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.
With the mild winter, that day excepted, that we have enjoyed so far, I have no idea how long the Snowy owl population will stay before they head north to their breeding grounds. While they are here, it is great fun to be able to spend some time watching and photographing these most beautiful of birds.
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 | 5 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: Mexico, Cabo San Lucas, wildlife, birds, flight, wildlife photography, flying, BIF, osprey, Los Cabos, Pandion haliaetus | 3 Comments
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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
While we were in Osoyoos we spent one evening at the lake. As the sun was setting two ospreys circled above the water on the hunt for the last fish of the day. I followed one of them that came fairly close to our beach and shot when it crossed in front of the sun.