Category Archives: Birds

The Nest Box

You can tell this is an adult male Tree Swallow ( Tachycineta bicolor ) because it’s blue-green above, white below, with blackish flight feathers and a thin black eye mask. I enjoy watching the Tree Swallows chasing after flying insects with acrobatic twists and turns.

Tree Swallow

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Tree Swallow

This adult male ( Tachycineta bicolor ) is a small streamlined songbird with a tiny bill, long, pointed wings and a short, squared or slightly notched tail. Tree Swallows feed on small, aerial insects that they catch in their mouths during acrobatic flight. During the winter they survive by eating berries. They are about the size of a sparrow and live in open habitats like fields and wetlands.

Male Tree Swallow

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Wheel Line Irrigation

In a farmer’s field this adult Bald Eagle ( Haliaeetus leucocephalus ) was perched on a wheel line irrigation system. I like this image because I used a shallow depth of field and focused on the eye of the Bald Eagle. As a result, the wheel line irrigation system is out of focus or soft, creating an interesting bokeh and photo.

Bald Eagle Bokeh
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Cooper’s Hawk

It was a beautiful Spring morning, I was enjoying the sunshine and I guess I wasn’t paying attention to my surroundings, because I almost walked right past this juvenile Cooper’s Hawk ( Accipiter cooperii ) perched on the end of a log. At least, I think it’s a juvenile Cooper’s Hawk, because they’re similar to the Northern Goshawk and the Sharp-shinned Hawk. The Cooper’s Hawk is very agile in pursuing small birds through trees and bushes. I’m happy this young raptor let me spend some time with it.

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Short-eared Owl

The Short-eared owl (Asio flammeus) is the most aerial of all the owls. It’s sometimes confused with the Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus). They are found in any open expanse (marshes, fields, prairie, tundra), coursing in search of rodents. Most owls are nocturnal, but the Short-eared owl is sometimes seen flying in daylight. To open the gallery click on any of the images below. Scroll through the gallery by using your left and right computer keyboard keys.

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Bald Eagles

Earlier this week I came across an adult Bald Eagle ( Haliaeetus leucocephalus ) perched on a dead tree. There was strong sidelight early in the morning. The first image shows an adult Bald Eagle and the second and third images are of juvenile Bald Eagles. Comments are always welcome.

Adult Bald Eagle Fishing
Two Juvenile Bald Eagles
Magnificent
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Peaceful

This time of year the Bald Eagles ( Haliaeetus leucocephalus ) are chasing one another as part of their courtship. Early this morning, I was watching a male chasing a female and they were continuously circling, climbing and diving. In this photo, I like the silhouettes of the Bald Eagles who are flying in sync and the simplicity of the background which conveys a sense of peacefulness and freedom.

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Short-eared owl

When I took the photos shown below this Short-eared owl ( Asio flammeus ) was far away. At home, when I looked at the images on my computer, I could see in the first photo that it was looking right at me. This owl must have very good vision. They’re about the size of a crow and unlike most owls, they hunt during the daylight. Short-eared owls flap with stiff beats of their rounded wings, giving their flight a buoyant, mothlike quality. They use acute hearing to hunt small mammals and birds.

I see you…

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Anna’s Hummingbird

This morning I spent some time photographing a Anna’s hummingbird ( Calypte anna ). They are the most common hummingbird along the Pacific coast. The males have iridescent emerald feathers and a sparkling rose-pink throat patch called a gorget. In their thrilling courtship displays, they climb to a height of 40 m and then swoop to the ground with a curious burst of noise that they produce through their tail feathers. The display dive takes about 12 seconds. I have read that the heart of an Anna’s hummingbird beats at 1260 beats per minute and they eat more insects than any other North American hummingbird.

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Animalscape

When I first started to take pictures of wildlife I used my telephoto lens to create a closeup image of an animal. Lately, I’ve been learning to take photos of animals that shows them in their natural environment, which is often referred to as an animalscape. These images are more challenging, the composition requires more thought and work on the part of the photographer. The image below shows a juvenile bald eagle in its natural habitat which includes the wetlands, ocean and mountains.

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