Sandhill Cranes- Bosque del Apache

Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Cranes takeoff

Sandhill Cranes takeoff

Sandhill Cranes takeoff

Sandhill Cranes takeoff

Cranes at sunset

Cranes at sunset

Snow Geese and Cranes takeoff

Snow Geese and Cranes takeoff

Snow Goose

Snow Goose

Snow Goose

Snow Goose

Gambel's Quail

Gambel’s Quail

We went to Bosque del Apache south of Albuquerque,NM just after Thanksgiving to photograph the thousands of Sandhill Cranes and Snow Geese that winter at several wildlife refuges there. There are approx 15,000 cranes and 25,000 snow geese plus a few Bald Eagles, hawks, owls, coyotes, and other wildlife. The birds are there from Nov into Feb and then migrate to nesting grounds in Colorado, Nebraska,and Wyoming. The birds roost in shallow ponds overnight and fly out to feed in corn fields on the preserve and nearby. In late afternoon they return to their protective water so they can be photographed taking off in the morning at sunrise or before and landing before sunset. The visitors center has bird feeders for other birds such as Gambel’s Quail, Pyrrhuloxia, Spotted Towhee, and others.

The Department of the Interior is recommending cutting in half several important National Monuments in Southern Utah including Bears Ears, and Grand Staircase-Escalante to allow “development”, which means strip coal mining, and oil and gas drilling. Bears Ears contains precious Native American artifacts, petroglyphs, dwellings, and archeological sites which could be destroyed. Also the Republican Tax bill includes drilling in the Arctic Wildlife Preserve which is critical habitat for millions of birds, Polar Bears, and other wildlife.

CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVES IN CONGRESS TODAY TO STOP THIS ASSAULT !!

For more info contact the Sierra Club or Nature Conservancy in my Blog Roll links

Hawks and Merlin at San Jacinto

I photographed at San Jacinto Wildlife area yesterday and was able to get a juvenile Red-shouldered hawk and a Merlin in flight. There also was the first Golden Eagle that I have seen this year. Usually they don’t arrive until late Nov or Dec. It flew off before I was able to get close enough for a decent shot.

Merlin on branch

Merlin on branch

Merlin in flight

Merlin in flight

Merlin in fog

Merlin in fog

Merlin Takeoff

Merlin Takeoff

Red-shouldered Hawk, Juvenile

Red-shouldered Hawk, Juvenile

Red-shouldered Hawk, Juvenile

Red-shouldered Hawk, Juvenile

Red-shouldered Hawk, Juvenile

Red-shouldered Hawk, Juvenile

Red-shouldered Hawk, Juvenile

Red-shouldered Hawk, Juvenile

Red-shouldered hawk, juvenile

Red-shouldered hawk, juvenile

Red-shouldered hawk, juvenile

Red-shouldered hawk, juvenile

Red-shouldered Hawk, juve

Red-shouldered Hawk, juve

Teton National Park

Bull Moose

Bull Moose

Bull Moose with Cow

Bull Moose with Cow

Moose Calves

Moose Calves

Aspens in Fall Tetons

Aspens in Fall Tetons

Black Bear Female

Black Bear Female

Dusky Grouse

Dusky Grouse

Bull Elk

Bull Elk

Leigh Lake and Mt Moran

Leigh Lake and Mt Moran

Log Cabin Gros Vente Rd

Log Cabin Gros Vente Rd

Schwabacher's Landing

Schwabacher’s Landing Sunrise

Mule Deer

Mule Deer

We photographed around Jackson Hole, Wyoming in Teton National Park the last week in Sept. It rained, snowed, was partly cloudy, and warmed up to 60 one day but that didn’t stop us. Temps ranged from 25 to 60 over a week. The Moose and Bears are out rain or shine but of course the sunrises and sunsets aren’t too good when it is totally overcast. Some of the best landscapes came right after the rain or snow cleared, which it did. I used my new Canon 5d mark IV with a 17-40mm wide angle lens for landscapes and a Canon 1dxII for wildlife with a 300 mm f2.8 and 1.4 extender.

Allen’s Hummingbirds

I photographed Allen’s Hummingbirds in my front yard. We have them year round, but there is an increase in numbers around August with some migrating south for the winter. They are extremely territorial and spend most of their time chasing away other hummingbirds. It takes standing approx 12 feet away from the flowers and waiting for sometimes hours to catch them feeding. If you try to approach closer they fly away. I was using a Canon 1dx II with a 300 mm f2.8 lens and 1.4 extender usually 1/2000 sec to freeze the wings.

Allens Hummingbird Male

Allens Hummingbird Male

Allens Hummingbird Male

Allens Hummingbird Male

Allens Hummingbird Male

Allens Hummingbird Male

Allens Hummingbird Male

Allens Hummingbird Male

Western Bluebird Feeding Young

Feeding baby Bluebird

Feeding baby Bluebird

Feeding baby Bluebird

Feeding baby Bluebird

W Bluebird feeding lizard to young

W Bluebird feeding lizard to young

W Bluebirds with young

W Bluebirds with young

W Bluebirds with young

W Bluebirds with young

Feeding hungry chick

Feeding hungry chick

Our backyard Western Bluebirds have produced their second batch of young this year- April and now July with 3 young each time. They just fledged last night all at once and are nowhere to be seen today. Usually the parents take them away from nest and often return to the area a couple of weeks later. We have 2 bird baths that they frequent so we see the adults and last years young often.

Great Blue Herons

Great Blue Heron Fishing

Great Blue Heron Fishing


Great Blue Heron Landing

Great Blue Heron Landing


Heron Fishing

Heron Fishing


Heron Catching Fish

Heron Catching Fish


Heron Catching Fish

Heron Catching Fish


Heron Catching Fish

Heron Catching Fish

Great Blue Herons arriving and catching fish at Seabeck, Wa on the Hood Canal west of Bremerton, Wa. This is the same location for the Bald Eagles, both arriving at the same time for the abundance of the sculpin fish at low tide. The morning light was the best at around 8-9 am depending on tides. Once the Herons arrive signaling the low tide and availability of fish, the Bald Eagles follow.

Bald Eagles at Seabeck, Wa

Eagles catching fish

Eagles catching fish

Bald Eagle Fishing

Bald Eagle Fishing

Eagle on Branch

Eagle on Branch

Eagle takeoff

Eagle takeoff

Eagles fishing crows

Eagles fishing and crows

transfer talons to beak

transfer fish talons to beak

Eagle transfer fish to beak

Eagle transfer fish to beak

I photographed at Seabeck, Wa June 21 to 24th before and after low minus tides the gathering of Bald Eagles. They congregate only when the sculpin fish are trapped in the low tides in the oyster beds. The Great Blue Herons also arrive to catch fish and the Eagles try to steal from them. I shot all of these with a Canon 1DX II and a 300 mm f2.8 Canon II lens with a 1.4 extender ( total of 420 mm) although a slightly longer lens would be helpful at times. The 1.4 extender combination seems to focus faster and is sharper than the 2x extender. This year there were fewer birds with around 10-15 birds in a small area versus as many as 50-60 last year. In the next Blog I will include some of the Great Blue Heron images and also Mt Rainier Nat Park landscapes.

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Peregrine Falcons

The Peregrine Falcons at Torrey Pines, San Diego have just fledged 4 chicks and are flying. The young falcons are practicing their aerial skills at transferring food in mid-air and catching prey on the wing at speeds over 200 miles per hour! Peregrines are literally the fasted bird or animal on earth at approx 260 mph in a dive. The young only stay around for about a month after fledging and learn to find prey on their own. They then find their own territories away from their parents.

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Larry

3 peregrines on branch

3 peregrines on branch


juvenile peregrines

juvenile peregrines


Peregrines aerial

Peregrines aerial


peregrines on branch

peregrines on branch

Peregrine Takeoff

Peregrine Takeoff

Peregrine young flying

Peregrine young flying


Peregrine Takeoff

Peregrine Takeoff


peregrine Falcon young

peregrine Falcon young


Peregrine Landing

Peregrine Landing


Peregrine in Flight

Peregrine in Flight


Peregrine with plane

Peregrine with plane in background(not photoshop)


Peregrine full tail feathers

Peregrine full tail feathers


Peregrine landing on yucca

Peregrine landing on yucca

Peregrines at Coast

Peregrines at Coast

Peregrines in flight

Peregrines in flight

Peregrine chicks

Peregrine chicks

Puffins and Swans

Puffin with flowers

Puffin with flowers

Puffins mating

Puffins mating

Puffin at burrow

Puffin at burrow

Puffin Landing

Puffin Landing

Puffin Landing

Puffin Landing

Puffins on cliff

Puffins on cliff

Puffins on cliff

Puffins on cliff

Swans and cygnets

Swans and cygnets

We traveled to England to the Farne Islands off the NE coast of England about 1 1/2 hrs from Edinburgh, Scotland to photograph Puffins. This is one of the few places that you can actually get fairly close to nesting Puffins on an island, as the National Trust maintains and protects the birds. You take one of several boats from Seahouses, England to see the birds. A 300 to 400 mm lens is ideal as they are fairly close. The chicks are still in the burrows and when they fledge at night in late June they don’t return until mature and stay at sea. The Swans were in Edinburgh at the Leith harbor. The puffins are the Atlantic Puffins and are very comical. I managed to get them in flight, mating, building nests, waddling around, and landing. The weather was not ideal as it poured rain for nearly an hour with high winds coming off the cliffs and horizantal rain. Fortunately I had a rain cover on my camera and lens- a necessity. It did calm down to only a drizzle later and was easier to shoot. Mostly I used a 300 mm f 2.8 Canon lens with Canon 1`dx mark ii body with a 1.4 extender on about 1/2 the shots. If you go in mid or late June you can get the birds returning to their nest with the small eels that they feed on but I did not observe that behavior.

 

 

 

 

 

Ecuador Bird Photos

We photographed Birds in the Cloud Forests and Subtropical areas in Ecuador including the Tandayapa Valley, Guango,  Rancho Suamox, Milpe, and San Tideo, Papallacta Pass, and Antisana. Elevations ranged from 1200 ft to 14,000 ft. The lodges we stayed at  were at around 8,000 ft and 6500 ft. The trip was with Tropical Birding and they did an excellent job of taking us to various habitats and getting us close to the birds. Our guide was Pablo Cervantes who is an excellent photographer and helped to find the target birds. I used my 300 mm f 2.8 lens with and without a 1.4 extender or 2 x extender. As I process more of my images I will post more over the next few weeks.

 

 

 

 

Booted Racket-tail Hummingbird

Booted Racket-tail Hummingbird

Buff-tailed Coronet

Buff-tailed Coronet

carunculated Cara Cara

carunculated Cara Cara

crimson rumped toucanet

crimson rumped toucanet

 

Long-tailed Sylph

Long-tailed Sylph

Rufous Motmot

Rufous Motmot

Toucan Barbet

Toucan Barbet

Giant Antpitta

Giant Antpitta

Sword-billed hummingbird

Sword-billed hummingbird

Black-chinned Mt. Tanager

Black-chinned Mt. Tanager

Black-cheeked woodpecker

Black-cheeked woodpecker

Golden Olive Woodpecker

Golden Olive Woodpecker

Cock of the rock

Cock of the rock

Rufous-tailed Hummingbird

Rufous-tailed Hummingbird

Golden-headed Quetzal

Golden-headed Quetzal

Larry Moskovitz 14,000 ft in Andes

Larry Moskovitz 14,000 ft in Andes

Booted Racket-tails fight

Booted Racket-tails fight