Archive for the ‘bird’ Tag

The Brood   7 comments


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They don’t start out life all colored in.

A short while ago, I published an image of a spectacular male Wood Duck keeping a watchful eye on his brood. There was good reason to be watchful: There were so many of them!

The female Wood Duck and her brood had taken a break from swimming the river, jumping up in a lineup along a fallen tree. There was a bit of a tussle as they scrambled up among the turtles that had been sunning there, but eventually everybody seemed to fit in and settle down.

If you look carefully toward the right side, you can see a bit of yet another young duckling. There may have been a couple of others there… I lost count after a while.

Who   8 comments


Who
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A neighbor in our community let us know that he had a Great Horned Owl nesting in one of his pine trees. Since he knew the mother’s behavior, it seemed like an excellent opportunity to photograph this rather rare bird.

In order not to startle her out of the nest, we had to climb a ladder along the side of the house, up to the roof, and carefully peer over the peak. Setting up a tripod there was rather challenging. I looked through the lens at 300mm, and… no bird.

My neighbor told me that she never spends more than about 5 minutes out of the nest, so I waited. Sure enough, she came back to the area in a short while. As she flew from tree to tree, she was constantly badgered by other birds, with jays, crows, and mockingbirds all making a racket.

She eventually flew into the nest, settled down, and proceeded to have a staring contest with the human on the roof. (She won handily.)

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Cormorants   2 comments


Cormorants
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As I mentioned in my previous post Full Retreat!, not all of our recent trip was a downer. On the one day that we did get to paddle the kayaks, we took a trip up the Silver River to the headwaters of Silver Spring.

Now, Silver Spring is an interesting place. It was the location for the “Tarzan” movies featuring Johnny Weissmuller. “The Creature from the Black Lagoon” was filmed there. The first glass-bottom boats plied the river in the 1870s. “Sea Hunt” with Lloyd Nelson was filmed there. Silver Springs was, and still is, the site of various tourist attractions both active and defunct.

But, we were there to paddle the river. Because Silver River is restricted to paddle boats and idle-speed-only motors, it seems that the wildlife has become accustomed to the presence of humans. This allowed us to get very close to the animals — while still maintaining a respectful distance, of course.

Here, a cormorant dries his wings after diving for sushi lunch. Getting this close let us notice, for the first time, how their feet wrap around and grip the perch. We could see individual patterns of feathers and coloration, each bird a bit different.

This proved to be the case with other wildlife as well, including wild boar, great herons, ibis, and monkeys.

Yes… monkeys.

Here, Susan is doing her impression of a cormorant…

Susan's Cormorant Impression

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BUGS!   2 comments


Bugs!

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Is there an entomologist in the house? I’d love to know what he’s feeding.

Continuing on the theme from “A Mother’s Kiss”, here’s the papa House Sparrow with his offering for the babies. When the kids got to be this size, the male and female parents were constantly flying to and from the house in an effort to keep the babies satisfied.

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Busted! My Position Has Been Compromised   4 comments


Busted! My Position Has Been Compromised

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While the mother and father House Sparrows were busy bringing food (bugs, actually) to the new babies, I was able to set the camera on a tripod behind a few fava bean plants and fire frames using a remote trigger.

Either the noise of the lens closing, or the blink of the lens, must have startled the mother a bit.

Fortunately, she went about her business of conducting nearly constant feeding trips. Clearly, the largest baby found a good way to snag most of the bugs: Block the hole.

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REALLY Angry Bird   5 comments


Really Angry Bird

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He probably has every right to be angry, what with a camera pointed at his bath.

Mockingbirds are particularly cantankerous. They’ll squawk, sing countless songs, and chase interloping birds out of their territory. And around here, they’re everywhere.

This image was captured by setting the Nikon D7000 behind some cover foliage, then using a wireless remote trigger to take the shot. One thing we have over the birds is technology.

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A Mother’s Kiss   8 comments


A Mother's Kiss

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Love, for some, is another mouthful of juicy bugs.

We’ve set up a couple of birdhouses out in the garden. This one was made by Jeff Garvey, who creates beautiful birdhouses made entirely from reclaimed pieces of abandoned barns and houses. (Be sure to check out his Facebook page Recycling is for the Birds.)

Mom and Dad have been working tirelessly to bring the young ones all the food they need. One day, as Mom stopped at the birdbath nearby, she looked up as though to say, “I’m just so tired,” and then flew off in search of more food.

The day after this image was taken, the little ones left the nest. They’re still hanging around the homestead, getting the lay of the land and more bug chow from the parents.

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