Category Archives: Spring

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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Beach Trees

When walking on the beach I noticed these beautiful trees created in the sand by the receding tide. Their formation is also helped when the beach has a slight incline. I didn’t have a macro lens, which would have been ideal, and I had to work hard not to get my feet in the picture. I received a lot of curious glances from people walking by. 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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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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Rain and River Otters

This morning I visited a family of River Otters ( Lutra canadensis ) I had photographed earlier this year. I spotted two River Otters, down one from the last time, when I saw three. They were relaxing on a riverbank grooming their well-oiled and dense fur. It was rare to see them resting, usually they are very active, constantly in motion, swimming, foraging along the shore, and climbing out for only brief periods of time to eat fish or shellfish. It was quiet, peaceful, with no other people around, and I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent with these wild River Otters. Click on either image to see a larger version.

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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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Yellow Eyes

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.

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Ospreys

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.

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Rufous Hummingbird

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.

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