after a bath or a visit to a mister?
Via, Lesley Jeal
“This northern cardinal stopped by our Kanzan cherry tree last spring. It was such a stunning sight to look out of my kitchen window to see a bright red bird among lush pink cherry blossoms. I looked twice to make sure of what I saw. The cardinal stayed perfectly still long enough for me to capture the splendor.”—Lesley Jeal, Manchester, Michigan
Via, Ralph Kiertianis
“A flock of 20 eastern bluebirds spent the season in my yard and I kept them happy with plenty of mealworms! This picture is by far my favorite.”—Ralph Kiertianis, Griswold, Connecticut