Category Archives: Wildlife

Hooded Merganser

This is a photo of a female and male Hooded Merganser ( Lophodytes cucullatus ). When I was taking the image, I used a shallow depth of field, which made the female Hooded Merganser in the foreground, nice and sharp. The male Hooded Merganser, in the background, with its crest lowered, is slightly out of focus or soft. When viewing the photo, the emphasis is on the sharper female Hooded Merganser in the foreground. In my bird book, I read that Hooded Mergansers, in the winter, prefer smaller wooded ponds and that’s exactly where I found these two birds.

Female ( Foreground ) and Male ( Background ) Hooded Mergansers

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Double-crested Cormorant

The Double-crested Cormorant ( Phalacrocorax auritus ) can be found near lakes, rivers, swamps, and in the coastal areas seen relaxing on islands and islets. They have an amazing ability to achieve extreme depths beneath the water’s surface when foraging for food. Some records indicate they can dive to depths of 70 metres. After a dive, the Double-crested Cormorant must dry off. I took this image of a Double-crested Cormorant standing on a log with its wings spread.

Drying Off
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Perching

Usually found near water (in large numbers where prey is abundant), Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) feed mainly on fish and waterfowl which are captured in pursuit. They are powerful fliers and I enjoy watching them soaring and gliding. They like to perch on tall coniferous trees, like the one in the photo, where they get a wide view of the surroundings.

Juvenile Bald Eagles

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Peregrine Falcon

It wasn’t the best light and the background is kind of dull and uninteresting, but I was really excited to take images of a Peregrine Falcon ( Falco peregrinus ). This falcon is part of the Pacific ( Peale’s ) population. They eat mostly birds, some 450 North American species have been documented as prey. When dropping on their prey with their wings closed they can achieve speeds over 300 km/hr. They will grab a bird or strike it with their feet hard enough to stun or kill it. I felt very fortunate to spend some time with this elite predator.

Formidable Hunter

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Iridescent Crown

This morning I was fortunate to spend some time photographing a Anna’s hummingbird ( Calypte anna ). The males of this genus are distinctive, with elongated gorgets and iridescent crowns. The three photos below are of the same adult male Anna’s hummingbird. You can only see the iridescent crown from a certain angle, when the hummingbird is looking directly at you.

Iridescent Crown
Head Appears Dark When Not Catching the Light
Gray And Green Body
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Eagle-Eyed

Adult Bald Eagles ( Haliaeetus leucocephalus ) obtain their food by hunting and killing, while younger birds rely more on scavenging and piracy. This morning I was photographing adult and juvenile Bald Eagles feeding on salmon carcasses. It takes four or five years to achieve its distinctive coloration. I hope the juvenile Bald Eagle will be okay because it has less than a 50 percent chance of reaching adulthood.

Beauty
Reflection
Golden Light
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Power and Grace

A Bald Eagle ( Haliaeetus leucocephalus ) shows its two metre wingspan. You can see in the photo that the Bald Eagle is watching me. They have excellent eyesight and can see four to seven times farther than humans.

Top of the Food Chain

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Final Approach

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.

Canada Geese

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Sandhill Crane

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.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone…

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Fish Eating Bird

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.

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