White-throated Swift, © Photo by Steve Kaye

Progress Report


Progress Report: Another Step Forward


White-throated Swift, © Photo by Steve Kaye, in blog post: Progress Report

White-throated Swift


Perhaps, you might call this progress.

I took the above photo of a White-throated Swift on March 5, 2011.

And yes, I know it’s a bad photo. Most of you will have to use your imagination to recognize the bird.

But it was the only photo that I had of this bird. So I kept it.

Then, six years later, on March 20, 2017, I saw this bird a second time while in Joshua Tree National Park.

And I took the photo shown below.


White-throated Swift, © Photo by Steve Kaye

White-throated Swift


Now you can see the eye and feathers.

Admittedly, this photo could be better. But for now, it’s the best photo that I have. (I like the way the bird has its tail spread open.)

So that’s an example of progress in bird photography. Imagine, at this rate, it could be six years before I take another (and I hope better) photo of a White-throated Swift.

By the way, White-throated Swifts are difficult to photograph. They’re small (6.5-in or 16.5-cm long). And they’re considered one of the fastest flying birds.

They almost live in the air as they dart erratically about, catching insects. Oddly, they even mate while flying. But they do need to land before laying eggs.

That’s because birds are smart enough to know about gravity.

Much success,

Steve Kaye

PS: Birds like the White-throated Swift need insects to survive. So use pesticides with great caution. Or better still: Avoid using pesticides. Here’s an article that tells why: Pest Control Chemicals


Help Birds Tip

This is worth repeating: Avoid Easter Grass

Please find an alternative to plastic Easter Grass. For example, use crumpled tissue paper or a piece of cloth.

Sadly, birds use Easter Grass to build nests. And then the bird’s feet become tangled in the plastic, thereby trapping it in its nest.


Birding Resources

The American Bird Conservancy publishes a beautiful quarterly magazine that’s filled with excellent content and stunning photos.

You can receive this magazine by becoming a member of ABC. Visit their web site for details. See: American Bird Conservancy

Also, please consider their outstanding book about bird conservation: Bird Conservation

Let’s recognize that organizations like ABC are working for you. And they need our support.


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6 Comments
  • Lawrence Carson
    Posted at 15:10h, 12 April

    If only we as humans could truly sense … and experientially understand all of the vibrant conscious living systems that it takes to keep each and every cell in this little bird alive just to eat, fly, reproduce and pass on its incredible systems memory to its offspring … all of the how’s.

    If only we could understand all of the infinite details then perhaps … just perhaps we would be submerged deep within an incredible flood of brilliant insight … all pointing to something even more mysterious. Whys are always the precursors to all of the how’s. The qualia always precedes the quanta.

    The How’s and Why’s of Life is like comparing a snowflake’s architectural design returning and softly landing within the middle of the Pacific Ocean of … as the awaiting Reasons cheer upon its arrival.

    I love the pics you do … and more importantly … the silent and hidden whys behind it all.

    Lawrence J. Carson II
    Conscious Mind Research

  • Susan Bulger
    Posted at 16:26h, 12 April

    Are you running the Hubble telescope??? These birds fly so fast and so high I’d predict no one could get a shot as revealing as the one you show. Thank you for the privilege to see this amazing bird.

  • jerry young
    Posted at 19:08h, 12 April

    Thank you for patience and the value of beauty of the bird. The second photo is much better. Thank you for sharing.

  • Kathryn Grace
    Posted at 00:39h, 13 April

    Wow, Steve. (Do I always begin my comments here with “wow”?) The silhouetted bird in the first image is about as much as I’ve ever seen of a bird this shape, so your capture of detail on the second, and the fanned tail, is amazing. How beautiful this bird is, in addition to its grace and speed. I imagine they experience bird joy, flying so fast through the air that they can catch insects mid-flight.

    Thanks for the reminder about Easter grass too. We usually buy the crinkled recycled paper kind, but now I’m wondering if even that might tangle around the birds’ claws and feet.

  • Daphne Radenhurst
    Posted at 03:06h, 13 April

    What I love is the pure blue sky in both pictures, and the way you have placed the bird in them both. Thank you for increasing my understanding and knowledge of birds.

  • Trude Hurd
    Posted at 12:25h, 17 April

    I enjoy that my library of wildlife photos is in a state of flux just like yours with many considered “My best photo to date” and I am hoping for better ones. I too have photos of swifts just like your two. Last year, swifts were flying back and forth above Riparian View at the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary and I took a LONG break to photograph them with some success. Keep up the wonderful blog posts, I am enjoying them very much!

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