Sunday, November 29, 2015

Pic of the Day

Black-and White Warbler, Mniotilta varia:  Magee Marsh, Ohio
     The Black-and-White is one of my favorite warblers.   These beautiful birds are always on the move, rarely stopping as they move through the forest.  It is often seen hanging upside-down, as shown in this image, searching for insects hidden under bark plates and tree limbs.  So looking forward to returning to Magee Marsh next fall.

Nikon D810, Nikkor 500mm f/4, 1/320 @ f/6.3

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Pic of the Day

American White Pelican, Pelecanus erythrorhynchos:  Viera Wetlands; Viera, Floirda

Nikon D800, Nikkor 500mm f/4, 1/2500 second @ f/6.3

Friday, November 20, 2015

Pic of the Day

Cattle Egret, Bubulcus ibis:
Saint Augustine Alligator Farm; Saint Augustine, Florida
     This beautiful Cattle Egret sports its exquisite breeding plumage as it preforms a nuptial dance to attract a female.
Cattle Egrets are an Old World species that made their way across the Atlantic during the 19th century.  This species was first seen in the Americas on the border of Guiana and Suriname in 1877.  It  arrived in North America in 1941, and in 1953 they were found breeding in Florida.  By 1962 the birds were a breeding species in Canada.  It is now a common bird across North America.  In its breeding plumage, I think it is one of our most beautiful egrets.  Learn more about the Cattle Egret at:

Nikon D7000, Nikkor 500mm f/4, 1/400 second @ f/5

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Pic of the Day

Wilson's Snipe, Callinago delicata:
Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge; Stevensville, Montana

Nikon D7000, Nikkor 500mm f/4, 1/200 second @ f/9

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Pic of the Day

Least Tern, Sternula antillarum nest:  Least Tern Colony; Biloxi, Mississippi
     Like most birds that nest on the beach, the Least Terns nest is a simple depression in the sand, without the eggs you would never know that this depression is a nest at all.  Least Terns lay 1 to 3 eggs, but I have never seen more than 2 eggs of this species in the same nest.  Both sexes incubate, but the female tends to do most of the incubation in the early stages of nesting.  Eggs hatch between 20 to 25 days after they are laid, and the young remain with the parents for about 2 to 3 months.  In the Biloxi colony it is not uncommon for a pair of birds to raise 2 broods.
To learn more about Least Terns check out Audubon's, Guide to North American birds at:

Nikon D800, Nikkor 500mm f/4, 1/2000 second @ f/14

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Pic of the Day

Least Tern, Sternula antillarum:  Tern Colony; Biloxi, Mississippi

Nikon D800, Nikkor 500mm f/4, 1/3200 second @ f/9

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Pic of the Day

Arizona Woodpecker, Picoides arizonae:
Santa Rita Lodge; Madera Canyon, Arizona
     A slow shutter speed was used captures an Arizona Woodpecker in the middle of a strike on a tree trunk.  Why do woodpeckers not get concussions when they strike a tree with a force of almost 1,000 times that of gravity? According to Live Science, 

     “Researchers had previously figured out that thick neck muscles diffuse the blow, and a third inner eyelid prevents the birds' eyeballs from popping out. Now, scientists from Beihang University in Beijing and the Wuhan University of Technology have taken a closer look at the thick bone that cushions a woodpecker's brain. By comparing specimens of great spotted woodpeckers (Dendrocopos major) with the similarly sized Mongolian skylark, the researchers learned that adaptations in the most minute structure of the woodpecker bones give the skull its super strength. 
     Notably, the woodpecker's brain is surrounded by thick, plate like spongy bone. At a microscopic level, woodpeckers have a large number of trabeculae, tiny beamlike projections of bone that form the mineral "mesh" that makes up this spongy bone plate. These trabeculae are also closer together than they are in the skylark skull, suggesting this microstructure acts as armor protecting the brain.”

To read more on this story go to Livescience at:

Nikon D300, Nikkor 500mm f/4, 1/15 second @ f/7.1

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Pic of the Day

PFC Edward L. Harrison
(February 12, 1920 - August 13, 2007)

     I’m posting this photo in honor of my dad, Edward L. Harrison  (1920-2007) for Veteran’s Day.  He landed on Omaha Beach in June, 1944 and fought his way across Europe, within 32 miles of Berlin as a U.S. Army Infantryman.   He finally came home in September 1945.   I could have chosen a photo of him in his dress uniform, but this image has always lingered in my mind when I think of a veteran. 
     As kids my sister and I loved looking at his old army photos with him.  When he got to this one he would always say, “This was taken after my first 21 days of combat.”  This image always seized me.   Though I was a kid, I could not get over the look in his eyes.   Even as I a child I could see the haunting toll of war in his eyes.  

The image was shot in France.  He was 24 years old, but he looks so much older to me, in this photo.  

My thanks to my dad, and all veterans who have served.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Pic of the Day

Swamp Sparrow, Melospiza georgiana:  Magee Marsh, Ohio

Nikon D800, Nikkor 500mm f/4, 1/100 second @ f/10

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Pic of the Day

Black-throated Sparrow, Amphispiza bilineata:  Texas Canyon, Arizona

Nikon D7000, Nikkor 500mm f/4, 1/640 second @ f/8

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Pic of the Day

Kirtland's Warbler, Setophaga Kirtlandii:  Grayling, Michigan
     Taken on a beautiful spring morning a couple of years ago near Grayling, Michigan on the Kirtland's breeding grounds.  This little guy was singing his heart out defending his territory.  I photographed this bird and its mate on a Kirtland's Warbler tour out of Grayling.  I have made a number to trips to photograph this endangered species over the years, but the last trip I made a couple of years ago was the absolute best, as this bird came quite close.  I'm looking forward to making another trip this coming spring.  
(Notice, winter has not yet arrived and I'm already looking forward to spring.)

Nikon D7000, Nikkor 500mm f/4, 1/1600 second @ f/5

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Pic of the Day

 Acorn Woodpecker, Melanerpes formicivorus:  Maderia Canyon, Arizona

Nikon D300, Nikkor 500mm f/4, 1/25 second @ f6.3

Friday, October 30, 2015

Pic of the Day

Ring-necked Ducks, Aythya Collaris; Malel & Female:  Viera Wetlands; Viera, Florida

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Pic of the Day

Belted Kingfisher, Megaceryle alcyon:  Midway across the Tamiami Trail, Florida

Nikon D800, Nikkor 500mm f/4, 1/1250 second @ f/5.6

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Pic of the Day

Black Skimmer, Rynchops niger: Indian Beach, Florida
    I am still going through images I shot in July, while visiting the Black Skimmer colony at Indian Beach.  I found this one to be quite humorous.  I'm not sure why the skimmer claps its bill with its right foot, but it does make for an interesting image.  Maybe the skimmer was cleaning something off the lower mandible, or maybe it was just clumsy and tripping over its foot.

Nikon D800, Nikkor 500mm f/4, 1/2500 second @ f/6.3

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Pic of the Day

American Oystercatcher, Haematopus palliatus:  Fort Desoto State Park, Florida

Nikon D800, Nikkor 500mm f/4, 1/3200 @ f/7.1

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Pic of the Day

Heeriman's Gull, Larus heemanni; La Jolla, California

Nikon D800, Nikkor 500mm f/4, 1/6400 @ f/7.1

Friday, September 25, 2015

Pic of the Day

Ridgeway's Rail, Railus obsoletus: Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, California

Nikon D800, Nikkor 500mm f/4, 1/80 second @ f/8