Owls of Eastern Oregon recently photographed.
More photographs from Costa Rica of Birds,Reptiles, and Mammals. I am trying higher resolution images that might load slower but will see how it works. Also reducing copyright info size for a cleaner image. If you order prints they will be far higher resolution with a lot more detail and range – up to 50-60 mb.
Here are additional photos from the Costa Rica trip spanning from 6 miles s of the Nicaraguan border to the mountainous highlands at 8000 ft of the south.
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
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.
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 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.
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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More images from our Alaska trip with a few landscapes. The landscapes were on the Kenai Peninsula while the Bears were at Lake Clark across the Cooke inlet. We were able to get fairly close to the Bears with an experienced guide, which is essential, not only to find the bears but to be able to read their behavior and know how far to position ourselves safely. The welfare of the bears is the highest priority and our time was limited so as not to alter their behavior or interfere with their daily routines. The fact that we were in a coastal grassland habitat made it easier for us to spot bears at a distance and for them to see us well in advance. The problem is that if you surprise them in a forest on a trail with no visibility then they can get defensive or aggressive, especially with cubs. Also if you are in a group of 3 or more people they seldom attack if you stay close together and use common “bear sense”.
I just spent about 6 days photographing the Peregrine Falcons at Torrey Pines St Park in La Jolla, Ca. The juvenile falcons are about 2 weeks out of their nest on the cliffs and are flying aerial acrobats. Peregrines are the fastest animal or bird on the planet with speeds clocked at over 250 mph in a dive. They prey on smaller birds by literally knocking them out of the sky and then catching them in their talons. Prey is passed to the juveniles in mid-air by the parents and also stolen from siblings in flight. The juveniles will be fed by parents for about a month and then will learn how to catch their own prey and move to their own territory and live independently.