Now that I am aware of the northern migration of the Cedar Waxwing, I marvel at its arrival in my Serviceberry tree every year in May. In winter, I have seen them on the golf course in Naples, Florida. How incredible that these birds find my little tree on their journey north — just for a few days.
This morning I was sitting on my deck listening to about 8 different bird species sing, while the Merlin ID app on my phone identified each one. When the Cedar Waxwing appeared, I sprung from my chair and got my camera off the dining room table.
This occasion allowed me to practice the bird’s eye focus feature on my Sony a7rV camera, with 400mm lens, handheld.
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This brilliant red bird was busy feeding its chicks while I observed in Tucson, Arizona. I had never seen the Vermilion Flycatcher before in my life, since its habitat is primarily Mexico and reaching over the U.S. border to portions of southern Arizona. The adult male exhibits this brilliant red color on the body, with gray and white wings.
These two Great Blue Heron juveniles have grown tall and are almost ready to fledge. They were watching anxiously for parents to come deliver food (no luck), and the brave one was trying to jump and fly.
Like the Bald Eagle, the Great Blue Heron grows to nearly full size before it can fly and catch its own food. I find this stage fun to observe, photograph and share.
Next month I look forward to a portfolio review with Ron Rosenstock, a very gifted landscape photographer, at the NANPA Summit (North American Nature Photographer’s Association). Doing my prep work, I have been studying his work, admiring many of his black and white images.
With just that ounce of inspiration, I found a recent photograph that I captured in Florida and decided to process it in black and white. My eye was attracted to this Anhinga bird because of its texture and feather pattern. (I also have taken dozens of photos of Anhingas, so they aren’t new to me. I will only take more photos if I think I can create a new look.)
A young child near me asked, “What are they doing?” Without taking my eye away from the camera, or my finger off the shutter button, I replied, “Making new Great Blue Herons.” I cannot not tell you how lucky I felt in that moment, to photograph this very special scene.
This photographer was ready at the right place, the right time feeling very grateful to make my favorite photograph of the season in Southwest Florida. If you are interested in owning a print, please contact Cathy Kelly at email@example.com.
Observing a Great Blue Heron pair in Venice, Florida, I witnessed some special body language. It was an hour before sunset in March when this scene unfolded.
In the next blog post, I will share some rare photographs of the pair mating. I was super excited to be ready to capture this moment with my camera mounted on the tripod with all the right exposure and focus settings, ready to click.
“I’m hungry, Mama!” seems to be the universal cry of the baby. Just look at those big yellow beaks on the young American Egrets in the nest. I just love their scruffy appearance as the new feathers develop. They are neither elegant or silent yet — characteristic of the adults.
These baby egrets have not fledged yet and depend on the parents to deliver food. They seem to be getting restless as they wait for their feathers to develop. It is exciting to witness the dynamics of nesting season in Southwest Florida.
Along with Easter and the arrival of Spring comes the bird nesting season. The Great Egret, also known as the American Egret, grows the most beautiful breeding plumage this time of year, and those long white feathers make a dramatic display.
Follow this blog to see new images of the baby egrets in the nest, coming soon. For information on purchasing prints, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Florida, I watch pelicans and osprey dive for fish, and sandpipers run from the approaching wave on the beach, but I have never witnessed a whole flock of birds jump the waves. That’s why I was intrigued by this sight in Iceland.
First of all, it amazes me that horses, birds, reindeer and seals can withstand the bitter cold and gale force winds of the Iceland winter. I saw all these types of wildlife roaming free and feeding on what Nature provides.
Then, I found myself at the foot of Vestrahorn on a black sand beach at dusk, which is mid-afternoon in January. I was photographing the mountain towering over the beach and reflecting in the wet sad. But a flock of birds floating near the shore caught my eye.
I liked the rosy tones in the sky, the snow in the mountains and the repeating waves approaching the shore. What do you like about this image?
It’s fun to spot the Purple Gallinule tiptoeing through the freshwater stream, pecking around for food. When it steps into the sunlight, its brilliant colors delight the birdwatcher.
The Cornell School of Ornithology describes the Purple Gallinule’s behavior:
Purple Gallinules forage near the water’s edge, where they walk nimbly on muddy margins, or on aquatic vegetation. They hunt a bit like domestic chickens, walking slowly and investigating the vegetation with outstretched neck, or pecking at fruits or tubers. Like most rails, Purple Gallinules swim well, and they sometimes perch high in bushes and trees, where their long toes make them agile climbers.