The Eastern Kingbird family down the road from my house has been a gracious subject on which to experiment with my new camera lens.
One of my favorite birds, kingbirds are gregarious and tolerant of humans. They often sit on fences along rural roadsides, easily spotted as the large dark birds with a white tail edging. Well, comparatively large when looking at other songbirds found in prairie areas.
Here in Afton, we have the Eastern Kingbird, although from time to time a grey and yellow Western Kingbird shows up at the state park.
Why are they called kingbirds? They have a crown that they lift when threatened! I've never seen one, but according to Cornell's Lab of Ornithology they're yellow or orange or red. Must be amazing to see.
While they're with us here in the States, they're insectivores, raising their young on a sole diet of insects. Then, as summer heads into fall and they gear up for their long migration, they begin consuming fruit. Once they've migrated to South America though they consume a diet mainly of fruit.
I love how fluffy these juvenile kingbirds look. They'll become much darker, nearly black, as adults. The low evening sun added to the soft, rosy glow:
note: I thought I had something on my lens when I first saw this image and couldn't figure out why it was just on this series. Turns out those weird-looking gray splotches on the bottom of the photo are what sprays of grass seed look like (the green ones, not the yellow spikes) when they get between you and your subject!