The American Bittern ( Botaurus lentiginosus ) is a medium sized marsh bird with a stout body, neck and relatively short legs. What is really neat about bitterns is that they won’t flush like herons when approached, instead they prefer to freeze and even sway from side to side as if imitating the waving reeds. They have a remarkable, though rarely seen courtship display, where the male arches his back, shortens his neck, dips his breast forward and ‘booms’ at the female. Both birds engage in complicated aerial displays. Click on the image to see a larger version.
I enjoy being outside early in the morning. Often there is no wind, little traffic, sweet light and I usually have a wonderful start to the day, while most of the city is still sleeping…
I captured this image of a Pacific Great Blue Heron foraging and feeding in a marsh. Click on the photo to see a larger version.
It’s Spring and many Canada Geese have new goslings. In ten weeks, this ball of fluff will become a full grown Canada Goose. This little gosling was busy exploring and eating grass while its parents kept one eye on it and the other eye on the guy with the camera. The gosling had proportionally large legs and feet. It reminded me of a cute and tiny little dinosaur. Click on the image to see a larger version.
The Red-winged blackbird is best known for the males’ distinctive red shoulder patches called epaulettes. It is believed to be one of the most numerous land birds in North America. The male will aggressively defend its territory during breeding season against intruders. This particular bird was a little annoyed by me and my camera. Click on the image to see a larger version.
Mount Baker has the second most thermally active crater in the Cascade Range after Mount Saint Helens. After Mount Rainier, Mount Baker is the most heavily glaciated of the Cascade Range volcanoes. It is one of the snowiest places in the world and in 1999 it set the world record for recorded snowfall in a single season with 2,900 centimetre’s. This image shows the 3,286 metre mountain covered in fresh snow. Click on the photo to see a larger version.
It is Spring and the displaying male Red-Winged Blackbirds ( Agelaius phoeniceus ) are trying everything to get noticed. Like the bird in this photo they spread their wings and puff out their orange and yellow shoulder patches while singing and calling. The conk-la-ree is a classic sound in a wetlands area.
Often referred to as the ‘greyhound of ducks’ because of its slender and elegant appearance, the Northern Pintail ( Anas acuta ) is found in shallow ponds and marshes. It feeds on seeds and aquatic insects. The Northern Pintail in the photo is a breeding male who looks this way from November to June. Click on the image to see a larger version.
At first these two juvenile bald eagles were just soaring in huge circles above me. Eventually their flight paths started to cross and they would become very acrobatic turning inverted and trying to grasp each other with their talons. Some adult bald eagles become locked in a death spiral as part of their mating practices. However, these two juvenile bald eagles seemed to be playing with each other.
Three beautiful days of sunshine in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. I really enjoyed hiking through the rainforest, walking on the beach and listening to the relaxing sound of the surf. Ate my fill of fish tacos and salmon burgers. To see the images click on the first image and then use the right and left keys to scroll through the gallery.
The way of life on Vancouver Island is a little bit more laid-back then the hectic pace of the lower mainland. I just returned from a few days on the island and the weather in March is generally wet, overcast and cold, but I was fortunate to see some sunshine. It’s a beautiful place and you can purchase a home, with an ocean view for a reasonable price. In a few months campers and fisherman will be using the campgrounds and marinas, but right now this area is very quiet. In the city, when you sleep at night you often hear cars, taxis, trucks, people, dogs, helicopters and planes. There is also a considerable amount of light pollution from other buildings. When I went to sleep on Vancouver Island it was pitch-black and you couldn’t hear another sound. I’ve never slept so peacefully…
To see the photos click on the first image and then use the left and right arrow keys to scroll through the gallery. Prints are available on my website.