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Q & A with International Bird Rescue

I recently had the opportunity discuss photography and field craft with International Bird Rescue. Many thanks to Russ Curtis and International Bird Rescue for the generous and lovely presentation. They do the work of angels -- for the many wild ones among us.

2018-02-13T03:56:02+00:00December 8th, 2017|Birds, Blog, Ethics, Photography|0 Comments

How Much Post-Processing Do You Do?

A friend linked to this story in her Facebook feed today: Why do Photo Contest Winners Look Like Movie Posters? Post-processing is obviously not a new topic ... and it's one that's been evolving alongside digital photography and darkroom skills. This particular piece questions the lighting on the winning image in the World Press contest, citing photojournalistic ethics in the critique. (The World Press winning image and other entries are here: World Press Photo.) I've [...]

2013-02-20T12:56:08+00:00February 20th, 2013|Birds, Photography, Uncategorized|14 Comments

Countdown to Liftoff

This photo series shows the calm before the Snow Goose storm ... and the ripple effect that sends thousands of geese into the air within seconds, at just the slightest provocation. They may call out, sending audio waves through the flock before erupting into goose mayhem. Or, they may fall unexpectedly silent for a split second before bursting into winged turbulence. The inciting incident can be a small plane overhead, a stalking eagle, shotgun fire, [...]

2013-02-16T22:54:17+00:00February 16th, 2013|Birds, Uncategorized|7 Comments

Re-Capturing the Clapper Rail

The show Bird Note just posted an audio piece on California Clapper Rails in San Francisco Bay.  Bird Note covers an eclectic array of bird stories, from behavioral questions to ecological issues. The stories are short audio bits with related blog posts and resources to flesh out the subject matter. As an adjunct to the Clapper Rail story, Bird Note asked if I would revisit my observations of a Clapper Rail tagging operation at Arrowhead Marsh [...]

2013-02-01T00:05:23+00:00February 1st, 2013|Birds, Uncategorized|2 Comments

Everything’s Coming Up Snowy

Edited to add: Originally, I posted the location of where we hiked to see the Snowy Owls. It's fairly common knowledge around Washington, but I suffered post-blogging pangs about revealing the location of a popular species like a Snowy Owl. After chatting with a wildlife photographer I dearly respect, I've decided to remove those references. Last year, I witnessed the frenzy and ethical breaches surrounding the Snowy Owl irruption, and my general policy is to [...]

2013-01-21T21:20:46+00:00January 21st, 2013|Birds, Uncategorized|20 Comments

The Thing with Feathers

“Hope” is the thing with feathers – That perches in the soul – And sings the tune without the words – And never stops — at all – And sweetest — in the Gale — is heard – And sore must be the storm – That could abash the little Bird That kept so many warm – I’ve heard it in the chillest land – And on the strangest Sea – Yet, never, in Extremity, [...]

2013-01-19T16:36:33+00:00January 19th, 2013|Birds, Uncategorized|15 Comments

10,000 Crows and Counting

This is what it looks (and feels) like when you're standing under 10,000+ crows, coming home to roost. I shot the video well after dusk, so I had to crank exposure up in iMovie, causing pixel issues. Still ... you'll get the idea. This occurs every dusk in Bothell, Washington, when crows from Seattle, Snohomish and other parts in between fly to their nightly roost. I had never seen a roost of this magnitude, and [...]

2013-01-02T17:00:29+00:00January 2nd, 2013|Birds, Uncategorized|16 Comments

The Snowy Owls of Seattle

12/31/12: I edited this post early this morning to correct for some late-night syntactical issues. "The piercing light of her eyes is a reminder there is light upon the dark path no matter how doubtful it might be .... Owl can navigate the dark realms of the night and still sustain her nourishment; if you feel lost, the Owl can help you find your true path once again." ~ From The Bohemian Collective It's as [...]

2012-12-30T22:55:41+00:00December 30th, 2012|Birds|20 Comments

Blue Note Clive

I just received a record album in the mail. It's an EP (German label) with this avian hipster on the cover ... Clive the Racing Pigeon in his best Blue-Note-Records pose. We cared for and loved little Clive -- a lost and unwanted racing pigeon. Clive was in a local animal shelter with a flesh injury when we first met him. His cage label said "Snowflake" and his cage card detailed his his [...]

2012-12-28T01:05:33+00:00December 28th, 2012|Birds, Uncategorized|11 Comments

A Sneeuwuil By Any Other Name

Sneeuwuil - Dutch Le Harfang des neiges - French Sniega puce - Latvian Snøugle - Norwegian Wabagano - Cree Shirofukuro - Japanese ~ Many thanks to Paul Asimow's Snowy Owl pages for the above excerpt. We don't yet know if it's an echo year for Snowy Owls (the year after an irruption), but the Bubo scandiacus are once again planting their furry feet on rooftops, sidewalks, meadows and in fir trees around Seattle and the [...]

2012-11-25T20:30:37+00:00November 25th, 2012|Birds, Uncategorized|14 Comments

Waxwing Solo

I marked my winters in California by the return of the Cedar Waxwings. A few years ago this is how I would describe my seasonal transition: It starts with a whistle, but a whistle so faint it’s a whisper across the leaves. And then the sound of raindrops, but it’s not rain. It’s the patter of falling berries, pyracantha and holly, dropping into the blanket of debris below the trees. Finally, we see the face [...]

2012-11-13T22:51:07+00:00November 13th, 2012|Birds, Uncategorized|3 Comments

It’s the Time of the Season … for Bird Noir

Without even a wisp of autumn air, Seattle dipped from summer to storm, from a prolonged swelter to a premature December gray, leaving me damp and unrequited. In eighty days without droplets and dew, the Emerald city turned topaz and so dry that even the pigeons, normally preening under nimbostratus showers, looked haggard for the heat. All I wanted was autumn -- and a crisp Washington apple and, maybe, a flight of leaves and a [...]

2012-11-04T01:18:50+00:00November 4th, 2012|Birds, Uncategorized|4 Comments

Crows on Cairns

A group of young American Crows or Northwestern Crows (or American-Northwestern hybrid crows) foraged around these cairns along Seattle's waterfront ... like sentries in their own Norman towers. Click for Larger Image I don't know if I'm looking at American or Northwestern Crows when I photograph these corvids in Seattle. The distinction for me -- and apparently many others -- is a bit hazy. Corey at 10,000 Birds discusses this conundrum in his piece, Crows [...]

2012-10-14T16:05:33+00:00October 14th, 2012|Birds, Uncategorized|6 Comments

Fly Away Home (and Safe) … 2012

This is my annual post -- on the eve of waterfowl hunting season in both Washington (where I'm living now) and California (my home). It recounts a waterfowl hunt I encountered unexpectedly in the Sacramento Delta area of Northern California. I've been lightly tweaking the post each year, adding either a few new details or links. This year, I'm recommending a book by Marti Kheel: Nature Ethics: An Ecofeminist Perspective. Kheel addresses the gap between [...]

2012-10-12T14:28:24+00:00October 12th, 2012|Birds, Hunting, Uncategorized|3 Comments

Studies in Godwit

Every so often, I get a request for 'derivative works' permission -- usually from a wildlife artist who wants to use a photo as the foundation for a painting or print. I particularly love it when the work is used to benefit an animal cause ... like this painting of a Brown Pelican I photographed in San Francisco. Artist Dan Kent created an ink and watercolor version as part of a wildlife benefit during the [...]

2012-10-04T23:38:53+00:00October 4th, 2012|Birds, Ecology, Pollution, Uncategorized, Wildlife Rescue|5 Comments

Bird Rescue, Fishing Gear & Existential Inquiries

This post is (or will be) a rambling confluence of a few different stories. Back in June, I posted about a Brown Pelican I saw flying over Bolsa Chica at dusk. I photographed the bird in silhouette as it trailed a triple-hook fishing lure from its pouch. I obviously have no way of knowing what will happen to the pelican I saw in that flyover, but in my Facebook feed today, I saw [...]

2012-10-01T18:54:31+00:00October 1st, 2012|Birds, Hunting, Pollution, Uncategorized, Wildlife Rescue|3 Comments

Swifty Monroe

It doesn't just happen in Monroe ... but we took a spontaneous trip to Monroe where it does happen. Vaux's Swifts, up and down their migration corridor, appropriate chimneys for their nightly roosting ritual. In the Bay Area, the Healdsburg swift event was one of those things I'd always meant to attend but never did. So, when I saw mention of the swifts on our local birding list, I coaxed Hugh out to Monroe with [...]

2012-09-20T15:33:03+00:00September 20th, 2012|Birds|8 Comments

Osprey: From Platform to Pairing to Fledging

There are three Osprey nests within three miles of our place ... one is a pile of branches, marine rope and police tape, layered on a new platform over Commodore Park. The platform was built after Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) removed an ages-old nest on an even older communications tower on a railroad bridge.   Old Osprey Nest - Railroad Bridge Tower - ©ingridtaylar   Old Osprey Perch Below the Nest [...]

2012-08-14T01:50:55+00:00August 14th, 2012|Birds|10 Comments

Here He Comes to Save the Day …

This is part of my loosely-formed Coffee Break methodology. I take my coffee, my camera, and sit in my favorite spots. Sometimes things happen. Sometimes they don't. Yesterday, this happened: :: First sign of trouble ... Caspian Tern colony in Interbay flushes over the Magnolia Bridge ... ... signaling alerts. :: In the distance, over Seattle's Elliott Bay, a Bald Eagle does a u-turn to pursue a juvenile gull (Glaucous-winged, I believe). :: No one [...]

2012-07-30T15:11:18+00:00July 30th, 2012|Birds|18 Comments