Category Archives: Birds

Nesting Material

The Ospreys ( Pandion haliaetus ) have migrated back to British Columbia. One of the first things they do after arriving is clean up their nest. With generations adding to the nest year after year, it becomes bigger. I was fortunate to photograph the male Osprey collecting nesting material. It didn’t land on the lakeshore, it would just swoop down and collect sticks feet first. Click on the photo to see a larger version.

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American Kestrel

I was on my way to see if the Ospreys had returned to their nest for another season of breeding, when I spotted two American Kestrels ( Falco sparverius ) perched on a wire. They are North America’s smallest falcon and eat mostly insects and other invertebrates, as well as small rodents and birds. The photo below is a female American Kestrel and it was scanning for prey. I never did see the Ospreys, but I enjoyed watching this pair of American Kestrels hunting. Their flight is very light and buoyant. Click on the photo to see a larger version.

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Gentle Honking

The Trumpeter Swans ( Cygnus buccinator ) had spent the night along this wooded river. I arrived early and photographed them before the sun came up. I can’t decide which image I like best. The first one has the combination of mist and blue light which created a moody photo. The second image was taken just as the sun started to rise and the sidelight lit the trees along the riverbank. Click on either image to see larger and sharper versions.

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Crimson Caps

A pair of Sandhill Cranes ( Grus canadensis ) glided into the marsh with their loud, rolling, and trumpeting cries. I watched them foraging and probing for invertebrates. The winter sun created this beautiful backlight which lit their crimson caps and orange eyes. Click on the photos to see larger and sharper versions.

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The Fish Hawk

The Osprey ( Pandion haliaetus ) have returned for another summer season. They’ve built their huge nest of sticks on an artificial platform. These birds are one of my favourite raptors to photograph. They’re unusual among hawks because they possess a reversible outer toe that allows them to grasp with two toes in front and two behind. This helps them to grip slippery fish. Click on either of the photos below to see a larger and sharper version.

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Barred Owl

On Friday I went for a bike ride in the cool of the evening. I saw a large bird sitting on a fencepost and it flew right in front of me before landing on the branch of a tree. I was amazed to see it was a Barred Owl (Strix varia) and was disappointed that I didn’t have my camera and telephoto lens with me. For the next few days I returned to the same location at dawn and dusk and was thrilled to get some images of this nocturnal predator. The Barred Owl has a distinct hooting call which sounds like “Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you-all?”. Click on any one of the three images below to see sharper and larger versions.

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Sandhill Crane

Known for their dancing skills. Sandhill Cranes ( Antigone canadensis ) stretch their wings, pump their heads, bow, and leap into the air in a graceful and energetic dance. Their call is a loud, rolling, trumpeting sound. I was fortunate to watch a family of three Sandhill Cranes looking for larval insects by probing the grass with their long bills. Click on the photo to see a larger version of the image.

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Happy New Year

Embrace the New Year with an open heart and a fierce spirit. Cheers to new horizons. Click on a photo to see a larger version.

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Red-tailed Hawk

This is probably the most common hawk in North America. The Red-tailed hawk ( Buteo jamaicensis ) eats small animals like rabbits, squirrels, and voles. You’ll most likely see Red-tailed Hawks soaring in wide circles high over a field. When I was taking this photo the sun was low on the horizon and the sunlight was coming from directly behind me, which beautifully lit this bird of prey. You can see the catchlight or specular highlight in its eye. Click on either one of the images to see a larger size.

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Raw and Unfiltered

I just returned from a twelve day trip to northern Vancouver Island. The nickname ‘Fogust’ is appropriate because there was a lot of fog each morning, which would usually burn off by the middle of the day. There was an abundance of wildlife and I spent time observing and photographing Killer Whales, Humpback Whales, a Minke Whale, Dall’s Porpoises, Pacific White-sided Dolphins, Steller Sea Lions, Harbour Seals, Sea Otters, Bald Eagles, Peregrine Falcons, Pelagic Cormorants, Black Turnstones, Red-necked Phalaropes, Bonaparte’s Gulls, Marbled Murrelets, Pigeon Guillemots, Black Oystercatchers, Common Murres, Rhinoceros Auklets, Surf Scoters, Lion’s Mane Jellyfish, and of course, the bird in the picture below, which is a male Belted Kingfisher ( click on the image to see a larger version ). This area is the traditional lands of the Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw, Kwakiutl, and Tlatlasikwala First Nations. To see some of my photos from my trip you can click on the ‘News‘ tab or the ‘Galleries’ tab and then the gallery titled ‘The Great Bear Sea‘.

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