Gallery: some long-legged birds
How long should a man’s legs be? Long enough to touch the ground.J D Salinger
A bird’s legs too must touch the ground eventually, however much time they spend in the air. And that’s where I find it easier to photograph them. Plus, the longer the legs, the easier it tends to be to spot them too!
So when Denzil asked to see birds with long legs for this week’s Nature Photo Challenge, I found quite a selection in my archives to choose from. Many are from Africa where I’ve done the most wildlife photography. But South and Central America also feature, as does Europe.
Most, although not all, are in or near water. Long legs are ideal for waders as they can explore deeper waters in their search for food.
Whimbrel, Rio Nosara in Costa Rica
My feature photo is also of a Whimbrel, on the beach near Ngala Lodge in the Gambia
A Roseate Spoonbill by the same Rio Nosara in Costa Rica
Andean Flamingos in the Salar de Atacama, Chile
I have a whole gallery of photos of these beautiful birds here
Greater Flamingos near Faro, Portugal
Senegal Thick-knees on the Gambia River
Their name is a bit of a misnomer as we cannot see birds’ knees. What we see is the ankle. Their knees are much further up, hidden by their feathers. And below their ankles is their foot, so in fact birds stand on just their tiptoes.
A Western Reef Heron on a boat in the Gambia river
A Little Egret near Souimanga Lodge in the Sine-Saloum Delta, Senegal
Spur-winged Lapwings, also at Souimanga Lodge in Senegal
A striking White-crowned Lapwing in Chobe National Park, Botswana
Also in Chobe National Park, a pair of Yellow-billed Storks
My only example away from water, an Ostrich in Etosha National Park, Namibia
The ostrich uses its long legs not to wade but to run, sometimes even faster than many other birds can fly.
Demoiselle Cranes, Khichan, Rajasthan
The Jain population of this small village feed the migrating cranes , encouraging them to stop here in their thousands every winter
To finish with, a bird spotted a lot closer to home, an Avocet in Norfolk
You certainly have a wonderful collection of the long legged ones.
Thank you 🙂 I enjoy photographing (or more often trying to photograph!) all kinds of birds, especially when I travel and encounter new species.
Such a variety Sarah, I do like the flamingos though
Thank you Alison – favourites of mine too 🦩🦩🦩
Mike and Kellye Hefner
Great photos of these gorgeous birds, Sarah. I love all of them, but my favorite is the Demoiselle Cranes. I’ve never seen one before.
They were fascinating, as was the story behind how people came to feed them there. I must do a full post about them one day!
I had to send your post to my in-laws because they love birds and have books of different birds that they love to look at. Great collection of birds around the world 🙂
Oh that’s lovely to hear 😊 They must be experts so I hope I didn’t make any mistakes in identifying these!
They loved your post- some of them they didn’t know so you taught them something 🙂
Now I hope even more that I didn’t get any wrong!!
Thank you 😊
What a lovely idea and to have such great images to illustrate as well. Congrats. all round on a brilliant post. I’ve never had luck photographing birds, I seem to scare them off very easily so I was delighted to see your captures.
Thank you Mari 😊 I’m sure for every bird I’ve photographed there have been dozens that didn’t hang around long enough or refused to cooperate!
An exceptional gallery of long legs Sarah. Fascinating new birds, especially the Thick-Knees! The only one I have seen is the Avocet, which brings back happy memories of being a voluntary warden at a nature reserve in Suffolk.
I’m glad you like my selection Denzil 😀 This was a good topic for me as I enjoy photographing (or trying to photograph!) birds.
Well you do a good job!
Another super gallery Sarah. I don’t know if it’s the same up your way, but down here in the West Country Little Egrets are evrywhere now. My favourite in your list? It’s difficult, but I’m going to plump for the Spoonbill, but don’t ask me why.
Thank you Malcolm. I’ve seen the occasional Little Egret by the Thames but I wouldn’t say they’re plentiful. Maybe they’ll spread – I do hope so!
I’m not sure that my comment landed or whether it flew off like one of your birds….if it disappeared, let me know and I’ll retype 😁
It does seem to have flown Phil 😁 If you have time to retype it please do.
Ah ok I’ll give it another go..it went something like this. Fabulous photographs, all of them. I’ve never actually seen an avocet despite several attempts – with puffins, avocets are probably top of my tried-and-failed list of British birds. I like the Salinger quote…I believe Spike Milligan also said that he was amazed that, every time he stood up, his legs were exactly the right length to just reach the floor…
Thank you for trying again. It worked perfectly this time so I have no idea what went wrong before! I’m fortunate to have seen puffins too, on Staffa, but it was pre-digital and I have no decent photos to show for it.
What a fabulous gallery Sarah. Avocets are on my list to get a photo of along with some Stilts.
This post reminded me of the birds I forgot in to include in mine lol
Thank you Brian, that avocet is proving popular! And that happens to me all the time – I post a challenge response and then later see some from other bloggers that remind me of photos that I have and could have included 😄
What a great assortment of long legged birds. I love the funky mustache (or whatever it is) on the White-crowned Lapwing. The yellow-billed storks are also very lovely. Maggie
Thank you Maggie. The yellow is some kind of wattle, a bit like turkeys have!
I love it!!
Marvellous gallery, Sarah! And like Margaret, pleased you got such a delightful avocet photo in Norfolk. I’ve only seen them from afar
Thank you Sue – the avocet was a lucky find indeed 😀
To say I am envious would be an understatement!
I liked the picture of the flamingos from behind, Sarah. Also liked the contrasting plumage of the lapwings.
Yes, I find lapwings very stylish 😎
These are all so lovely! So many that I’ve never heard of.
Thank you, I’m glad you liked them 😊
What a gallery! And I’m so pleased you got such a delightful avocet photo in Norfolk. Despite my best efforts, I never managed to get close enough.
I was pleased with him too – a chance encounter on a walk to a beach that had to be abandoned when the heavens opened, soon after taking this photo!
What delightful long legged bird photos you have been able to capture 😀
Thanks so much Cee 😀