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.
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.
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.
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.
I enjoy taking images in the rain, it’s quiet and there are very few people. This morning I came across this male Green-winged Teal ( Anas crecca ). It has a beautiful dark rufous and iridescent green coloured head. The American population differs from the Eurasian by having a distinct white bar, which you can see in the photo. It’s the smallest North American dabbling duck.
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.
The AquaTech Rain Shield protects your camera equipment from rain, snow, dust or salt. They come in four different sizes ( i.e. small, medium, large and extra large ). It’s made from three-ply ripstop waterproof breathable fabric for excellent water shedding performance. While most high end cameras and lenses are weather sealed, you need additional protection if you’re going to be taking images in the rain for a prolonged period of time. If you are in a boat they protect your camera equipment from being splashed and ruined by corrosive salt water.
They come with a silicone-sealed window that allows you to see the LCD on the back of your camera and there is also a weatherproof sleeve that allows you access to the controls on your camera. You need to order a AquaTech eyepiece for your specific camera and choose the right size for your lens. I’ve used AquaTech Rains Shields for a couple of years now and I’ve been impressed with their performance in bad weather. They are well designed, functional to use in the field and bombproof if you are shooting images during a deluge.
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.
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.
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.