This Snowy owl’s dive into the grass directly below was a great moment to watch. The bird’s intense focus when it started tracking the prey from the perch on the fence through to the awesome descent to attack were welcome rewards given the time invested. I found this Snowy on this fence post a little after 9 am and quickly set up my camera and lens across the field from her. For the next 2 1/2 hours, she shuffled, scratched, preened, and dozed. She seemed to have little interest in me, the field mice or in flying for most of that time. She kept watch of everything going on around her but her talons may have been nailed to the wood! I was hadn’t expected to wait that long but with her relaxed manner, I hoped when she did fly it would be in the direction she faced when I first stopped. That direction was facing towards me and in the end she did do that. I thought if she flew that way, I would have a few in flight opportunities but this dive was short in both time and distance. I was happy to have captured a couple of frames before she disappeared into the grass.
I waited for about 10 minutes for her to climb out of the tall grass and when she did it was heading away from me. Given the time on the ground, I would wager that she did catch the prey and spent the time out of sight enjoying the meal.
March 17, 2015 | Categories: Owls, Wildlife | Tags: alberta, birds in flight, Bubo scandiacus, Canada, dive, flying, hunting, Irricana, nature photography, owls, prairie, raptor, snowy owls, wildlife | 2 Comments
One of the Snowy owls that I photographed recently made a dive while I was watching. She came up without a mouse but had a clutch of grass instead. I’m sure it wasn’t her preference but it was a bit unusual to see one of these raptors flying around with a talon full of grass. She gave a couple of good looks around as she looked for another target during the same sortie but had no luck on this flight.
February 27, 2015 | Categories: Alberta, Nature, Owls, Turtle, Wildlife | Tags: alberta, BIF, birds, blue sky, Bubo scandiacus, Canada, flight, flying, nature, owls, raptors, Snowy owl, wildlife | 4 Comments
This Snowy owl had been chirping at some ravens nearby when it was perched on a telephone pole and they were flying above. Eventually one came too close which prompted the owl’s leap into the air. She looped around the pole once before settling on another one further from the mischief makers. While banking in the turn photographed above she cried out again. This time proved an excellent opportunity to photograph her “smile”.
February 25, 2015 | Categories: Owls, Wildlife, Winter | Tags: alberta, BIF, bird in flight, Bubo scandiacus, Canada, flying, Irricana, nature photography, owl, smile, Snowy owl, wildlife photography | 6 Comments
On the weekend I followed reports of Snowy owls northeast of Calgary near Irricana. I left home early and arrived in the area just after sunrise. I was lucky enough to spy the first Snowie of the day perched on a fence post glowing in the soft light.
The pure white owls were until quite recently thought to always be males. That has been disproved leaving it hard to determine the gender from casual observation. I will allow for the old convention though and refer to this one as a he. The other four birds I photographed that morning were banded to varying degrees and I will refer to them as ladies in a future post. It took only a few minutes before he launched and scouted low over the field for breakfast. This was repeated a couple of times with each sortie ending with a return to the fence line.
On the last flight that I photographed of this owl, he flew away from the fence and landed in the middle of the field on a pipeline valve which allowed for an interesting backlit shot as he flared his wings to land.
February 24, 2015 | Categories: Birds, Nature, Owls, Wildlife, Winter | Tags: alberta, bird in flight, birds, Bubo scandiacus, Canada, flying, owl, prairie, snow, Snowy owl, wildlife, winter | 2 Comments
We were in Fernie a couple of weeks ago and on the drive home found a few Bald eagles who were flying around a carcass that had been pulled a few hundred meters off the highway. They scattered when we first stopped but came circling back around the trees and back to the easy meal. A nice break during the lean winter months.
From my family to yours, we hope the new year sees you realize what you want, need and wish for. May you enjoy the journey throughout the year and beyond. Thank you for visiting my website and I hope you have enjoyed the photographs over the past year. I am looking forward to sharing more in 2015.
There are two ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) who are residents at the Hacienda del Mar resort in Los Cabos. Ospreys are another favourite animal that I am fortunate to be able to photograph quite often at home. It is a bit surreal to see them living in a warm, southern climate as I think of them (myopically) as being a bird of the lakes in and near the Rocky mountains where I usually see them.
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They own the palm trees that line the pools and sun decks which overlook the beach using them as viewing towers to find fish near the shore in the Sea of Cortez.
December 22, 2014 | Categories: Birds, Mexico, Osprey, Wildlife | Tags: BIF, birds, Cabo San Lucas, flight, flying, Los Cabos, Mexico, osprey, Pandion haliaetus, wildlife, wildlife photography | 3 Comments
(If the image appears pixelated, please click the picture to open a higher resolution version)
We fled the cold and are now warming up under the sun in Cabo San Lucas. This morning I trekked along the beach to an outcrop of rock that I thought would be lovely for sunrise. Along the way, a squadron of Brown Pelicans flew by and were silhouetted against the early glow that preceded the sun.
On my return from the two separate visits with Great Horned Owls near High River, I drove past Okotoks, through Black Diamond and Turner Valley and then back to Bragg Creek. I counted more than twenty five hawks before I reached Priddis. Along the way, I stopped a couple of times that were in interesting locations.
One Red-tailed hawk was hunting from a wooden gate and fence dividing a farm from the highway. This hawk dove once while I was set up – it was great to observe an attack from close range thanks to a long telephoto lens. It returned to the post empty-taloned but then launched out over the field and grabbed a mouse when it neared the far side. Too far for a decent photograph but great to watch.
October 4, 2014 | Categories: Birds, Hawks, Nature, Wildlife | Tags: alberta, bird in flight, Buteo jamaicensis, Canada, flight, flying, Hawks, nature photography, Red-tailed hawk, Turner Valley, wildlife photography | 8 Comments