Bird Weekly – Photo Challenge – Short Legged Birds

Male Common Yellowthroat flitting around the brush.

Welcome to Week #16 of the Bird Weekly Photo Challenge. Week #16 challenge is Short Legged Birds

Upcoming challenges can be found on my Bird Weekly Challenge Page.

The feature image is a photo of a male Common Yellowthroat.

Okay, so I came up with this theme because it is near and dear to me. You see, I know all about having short legs. All 5’1″ of me owns 3 ladders that stay in the house at all times. 1 step, 2 step and 3 step folding ladders to help me get things out of my kitchen cabinets. I have 42″ cabinets plus an extra foot of cabinets above them that go to the ceiling. If anything is past the 2nd shelve, one of the ladders come out. I understand how these short legged birds feel, except I can’t fly to get into a higher position.

American Redstart

Young male American Redstart flitting around feeding on insects at Tree Hill Nature Center in Jacksonville, Florida.
The yellow on this ones tail indicates he is a young male. By next year, his tail will be orange and he will be ready to mate.

The American Redstart is a medium sized warbler with a very expressive tail. This male above is mostly black with bright orange patches. The female has yellow patches on the sides, wings and tail. She has a gray head and olive colored back. They are both impressive showing their tail feathers which is used to lure their insect prey as they will then dart to capture in the air like flycatchers. They are a pretty spastic bird and hard to capture. I got 10 frames of shots of this male and this is the only one that turned out. He was in a different position in every shot.

Northern Cardinal

Northern Cardinal visiting our backyard in Jacksonville, Florida.

The Northern Cardinal is one of the most attractive birds for new birders. The male is red all over. This particular male was still turning, but he was quite impressive and had a mate. Young stud!!! Both the male and female have strong vocal chords and will change their tune depending on what they are communicating. The mated pair share song phrases, but the female may sing a longer and more complex song than the male. You GO GIRL! The cardinal had been on the decline, but in recent years, they have started to make a comeback, partly due to people putting out bird feeders. Last year, we had 4 pairs. This year we had 3 pairs. I had a juvenile in the backyard a couple of days ago with the momma bird. Seems there were more Swallow-tailed & Mississippi Kites this summer so I suspect not many babies made it.


This small warbler is very elusive. It is hard to photograph the Ovenbird because as soon as you think you have a shot, he darts in the other direction along the wooded ground into cover. The olive-brown back and spotted chest provides a perfect camouflage while it extracts invertebrae from the litter of leaves. Their nest is a leaf-covered dome that resembles a vintage outdoor oven, which gives the Ovenbird its name.

Black-throated Blue Warbler

Black-throated blue warbler eating a berry from the bush at Tree Hill Nature Center in Jacksonville, Florida.

The Black-throated Blue Warbler is a whopping 4.3-5.1 inch bird. The male pictured above has a black face and black eye with a midnight blue back. I find this bird one of the most challenging to photograph as there isn’t a lot of contrast between the face and eye. This guy was having his fill of the berries on this bush. The female is gray and brown, but both birds have their signature square white patch on their wings.

Common Yellowthroat

Male Common Yellowthroat hopping around to capture a meal at Reddie Point Park in Jacksonville, Florida.

Move over Lone Ranger, there’s a new marshall in town! The male Common Yellowthroat is distinguished with his black mask across his face. Females do not have the mask, but they do have a beautiful warm yellow throat. This small bird is one of the New World species that was catalogued by Linnaeus in 1766 after being captured in Maryland. They are hunted by Merlins and Loggerhead Shrikes.

Sanderling & Ruddy Turnstone

Sanderling & Ruddy Turnstone eating a meal together at Fort Desoto Park in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Sanderlings are the cutest shorebirds. Their little legs blur as they run back and forth along the shoreline. This spastic little bird probes for tiny prey in the wet sand left by receding waves. They are medium-sized “peep” sandpipers and can be recognized by their pale non-breeding plumage, black legs & bill, not to mention their obsessive wave chasing habits.

The Ruddy Turnstone along the coastlines of the United States & Mexico are nonbreeding. Some birds will travel more than 6,500 miles between breeding and nonbreeding grounds. They use fat to fuel up like most birds to carry themselves through migration so they can make it to the breeding grounds. It is vital for them to eat a lot to make the journey. They have a low center of gravity thanks to their short legs that keep them anchored.

These two birds were hanging out together and sharing a meal at Fort Desoto Park near St. Petersburg, Florida. This was our last trip down that way in January before COVID.

2016 Piper Disney Pixar Oscar Winning Short Movie

As a bonus, I thought I would share one of my favorite animated short films from Disney Pixar. I loved it so much, it lived on our DVR for months. It just makes me HAPPY!!!

Until next week…Week #17 – Macro Bird Shots

96 Comments on “Bird Weekly – Photo Challenge – Short Legged Birds

    • There is something wrong with your link. I get a “Oops, Page Can’t be found”. πŸ™‚ Let me know when it is fixed and I will take a look. πŸ™‚


  1. Pingback: Bird Weekly Challenge: Short Legged Birds | A Day In The Life

    • Thank you so much for the kind words. This is a passion project for me and I love seeing everyone else’s birds. Birders or bird watchers or bird people….whatever name you want to call us…we tend to have this love of nature & birds. Seem the birds bring us all together which I absolutely love! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yes they do! When I became an “empty nester”…yes pun intended…I found photographing birds was a wonderful outlet. I didn’t become a birder until about 8 years ago. I wished I had done it sooner and began educating myself about the little wonders.


  2. Sanderlings and Turnstones I recognise. All the others are so “exotic” and never visit UK. Terrific pictures. It’s really good to see birdlife in other countries through the eyes of a fellow birdwatcher.

    Liked by 2 people

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  4. Pingback: Bird Weekly – Short Legged Birds | teleportingweena

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    • LOL! Well, our lovebird did when he was alive. Even though we clipped his wings, sometimes they would grow out before the next clipping and he would fly from the living room into the kitchen. If it was when his wings were clipped, he was waddle into the kitchen. He loved my hubby and when Frank was cooking, Tweety just wanted to be in there with him. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Great shots of all your birds, Lisa! 5’1″? We would like a car and truck going down the street as I am 5’8″. I can reach into those upper cabinets without that ladder! LOL! I am hoping to tie in some birdy pics starting this week with my Sunday Stills post (focusing on water droplets)–let’s see if I can find a short legged bird taking a bath… if not, then next week! Like you, I post my themes ahead of time for the planners!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Terri! One of my BFF’s is 6’0″. She was a model in her younger days. Once year we dressed up as Sonny & Cher. It was perfect! Yes, you could reach into my cabinets. I’ve been like this all my life and don’t give it much thought anymore. I need to go to your Sunday Stills page so I can get the themes ahead of time. I do better when I plan these things weeks ahead. I was thinking you set the theme on Sunday. Hard for me to do. I hope you can start joining us for Bird Weekly! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • I just looked at your page and I have added the themes to my calendar. Yay!!! Backyard Birds for the end of Oct. πŸ™‚ The feeders will be full by then so I should have some new content. Thanks for thinking of me!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m sorry you are dealing with all that smoke and heat that those fires are dishing out. The migratory bird population in some western states are dying by the thousands right now and biologist don’t know if the fires are something else is the cause. It’s sad for everyone, humans and birds! I’m glad the bird challenge entices you to do more bird watching. If you are not careful, you might turn into a birder! LOL! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      • I still would love to visit one of the bird/wildlife sanctuaries this Fall where the Canadian snow geese winter. Such an amazing sight when thousands flock there. This time I’ll have the Lumix!


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  8. Pingback: SHORT-LEGGED BIRDS – Lisa’s Bird Challenge of the week | CROSSING CULTURES, FINDING FREEDOM

    • Thank you, I think! It came to me one day when I was editing one of my pics of a Ruddy Turnstone. At that moment, I thought, “what short legs you really have”. I could relate! πŸ™‚ Your post was fabulous! And I’m catching up on my blog today! πŸ™‚


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    • Yep. Got 1/2 an inning! Getting ready to eat some popcorn and an apple for a snack. Get something on my stomach. We have the presidential debate after game. Stressful!

      Liked by 1 person

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  14. So loved all of your short legged friends Lisa πŸ™‚ Never understood why there are cabinets that high in kitchens. I only have one above the fridge which houses my cookbooks.

    Liked by 1 person

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