D.H. Lawrence was definitely on to something when he declared that, “Birds are the life of the skies, and when they fly, they reveal the thoughts of the skies.” In sharing your photos of birds in flight, you’ve revealed of course that you’re interested in a free copy of The Life of the Skies: Birding at the End of Nature by Jonathan Rosen. Hey, who wouldn’t be. But you’ve revealed a lot more in the process. For one thing, you’ve illustrated splendidly that the skies have raptors in mind…

Bald Eagle by Tim Lindner
Bald Eagle by Tim Lindner

Osprey by Brenda Hainley
Osprey by Brenda Hainley

Red-tailed Hawk by Wren
Red-tailed Hawk by Wren

Red-tailed Hawk by Pam Shack
Red-tailed Hawk by Pam Shack

Turkey Vulture by Jayne Trapnell
Turkey Vulture by Jayne Trapnell

Swainson's Hawks and Turkey Vultures by Grace Clark
Swainson’s Hawks and Turkey Vultures by Grace Clark

…as well as waterfowl…

Trumpeter Swan by Ivar Krafts
Trumpeter Swan by Ivar Krafts

Bufflehead by Stuart Immonen
Bufflehead by Stuart Immonen

Harlequin Ducks by Beverly Robertson
Harlequin Ducks by Beverly Robertson

…and waders…

Great Blue Heron by Reid Allen
Great Blue Heron by Reid Allen

Tricolored Heron by Danika Raup
Tricolored Heron by Danika Raup

From distant oceans…

Western Gull by Mike Powers
Western Gull by Mike Powers

Greater Shearwater by Andy Sewell
Greater Shearwater by Andy Sewell

…to our own backyards…

Hummingbird by Patty Campbell
Hummingbird by Patty Campbell

Goldfinch by Ilona Loser
Goldfinch by Ilona Loser

…from high above us

Ravens by Dave Dorsey
Ravens by Dave Dorsey

Ravens by Liza Lee Miller
Ravens by Liza Lee Miller

…to where we live…

Barn Swallow by John Krerowicz
Barn Swallow by John Krerowicz

…birds are far more than the life of the skies. They are an essential, ineffable element of our lives as well!

Many thanks to all our participants for an exquisite gallery of birds in flight. Congratulations as well to Grace Clark, winner of this copy of The Life of the Skies, who captured a large mixed flock of Swainson’s Hawks and Turkey Vultures migrating through Borrego Springs, CA on their way north. According to Grace, her photo also included a few local ravens who think they are chasing away the migrating raptors!

Note that today is the deadline to share your thoughts on Rosen’s take on birdwatching in the post-Darwinian world and get another shot at a free copy of The Life of the Skies. Later this week, I’ll announce the final contest, one that should appeal to altruists everywhere!

Common Terns by Nick Sly
Common Terns by Nick Sly

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Written by Mike
Mike is a leading authority in the field of standardized test preparation, but he's also a traveler who fully expects to see every bird in the world. Besides founding 10,000 Birds in 2003, Mike has also created a number of other entertaining but now extirpated nature blog resources, particularly the Nature Blog Network and I and the Bird.