The last week or so, White-faced Meadowhawks have been protecting territory along the edge of Factory to Pasture Pond. There are quite a few there, each male with its 5 feet of brush and shoreline. They get into little tiffs where territories touch…the males facing off in aggressive spiral flights, almost too fast for the eye to follow.
The Meadowhawks are smaller members of the larger Skimmer family and there are quite a few possible in Southern Maine. The White-faced is one of three bright red Meadowhawks, which differ primarily in the color of the face. The Cherry-faced has a slight red tinge to the face, while the Ruby tends toward a tan color. Other than that they are pretty hard to tell apart. I suspect I have a shot of a Cherry in amongst my White-faced shots, as I remember seeing a darker face, but I have not found it yet It is certainly not among the images I have processed so far.
Second image is the female of the species, and what all the fuss is about among the males.
Then we have one from above, and one side on. The last shot was taken along the edge of the pond that is forested, so the Meadowhawks seem to establish territory even in taller trees.
Canon SX40HS. Program with iContrast and –1/3EV exposure compensation. Shots at 1240 and 1680mm equivalent field of view using the full optical zoom, and either 1.5x or 2x digital tel-converter function. f5.8 @ 1/200th @ ISO 800, 320, 320, and 100.
Processed in Lightroom for intensity, clarity, and sharpness.