Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Pic of the Day

Willet, Tringa semipalmata: Indian Shores Beach, Florida

Black Skimmer, Rynchops niger: Indian Shores Beach, Florida

Top:  Nikon D800, Nikkor 500mm f/4, 1/3200 second @ f/9
Bottom: Nikon D800, Nikkor 500mm f/4, 1/3200 second @ f/10

Monday, August 24, 2015

Least Tern, Sternula antillarum:  Biloxi, Mississippi

     I am still processing images shot this past June at the Least Tern colony at Biloxi, Mississippi.  This was taken as the tern flew-in to give me a coat of white wash.  The tern was successful.  Fortunately I had my hat and it took the brunt of the hit.

Nikon D800, Nikkor 300mm f/2.8, 1/3200 second @ f9

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Pic of the Day

Little Blue Heron, Egretta caerulea (immature): Viera Wetlands; Viera, Florida
     When Little Blue Herons leave the nest they have white, feathers, but near the end of summer they begin their first molt from immature (white) plumage to adult (blue) plumage.  When the birds are in the midst of the molt they have both white and blue feathers, better known as calico plumage.  
     I have seen many calico little blues, but this is the first opportunity I have had to get a close-up photo.  I admit, it is not a great shot, busy background and an uninteresting pose. But, the plumage is interesting and thought that those of you who have never seen a calico might enjoy seeing the image.

Nikon D800, Nikkor 500mm f/4, 1/2500 second @ f/8

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Pic of the Day

Great Egret, Ardea alba:  Saint Augustine Alligator Farm; Saint Augustine, Florida

Nikon D800, Nikkor 500mm f/4, 1/6400 @ f/6.3

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Pic of the Day

Willet, Tringa semipalmata:  Indian Shores Beach, Florida
      Another Willet from my shoot on Indian Shores Beach back in early July.  This is one of two Willets that were fighting on the beach.  This Willet was chasing another, while verbally scolding it adversary.  Note the hinged tongue, it has backward-pointing papillae that ensures the food only goes in one direction.

  source:http://bushveldtrainingadventures.co.za/birds-feeding

Nikon D800, Nikkor 500mm f/4, 1/2000 second @ f/8

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Pic of the Day

Green Heron, Butorides Virescens (immature):  Viera Wetlands; Viera, Florida
     Another treat from the Viera Wetlands this past July was this Green Heron feeding among the lily pads.  This young bird should do quite well, for I saw it plucking dozens of minnows from among the lily pads in about thirty minutes.  Its raised crest is due to  another juvenile Green Heron feeding in the same patch of lily pads.  It did not like the competition.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Pic of the Day

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, Dendrocygna autumnalis: 
Viera Wetlands; Viera, Florida
    I have seen Black-bellied Whistling Ducks numerous times in the past, but never had a good opportunity to get a decent photo.  This past July, I was driving through the Viera Wetlands when I found this pair perched atop a palm snag.   I was very excited to see the birds and very excited when they allowed me to park my van about 25 feet away without flying away.  I used the van as a blind to get these close-up images.

Nikon D800, Nikkor 500mm f/4, 1/1000 @ f/11

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Pic of the Day

Red-headed Woodpecker, Melanerpes erythrocephalus:
Lake Guntersville Recreational Area, North side

Another shot of the red-head from Guntersville Dam Recreational Area.

Nikon D800, Nikkor 500mm f/4, 1/400 second @ f8

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Pic of the Day

Red-headed Woodpecker, Melanerpes erythrocephalus:
Lake Guntersville Recreational Area - North near New Hope, Alabama

Nikon D800, Nikkor 500mm f/4, 1/400 second @ f/8

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Pic of the Day

Florida Sandhill Crane, Grus canadensis pratensis:
Viera Wetlands (Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands); Viera, Florida

Nikon D800, Nikkor 500mm f/4, 1/1000 second @ f/8

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Pic of the Day

Cattle Egrets, Bubulcus ibis:  Viera Wetlands; Viera, Florida

Nikon D800, Nikkor 500mm f/4, 1/5000 second @ f/9

Pic of the Day

Tricolored Heron, Egretta tricolor (immature):  Viera Wetlands: Viera, Florida

Nikon D800, Nikkor 500mm f4, 1/3200 second @ f8

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Pic of the Day


Florida Sandhill Crane, Grus canadensis pratensis:
Viera Wetlands; near Viera, Florida

Nikon D800, Nikkor 500mm f4, 1/1000 second @ f8

Friday, July 31, 2015

Pic of the Day

Rain showers over Bear River National Wildlife Refuge near Brigham, Utah
Nikon D800, Nikkor 35mm f2, 1/320 @ f11

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Pic of the Day

Willet, Tringa semipalmata:  Indian Shores Beach, Florida
     The Willets feeding on Indian Shores Beach a few weeks ago put on a wonderful show as they ran back and forth along the tide line.  With each pass in front of my camera they seemed to strike perfect poses with every frame I shot.  The low, bird's eye view provided a natural viewpoint, and the shallow depth-of-field isolated the Willet from its background, placing the emphasis solely on the bird.  I especially like the toes on the right leg as they stretch backwards providing a sense of movement and direction.

     The birds had no fear and seemed quite at ease in my presence as they walked within a few feet of me at times.  Often I had to stop shooting because the birds were too close. During those times I just enjoyed the birds, watching their movements, behavior and elegance.

Nikon D800, Nikkor 500mm f4, 1/1000 second @ f8

Recently Published Work

My Birding Escapes column with Living Bird Magazine; Spring 2015 Issue.
     I am still trying to catch-up on posting my published work for this year.  This is my Birding Escapes column for Living Bird Magazine, the flagship publication of the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology.  You can follow this link: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/LivingBirdMagazineand find other articles in Living Bird Magazine as well as information on subscribing.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Pic of the Day

Black Skimmer, Rynchops niger (Juvenile):  Indian Shores Beach, Florida

Black Skimmer, Rynchops niger:
Juvenile Black Skimmer runs through the receding tide practicing its skimming techniques.

Black Skimmer, Rynchops niger:
Juvenile Black Skimmer running along the beach practicing its skimming techniques.    

   By the time I arrived at the Indian Shores Beach skimmer colony, many of the skimmer chicks had already fledged and were spending their time on the waters edge.  Although most of the young skimmers were still being fed by their parents, they were using their time practicing skimming techniques.
     I noticed that the immature birds would run along the sandy beach, and along the edge of the water with their heads held low with their lower mandible just above the sand or in the water.  After some practice, I saw a juvenile take flight and try skimming for short distances above the water.  I don't know how long it takes a young bird to learn to skim, but it looks like they are quick studies.