Wingman

Magpie

So, I’ve been really busy over the last month! I traveled and stayed a week in Yellowstone National Park and also was gone for two weeks for a Mediterranean cruise.

I managed to get a lot of awesome bird photographs in Yellowstone (less so in Europe, where were the birds?!?) so I’m going to be posting the best ones over the next few weeks. Lots of the birds in Yellowstone are also seen in San Diego so I’ll try to note when they are different than what you would normally see here.

This shot above is a Black-billed Magpie eating bugs off of the back of a young male elk. This time of year is the elk rut season. The rut is the mating season of the elk and is quite entertaining. The males wander around attracting as many ladies as they can. The males make this awesome bugle sound to warn off other males.

This male above had just attempted to steal a lady elk away from another male and got totally shut down. Now he’s walking off in disgrace. He kept stopping to chew off some bugs of his backside. A helpful magpie landed on his back and snacked on the bugs while getting a free ride.

If you want to attract the ladies, it probably helps to not be covered in bugs. 🙂

Want to know what creepy elk screams you hear at 2am while staying in Yellowstone during the rut? Check out this video:

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