I watched this male Osprey ( Pandion haliaetus ) tearing apart a fish with its hooked bill. Later on I saw it hovering briefly over a marsh before diving feet first to catch a fish. An Osprey will live for about 15 to 20 years. To see a larger version of this image, just click on the photo.
The Ospreys ( Pandion haliaetus ) have returned for another season of nesting. This nesting pair have built their nest on a manmade structure. They are beautiful birds of prey and live fish account for about 99% of their diet. As if they don’t have enough to deal with, this nesting pair has to fend off attacks from seagulls. I hope they are successful in raising their chicks. Click on any one of the photos to see a larger version and then use the left and right keys on your keyboard to move through the gallery.
I almost missed seeing this male Rufous Hummingbird ( Selasphorus rufus ) perched on the end of a branch because it was so tiny. You can only see its iridescent-red gorget ( throat ) if your looking at just the right angle. They are very territorial and will chase away other hummingbirds, even the larger species. When they migrate each year they make a clockwise circuit of western North America. They move up the Pacific coast to British Columbia and Alaska in April. Then they travel down the Rocky mountains in July and continue their migration south to Mexico. Click on a photo to see a larger version.
Ospreys ( Pandion haliaetus ) will soon be migrating back to Canada. They are the only North American raptor that has a diet almost exclusively of live fish. Ospreys makes aerial dives into the water to catch fish. I took this photo last May and I’m looking forward to seeing them again soon. Click on the photo to see a larger version.
Trumpeter Swans ( Cygnus buccinator ) spend the winter on ice-free coastal and inland waters. The weather we are experiencing is an arctic airflow and the temperatures are unusually cold. When I was photographing these Trumpeter Swans the wind chill made the temperature about twenty degrees below zero ( Celsius ). The slough where they usually forage for food is frozen, so they are unable to eat aquatic vegetation. I hope the weather becomes milder, the ice breaks up, and they are able to find something to eat. Click on any one of the photos to see a larger version and then use your left and right keys to scroll through the gallery.
This female Belted Kingfisher ( Megaceryle alcyon ) was perched along a river. They are very skittish and usually fly away when you approach them. The Belted Kingfisher is one of the few bird species where the female is more colourful than the male. The female has a broad rusty band on its belly. You can find Belted Kingfishers flying quickly along streams, rivers, lakes and estuaries feeding on small fish. They have very loud rattling calls and I often hear them first, before visually spotting them.
It was a beautiful Spring day and I spent some time taking images of Bald Eagles ( Haliaeetus leucocephalus ) chasing one another. They were flying fast and low through the trees. I was tracking this Bald Eagle when it flew behind some trees. I like this image because it looks like a composite image or a dream. I was lucky the camera’s autofocus remained on the Bald Eagle and wasn’t confused by the branches and leaves. Some photographer’s might delete this image, but I like it.
We received some snow last night and I decided this morning to get outside with my camera. The wind was howling, it was cold and the snow was blowing horizontally, but walking in a winter storm was a refreshing change of pace. I didn’t see any other people and the birds were more relaxed with my presence. I came across this Bald Eagle ( Haliaeetus leucocephalus ) perched on a branch and I could see it was using its nicitating membrane to protect its eye from the snow and wind. The nicitating membrane is like a third or inner eyelid that sweeps across the eye from side to side. It’s either translucent or semi-transparent while it covers the eye. It reminds me of someone wearing goggles while skiing in a snowstorm.
A medium-sized bird that is found on any open water from ponds to ocean, the Double-crested Cormorant ( Phalacrocorax auritus ) lives on the west coast year round. They lack waterproof feathers, so I’ll often seem them perched in the sun and using the technique of ‘wing-spreading’ to dry their feathers after swimming. The double crest is only visible on adults during the breeding season ( March to May ). They have orange-yellow skin on their face and throat and striking aquamarine eyes that sparkle like jewels.
It was raining heavily when I came across this male Hooded Merganser ( Lophodytes cucullatus ). This is a small duck with a slender bill and a hood ( crest ) that can be raised or lowered, which changes the shape of the head and the white head patch. Hooded Mergansers are fairly common on small ponds and rivers, where they dive for fish, and other food, seizing it in their thin, serrated bills.