Friday, June 29, 2007

Barred Owls Hunting!

OK, so my wife and I just spent the last 20 minutes watching the 3 immature Barred Owls attempt to catch a squirrel that was feeding on the ground under our bird feeders. At first the squirrel seemed to pay no attention to the one owl that was about 12 feet off the ground and right next to our deck (about 20 feet from the squirrel). We watched the owl watch the squirrel. Eventually the owl swooped out of the tree and down after the squirrel. He missed. Then he tried again from a different spot. Then the second owl made his attempt and also missed. By this point the third owl is in the mix and they attempted to "corner" the squirrel on the tree. Honestly they never really got that close with the exception of the very first attempt. You can tell they are still a bit awkward in flight compared to the adults, but they were trying their best. :)

We were watching these owls learn how to hunt! How cool is that?!

Right after all three attempted to corner the squirrel the each in turn landed on a downed tree on the ground. I just took these shots a few minutes ago. They are both taken at ISO 3200/f5.6 and 1/30 of second hand-held. They are heavily cropped, pretty noisy, and definitely blurry. However, this was a really cool moment for both my wife and I and it's worth sharing here. I hope you all enjoy it as well.

The Three:
Barred Owl Three

The Two:
Barred Owl Two

Here's another shot I took this morning:
Barred Owl - Owlets

Thursday, June 28, 2007

American Redstart

Well I had a bit of time today so I made run to Carlos Avery and to be honest, didn't have that great of a day. The highlight though was a pair of American Redstarts that I was able to spend quite a bit of time with. They sure do flit around a lot though making for some tough photos. Here is one of the shots that I got.

American Redstart:
American Redstart

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Yard Birds

Well, we have had a number of new birds in our yard over the last couple weeks. We have had an Indigo Bunting show up 3 times which has been quite a treat and we have also had a Three-toed Woodpecker. We get a lot of woodpeckers on the suet log and when he showed up, we weren't sure what it was. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera for either of these birds. However, I did get some shots of 2 of the 3 Barred Owl owlets:

Barred Owl:
Barred Owl Owlets

Monday, June 25, 2007

Cranes and Warblers

Last week I went to Carlos Avery with my Mother and Father for about 3 hours. We saw quite a few birds and had a really nice time. My father got to see his first Common Yellowthroat which was pretty cool. There were quite a few Yellow Warblers, a Catbird, and a pair of Sandhill Cranes that were the closest I have ever had to my car at Carlos Avery. We were driving down the road and I spotted just the head of a crane sticking out of the tall grass about 15 feet off the road. We stopped and he stayed. I expected the brid to just walk off like they normally do but I was able to pop my head out of the sun roof of the car and take quite a few shots. I liked this one in particular:

Sandhill Crane:
Sandhill Crane Headshot

The Yellow warblers were quite cooperative and I took this shot which I liked because of it's bright color in the photo. Generally when I take shots I like to fill the frame with the bird, but in this instance I liked the overall look with a wider angle. I think it helps to see the photo larger so click on it and you can see a larger size on Flickr.

Yellow Warbler:
Yellow Warbler

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Tree Swallows

OK, since it's been a while I thought I would add another post and photo. I watched this Tree Swallow fly in and out of the holes on this tree for about 15 minutes. It would have food in it's mouth when it went in and none when it came back out. It's hard to be 100% positive because I couldn't hear or see young, but I would bet this was a Tree Swallow on the nest. Either way, it was pretty cool to watch.

Tree Swallow:
Tree Swallow on Nest

Green Heron

So it's been way to long since my last post. I've been getting out now and then to bird and take photos, but just haven't had a lot of time to get through all the photos and pull a few out for the blog. I should be posting on more regular basis again with photos from the last few weeks. Anyway, I took this photo of a Green Heron about 2 weeks ago up at Carlos Avery.

Green Heron:
Green Heron