© Robert Siegel
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Burrowing owl
Athene cunicularia
Chaminade School
Hollywood, Florida
August 2009

Rationale - in progress. (January 23, 2000)

I like taking pictures of birds.
In fact, I like taking pictures of anything. But I especially like taking pictures of birds.

First, there is the challenge of "capturing them". This is especially challenging with a relative small lens such as I have.

Second is the fact that they do interesting things.

Third is the fact that range from quite drab to absurdly colorful.

In some strange way, this desultory collection of photos constitutes a life list of sorts.

For me, recording a bird, using sound or photography, is much more satisfying than merely seeing it and marking it down on a list.
I often find birds I know well as much of a thrill as birds I have never seen before, especially if I can capture a new pose.

I would be most grateful for any help with the common or scientific names of any of the unidentified pictures.


Update - February 21, 2013

Over the last 13 years, with considerably more travel under my belt and the acquisition of better digital camera equipment, I have become a bit more systematic in my quest to photograph birds.

Looking at the taxonomy of birds, the number of families looked a bit daunting.
As a doable challenge, I recently decided to try and get a credible photograph of at least one member of every bird order.

As a progress report, I have now seen every order, with the possible exception of the tinamous.
I do not, however, have photographs of all of them.

Some of these can be found close to home
In order to succeed in my photographic quest, however, I need to visit or revisit some of the most interesting venues on earth!

The quest is further complicated by the fact that there is no consensus on how many bird orders there are, or even which birds belong to which orders.
Partly, this is do to rapid advances in DNA sequencing and the use of this data to classify all creatures.
Partly, this is do to the fact that even with the available data, scholars like to disagree.

Confronted by the disparate taxonomies on line, I decided to use a convenient list that I found on Wikipedia.

In discussing my quest with friends, I know that I have inspired at least one other person to embark on a similar pursuit.

Even more recently, I have begun to systematize my photographs of other organisms and created a consolidated list of links on my photo page.

Here is my bird order wish list:

+ Pteroclidiformes - sandgrouse
+ Opisthocomiformes - hoatzin
+ Trogoniformes - trogons
+ Tinamiformes - tinamous

The classification of raptors at the taxonomic "order" level seems particularly opaque.
There seems to be some agreement that there are seven families of raptors:

And two groups of owls

Even terms like eagle, vulture, kite are quite capricious and comprise polyphyletic (evolutionarily mixed) groups of birds.

Ultimately, all such discrepancies, will be arbitrated, for better or for worse, by the percentage of DNA homology between species.


Some of my Bird Photos

+ By type
+ By location
+ Miscellaneous


Other bird info

+ Classification
+ Penguins of New Zealand


+ Audubon Society
+ Stanford birds


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Last modified: June 14, 2014
Created: February 21, 2013 (from birdz.html)
Contact: siegelr@stanford.edu