April is the month for baby birds to hatch, and Southwest Florida is now alive with chirping sounds. Of course, we humans need to keep our distance and give plenty of space and security to all the birds in their nests. Let me assure you that I have a long telephoto lens, and I also crop my files to bring you a close up, while maintaining a respectful distance.
This stately Great Blue Heron stands astride an adorable hatchling, just a few inches tall, yet very alert and watching me. The sight of this nest with mother and chick was a very special first for me. I hope the photo brings you a sense of wonder and delight.
Prints are available; please contact email@example.com for details. More nesting photos to come!
Continuing with our family theme during this pandemic as we gather only in family groups, I have some recent wildlife photographs to share with you from Wyoming. My friends and I spotted a mother with her yearling as well as male Big Horned Sheep nearby. The location was the Elk Refuge in Grand Teton National Park in Jackson Hole, a wonderful place to visit in any season.
Best wishes for continued good health to all as we stay home and minimize the spread of the Coronavirus.
As our boat passed this Osprey family on their nest Sunday evening, I thought about our human families adjusting our lifestyles to “shelter in place,” and slow the spread of the deadly Coronavirus.
You have to admire the parental behavior of these beautiful Osprey. One parent will hunt for fish and bring it back to the nest to feed the family, and then tear apart the prey and feed the baby. Both parents keep a close eye out for any perceived threats coming close, such as bald eagles or humans. You can see the yellow eyes of mother Osprey on the right, hoping we will keep our distance. We were farther from the nest than it appears, as I made this photo with a 400mm Sony lens.
Who can resist the big amber eyes of the baby Osprey looking at the camera with naive curiosity. Babies of every species are precious.
While you curb your outside activities and exposure to other humans this month, please join our community following this blog. We love photography, nature, wildlife and travel and all four put together. I will keep posting to keep us connected. Feel free to comment and recommend this blog to your friends.
On January 9, 2018 the first of three anhinga chicks emerged from their eggs at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. The Sanctuary is not a zoo where humans take care of the animals. It’s a boardwalk through a cypress swamp teeming with birds and alligators, ferns and cypress, frogs and snakes — where nature lovers can walk and watch during the day. I visited the site on February 11, 2018 to discover the one month old anhinga chicks so grown up!
The Anhinga is frequently seen drying out its feathers like this in the sun after swimming underwater to hunt for fish. Because of its long neck, it is often called the snake bird. The male birds are all black with some white streaks, while the females have a brown neck and belly and all black feathers. Anhingas are very common in Southwest Florida, and they are not generally afraid of people. You can walk right past one without scaring it away. Having a good look at the young, however, is pretty special.
Kona, the Mama dolphin, led her four-day old baby around by leaning her dorsal fin in baby’s direction. After a one-year gestation period, this baby is now nursing. We observed this special pair at the Hilton Waikoloa in Hawaii.
But I was also fortunate to swim with the wild spinner dolphins yesterday, watching them speed past in large pods, blush their white bellies pink with excitement and once even swim belly to belly. I’m sorry that I don’t have an underwater camera to have captured those moments.
I also counted a variety of different species of tropical fish feeding in a coral reef near the Captain Cook monument — Kealakekua Bay. My favorites were the brilliant parrot fish, the achilles tang and some cool patterned butterfly fishes. I hope that next time I will be able to photograph them!
Father’s Day this year is extra special for my son-in-law who became a Daddy last week. This portrait shows him gently cradling his daughter a few hours after her birth. From our family to yours: Love your Dad. Thank him for a lifetime of love and support.
Sometimes you have to drop all your routine activities and focus on family. Last week, when my daughter Caitlin went into labor to deliver her first baby was one of the those times. I packed my car the next morning and drove 8 hours from Pittsburgh to New York City, hoping to see my first grandchild on the day she was born. While I inched along in traffic approaching the Lincoln Tunnel, Caitlin called my cell phone. “We have a new Kelly girl,” she announced with equal parts pride and joy. (Caitlin and her two sisters were affectionately known as the Kelly girls.)
It was so exciting to hold my first grandchild just a few hours after she came into the world. God gave us all a beautiful gift, and our hearts are filled with love.