Four Canada Geese ( Branta canadensis ) glide in for a landing on a marsh. Thousands of ‘honkers’ migrate north and south each year, creating long V-formations. However, more and more of these grassland-adapted birds are staying put in urban and suburban areas year-round.
Early this morning I was taking images of three Lesser Sandhill Cranes (Grus canadensis) in a marsh. An elegant bird, gray in colour, with a distinct red crown. They are known for their dancing skills. Courting cranes stretch their wings, pump their heads, bow, and leap into the air in a graceful and energetic dance.
The weather was cloudy and the light wasn’t great for taking photos. So the photos I was happiest with, were the ones that didn’t have any dull sky in the background. A good tip, when taking photos of wildlife on an overcast day, is to isolate your subject without any sky in your images. Dull light = dull pictures.
The Belted Kingfisher ( Ceryle alcyon ) catches fish by plunge-diving headfirst. My experience with Belted Kingfishers is that they are loud, noisy and skitterish. I was fortunate to find this male Belted Kingfisher perched on a post. In the image, you can clearly see its shaggy crest.
The alarm clock rang at 4:30 a.m. and I was out the door a half hour later. My goal was to take images of the beautiful Fall colours we experience during the month of October. I like this photo because of the range of colours.
The province of British Columbia contains so much natural beauty. I used my drone to create this video. In the lower right hand corner is a button that allows you to view the video full screen. There is another icon in the lower right hand corner that looks like a ‘gear’. Here you can select the resolution and 720p seems to work best. There is also music which makes the video more enjoyable to watch. Comments are always welcome.
This morning I was photographing Bald Eagles when I spotted a Mink scurrying between large pieces of driftwood in a wetlands area. Minks are dark brown in colour and they have a long bushy tail. Their fur is dense and lustrous and serves as insulation even in water. Despite not having webbed feet, they swim well. They’re very efficient hunters and will often attack much larger prey. They eat birds, fish, crustaceans, small mammals and amphibians. This Mink ran right up to me and very close to the legs of my tripod. It showed no fear and I was kind of startled by how bold it was as it investigated the human photographer. They are tricky to get a photo of because they are constantly in motion.
In late November Bald Eagle’s gather near certain rivers to feed on salmon that die after spawning. I was fortunate to experience some beautiful light when taking these images. Click on any photo to open the gallery and then use the navigation arrows. Comments are always welcome.
The Hooded Merganser ( Lophodytes cucullatus ) is the smallest of the three species of mergansers found in North America. The Hooded Merganser finds its prey underwater by sight, the dictating membrane (third eyelid) is clear and acts to protect the eye during swimming, just like a pair of goggles. They are extremely agile swimmers and divers but awkward on land because their legs are set far back on the body. They can be found year round in British Columbia. The bird in the photo is a male with a crest that shows a large white patch. Click on the image to see a larger version.
The Trumpeter Swan ( Cygnus buccinator ) is the largest waterfowl species native to North America. It is entirely white except for its bill, legs and feet. It spends winters in western British Columbia and feeds on aquatic plants. In the 1950’s a large population of these birds were found in Alaska and today their population is estimated at close to 16,000. Click on the image to see a larger version.
I was fortunate to spend some time this morning with a flock of Long-billed Dowitcher’s ( Limnodromus scolopaceus ). Their bills are full of nerve endings, which are useful for sensing prey. They walk along slowly lifting their heads up and down like a sewing machine.