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The Behavior of Birds

Slide Set

This set of 90 slides illustrates a wide array of avian behaviors.

Common Name Activity
Territorial Aggression
Herring Gull Bills locked in combat
Herring Gull Pulling at opponents' wing
Communal Roosting
Cedar Waxwing Many roosting in same tree
Mating Systems
Bay-breasted Warbler Male and female in attendance at nest
Andean Flamingo Pair attempting to feed young
Cape Gannets Nesting colony
Cliff Swallows Nesting colony
Carmine Bee-eaters Nesting colony
Polygyny - Lekking
Sage Grouse Males displaying, females nearby
Satin Bowerbird Male on display ground
Red Phalarope Larger, colorful female with male
Nesting Cycle / Parental Care
Cliff Swallow Nest building
Bald Eagle Carrying nest material
Grosbeak Weaver At completed nest
Herring Gull Pair copulating
Reddish Hermit Incubating
Red Phalarope Male incubating
Lazuli Bunting Male feeding female
White Pelican Altricial young hatching
Common Crane Precocial young hatching
Eastern Bluebird Male bringing food to nestlings
Ruby-throated Hummingbird Female feeding nestlings
American White Pelican Feeding young
Blue-footed Booby Adult preening young
Brown Thrasher Adult removing fecal sac
Chestnut-sided Warbler Male feeding fledglings
Greater Flamingo Creche
Flightless Steamer Duck Adult attending young
Self Maintenance
Blue-footed Booby Pressing bill to uropygeal gland
Anhinga Preening
Northern Flicker Preening
Red-footed Booby Preening
Eastern Bluebird Scratching
Painted Bunting Waterbathing
Ruffed Grouse Dustbathing
Anhinga Sunning
Semipalmated Plover Stretching
Common Ostrich Drinking water
White Stork Allopreening
Black-lored Babbler Allopreening
Snow Geese Migrating at night
Red Knot & Ruddy Turnstone In flight
Ruddy Turnstone & Sanderling Eating horseshoe crab eggs (Del. Bay)
Northern Harrier Eating duck
Bald Eagle Carrying fish in talons
Great Egret With lizard in bill
Rufous-tailed Jacamar After capturing insect
Great Blue Heron Fishing
Black Heron "Shadowing"
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker Feeding on sap
Yellow-rumped Warbler Foraging on bayberry
Painted Bunting Feeding on seeds
Broad-billed Hummingbird Extracting nectar
Masked Flower-piercer Robbing nectar
Nene Chewing grass
Laysan Finch Sipping contents of petrel egg
Commensal Relationships
Yellow-bellied Oxpecker On back of zebra (will eat ectoparasites)
Red-winged Blackbird Singing with epaulets raised
Swamp Sparrow On exposed perch, singing
Red-winged Blackbird Singing with epaulets raised
Displays performed by males
Ruffed Grouse "Drumming"
Superb Lyrebird Fanning tail feathers
Kori Bustard "Bowing" while extending wings
Sage Grouse Inflating air sacs and extending tail feathers
Sage Grouse Close up of male displaying
Buff-breasted Sandpiper Female inspecting male in "parabola" display
Buff-breasted Sandpiper Male showing white underwing
Yellow-rumped Cacique Male singing and displaying to female in nest
Greater Frigatebird With filled red throat sac and wings arched
Ritualized Displays (involving both members of a potential pair)
Adelie Penguin Ceremonial greeting during egg exchange
Western Grebe Performing courtship ritual
Western Grebe Performing courtship ritual
Blue-footed Booby Courtship dance
Sandhill Crane Courtship dance
Herring Gull Coaxing male to regurgitate food by bill-touching
Herring Gull Coaxing male to regurgitate food by bill-touching
Herring Gull
Male starting to regurgitate food
Herring Gull Male regurgitating food for female
Herring Gull Female taking food from bill of male
Herring Gull Female with regurgitated food in bill
Herring Gull Female swallowing regurgitated food
Distraction Displays
Willow Ptarmigan Performing distraction display while on nest
Killdeer Performing distraction display
Agonistic Displays
Least Bittern Female in a threat display
Black Vulture Chick performing a threat display
Sooty Owl Hunched over extended wings
Pied Kingfisher One aggressive, one submissive display
Pectoral Sandpiper One male chasing another
Black-necked Stilts Fighting
Crow & Barn Owl Crow mobbing owl