One of these sentiments is a lie.

• Birds are beautiful.
• Birds are fascinating.
• Birds are always too close, prancing around resplendent in their finery and vexing the close-focus on your suddenly useless binoculars. (perhaps if you turned them around?)

Well, go ahead and brush those goldfinches off your laptop and enjoy a closer look some other feathered friends.

Snowy Egret brushing past as if I wasn’t there… how rude.

Ring-billed Gull brandishing a pulsing orbital ring.

Baby Red-shouldered Hawk puts on its game face after falling from the nest.

Northern Harrier bristling rictally.

Black-headed Grosbeak unkempt in the rain.

An intimate moment at dusk between a Red-tailed Hawk and an expired gopher.

Sharp-shinned Hawk slowly getting blood-red angry. It takes them 4-5 years to become furious.

Wild Turkey. Damn.

Anna’s Hummingbird revealing reptilian roots.

This pinecone seems to be alive.

A Mute Swan spends most of the time hiding its lower lip.

Don’t let anyone tell you Turkey Vultures are ugly. This one is a stunner.

Young Red-tailed Hawk in all its solid raptorial glory.

For me this counts as getting close to a Great Gray Owl, a bird I’d love to get closer to, but respect enough to leave in peace.

And now I shall do the same for you. Until next time…

Written by Walter
Walter Kitundu is an artist and designer, instrument builder and bird photographer. As an artist he has created hand built record players powered by the wind and rain, fire and earthquakes, birds, light, and the force of ocean waves. Walter has performed and been in residence at art centers and science museums internationally. He has performed with the renowned Kronos Quartet, bassist Meshell Ndegeocello, the electronic music duo Matmos, and the legendary Marshall Allen - in venues from Carnegie Hall to a high school library in Egilstaadir, Iceland. In 2008 Walter became a MacArthur Fellow. Walter loves photographing birds and is an ongoing volunteer with the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory. He was hooked when a Red-tailed Hawk landed at his side, ate a caterpillar, then refused to leave. He is a Senior Design Developer for the Studio Gallery at the Exploratorium in San Francisco where he designs and builds environments for learning. You can see more of his work on his blog, Bird Light Wind.