As often happens, the day after I read about bill up courting behaviors and wished I could see something like that, I not only got to see it, I got to photograph it. I even got a too-dark photo of one puffing his feathers out making it look about 50% larger. What I did not expect were the battles that ensued within minutes — even seconds — after this bill up routine.
As usual with photographing new types of bird behavior, it took me a few shots to figure out how to do it. The first shots were badly exposed, out of focus and the photographer moved the camera too much.
As you'll see, I did not always manage to keep the birds in frame. They were flying, flopping, flailing and falling fast. Much faster action than I'm used to capturing. I never cared much for sports but I used to photograph dancing to get up to speed, now I have birds.