Their chests puffed out in pride

What happened before the click...Photographers tell their story behind a special picture. This time: posing starlings

starlings in summer plumage
© Lutz Klapp

For several years I have been an enthusiastic wildlife photographer. Many of the subjects for my photos are actually from my own garden, which has been designed to encourage nature to thrive. I also feed the birds throughout the year with meal worms, fat balls and sunflower seeds. This definitely increases the flight traffic in my garden and provides great opportunities for observations.

In the spring of 2019, I captured a very special moment. Initially the situation seemed to hold no particular promise. A male starling landed on a nearby branch, a splendid sight in its shimmering finery, but this was not an unusual sight at this time of year. Not long after, a young bird joined the older starling. For a moment, both birds stayed still, but then some movement was injected into the situation as the adult stretched itself bolt upright. A few seconds later, the young bird followed suit. Briefly, they stood facing each other, virtually motionless, eyeing each other up. This was the moment I captured on camera.

Were they trying to impress each other, was it courtship display, or were they just imitating each other? Whatever the starlings intended by their display remains a mystery to me, but it provided a fantastic subject for my photo.

photographer in nature
© Lutz Klapp, privat

Lutz Klapp says he first became a serious wildlife photographer on acquiring his first reflex camera. The main theme of his photos is above all birds, many of them taken in his own garden in the region of North Hesse. An enthusiastic observer of the natural world, he has already received many awards for his wildlife photos. His picture of the starlings won the “Sigma Naturbild 2019” photography competition.


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