"A Sand County Almanac"

"THERE ARE SOME WHO CAN LIVE WITHOUT WILD THINGS AND SOME WHO CANNOT."
"FOR US IN THE MINORITY THE OPPORTUNITY TO SEE GEESE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN TELEVISION.".....Aldo Leopold




"LOOK DEEP INTO NATURE, AND THEN YOU WILL UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING BETTER".....Albert Einstein


Thursday, September 17, 2020

Strange Year For Hummingbirds

Despite having a hummingbird feeder out since mid-April, we had no sightings until the first day of September. On that overcast and rainy day a lone "hummer" showed up in our yard...



The cool, damp weather might have caused our visitor to spend time in a bush near our flower gardens and the feeder...


I was able to approach to within ten yards, and by remaining in my car, I was able to take photographs over the next five days...



The constant rain caused the bird to take short feeding flights and then return to a favorite perch to preen and rest...



In this manner I was able to observe this bird closely without causing alarm...










In some images rain drops are visible, appearing as white spots...


I was able to identify this bird as a juvenile male, distinguished by the single red feather on his throat...


Eventually he will display the vivid ruby gorget that gives this species its name...


He seemed to be increasing his energy reserves in preparation for the migration ahead...









After five days of enjoying our visitor...



He was gone...


Thank you for visiting, be well, and come back soon.




Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Green Heron, Great Egret and Great Blue Heron, all in the family Ardeidae




In a small pond, overgrown with trees and bushes, a pair of green herons was raising their brood this summer...



Green herons are fairly common but I have never watched their interactions in such an intimate setting before...



They can very territorial, even when food is abundant...



In the next image one is preening beneath an outstretched wing...



As the first brood becomes old enough to forage on their own, the adults may be displaying courtship behavior in anticipation of rearing a second brood...



Less than half a mile from the pond, in a very small creek, I came upon a great egret...




Great egrets were often seen in our area not long ago. It seems that their numbers have been declining locally, perhaps due to competition with the great blue herons...



This particular bird showed no concern as it fed past my vehicle, stopped less than twenty yards away...







After getting these images I did not linger, allowing the egret to feed undisturbed...



The largest bird that I commonly see is the great blue heron. They are slightly larger than the great egret. It is not uncommon to see as many as four different birds in a one mile stretch of creek...



When this one decided to feed upstream I was able to get a few photos as it departed...











I am always impressed with their wingspan, which can reach 79 inches...




Even when looking for larger subjects, it is hard to resist photographing young wildlife of any species...