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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.