--->Tag: nesting

Clever, Corrugated Starlings

With starlings, I am often an outlier, even among people who share my conservation ethics and love for wildlife. That's because I appreciate starlings in a way that defies conventional dislike for the species in the United States. I wrote about this in a 2009 post about European Starlings and their introduction to the U.S. in the late 19th century: "Starlings are related to Mynahs, both in the family Sturnidae. They’re exceptional mimics. In [...]

2019-02-01T05:57:50+00:00June 20th, 2013|Blog|23 Comments

Sleeping With the Fishes

This isn't the first time I've seen an Osprey napping with a fish in his talons. Last year, while observing the platform way across Seattle's long-abused-but-recovering Duwamish River I watched a male Osprey land on a utility pole, clutching a half-eaten meal. A crow who'd been tailing the Osprey, landed alongside. The Osprey perched, adjusted -- then appeared to doze off. The crow who'd been haranguing him for some leftovers seemed to be in [...]

2019-02-01T06:05:23+00:00June 16th, 2013|Blog|5 Comments

A Pelagic Housewarming Gift

I should stop making excuses for shooting in damp, dark conditions. It is, after all, the Pacific Northwest. But, well ... I was shooting in damp, dark conditions, standing on the car deck of a Washington State Ferry at Anacortes, in an ISO 5000 drizzle. Hugh -- who's become a better bird spotter than I am -- pointed to the air traffic around the nearby terminal pilings. It was Pelagic Cormorant mania -- a [...]

2019-02-01T06:17:02+00:00June 9th, 2013|Blog|3 Comments

Please Brake for Birds

It seems like common sense ... to slow or stop the car if you see an animal on the road. But, in recent weeks, I've had several incidents where birds were clearly in harm's way and people refused to either stop or take even 30 seconds off their commute to let an animal exit the roadway. The first was a situation of Canada Geese guiding their powder-puff goslings across a busy arterial. The crossing [...]

2019-02-01T06:24:23+00:00June 8th, 2013|Blog|5 Comments

Great Blue Resilience

A few weeks ago, I walked by the Great Blue Heron rookery a short distance from our place. I expected to see the six or eight heron couples, draped over their nests in anticipation of egg hatching ... or maybe even the first raspy calls of young chicks rustling in the alders. Instead, this is who came my way. Heron + Branch - ©ingridtaylar And then another Great Blue, bearing the sign [...]

2019-01-30T21:35:26+00:00June 6th, 2013|Blog|12 Comments

Welcome Back, Osprey!

Four of our six Seattle neighborhood Ospreys returned last week from the long haul of their migration. If you haven't seen the tracking maps showing Osprey travel routes, take a look at this website: Osprey migration maps. For these studies, Ospreys are fitted with light satellite transmitters that fall off after two to three years. In the time before the Ospreys lose the transmitter, researchers gather data about their final destinations and their various stops [...]

2013-04-13T19:07:11+00:00April 13th, 2013|Uncategorized|9 Comments

Herons + Friends With Totipalmate Feet

It begins with a twig in the bill and the throaty croak of the swamp. They're creatures of the marshes, the Great Blues, now on ascent to a season in the trees where nests incubate eggs, and where clumsy young legs will soon dawdle on branches until they get their wings. They call this place the satellite colony, since the rest of the rookery is tucked in a ravine so lush it might as [...]

2019-02-01T21:14:44+00:00April 5th, 2013|Blog, Popular Posts|5 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

Heat and the Osprey Canopy

I've never heard as much talk about the weather as I do here in the Northwest. Most people I meet do not like the drizzle, despite the fact that it's an integral facet of living in a marine environment. For me, when the temperature starts to hit 80, I seek basement bunkers. Heat stroke cured me of sun worship. And then, living through years of Los Angeles water rationing and drought, I developed a love-love [...]

2012-07-04T12:08:42+00:00July 4th, 2012|Uncategorized, Weather|3 Comments

The Benefits of Anthropomorphism

If you work with or care about animals, the nonhuman ones, eventually, someone will say something like, "shouldn't you care more about what happens to people?" That question doesn't faze me anymore. Given our predominantly anthropocentric world view, I'd actually be surprised if people didn't ask it. I have plenty of answers for why it's a good thing to care about species besides our own. But my top four [anthropocentric] ones are: What happens to [...]

2012-05-03T13:56:26+00:00May 3rd, 2012|Birds, Uncategorized|3 Comments

Meanwhile … Back at the Cell Tower

When I last left the Cell Tower Osprey, they were in an apparent tussle over their nesting site. Photographically speaking, I chose the wrong time for this week's visit. But, I was in the neighborhood just after dawn and figured I'd drop in for a few minutes. The only place to photograph this tower is from the west, looking into the sunrise. So, the eastern sun left me two options: backlit Osprey or ... poorly-lit [...]

2012-04-22T14:21:36+00:00April 22nd, 2012|Birds, Uncategorized|6 Comments

Osprey Noir

I figured it was about time I added to my Bird Noir series. I was on Elliott Bay, looking out for the re-tern of the terns -- Caspian Terns -- when I saw this Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) flying toward me. I pre-focused where I thought she might be fishing, but she veered off to my left and hovered over a Port of Seattle storage yard that was obscured from my view by trees. Still expecting [...]

2012-04-19T02:32:37+00:00April 19th, 2012|Birds, Uncategorized|6 Comments

Showdown at the Osprey Cell Tower

Three's a crowd ... even in the Osprey world. I'll get back to that thought in a minute. There are two Osprey nesting platforms within three miles of our place, plus several others within ten miles. Last week, all of the Osprey returned to my local spots within the span of a few days. I marvel at the synchronicity of this migration. A friend and I checked the various sites and found at least one [...]

2012-04-18T00:03:54+00:00April 18th, 2012|Birds|8 Comments

Cool & Totipalmate

It begins with a twig in the bill and the throaty croak of the swamp. They're creatures of the marshes, the Great Blues, now on ascent to a season in the trees where nests incubate eggs, and where clumsy young legs will soon dawdle on branches until they get their wings. They call this place the satellite colony, since the rest of the rookery is tucked in a ravine so lush it might as well [...]

2012-04-07T01:20:10+00:00April 7th, 2012|Birds, Uncategorized|2 Comments

Home is Where the Cell Tower Is

Sequestered indoors for the rain, I've been sorting through my photo archives, hoping to cull my duds, once and for all. I came upon my gallery of Osprey shots ... taken this summer as I checked in occasionally with a local nesting couple. These two never did not appear to produce any young, but there were long spans when I didn't visit, so it's possible. I hope to see them together again next year as [...]

2011-11-25T19:04:02+00:00November 25th, 2011|Uncategorized|1 Comment

And Osprey Makes Two

So far, that's all I've seen at this nesting site . . . two diligent Osprey, bringing each other fish and taking turns sitting. The structure of the cell phone tower obscures the interior of the nest, so I see only what happens on the rafters outside. To date, it's been just a male and female Osprey with no visuals of eggs or young. They have their favorite dining area, on a girder to the [...]

2011-07-06T13:38:26+00:00July 6th, 2011|Birds, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Cleaning House

Much-maligned but still loved by me, a European Starling makes the drop: grubs for breakfast, in the door; baby droppings out the door. The parent carries the nestlings' waste out through the portal, drops it in the shrubs nearby, then forages again in the grass for the babies' next meal of insects. Because Starlings, en masse, can clean out crops and cherry trees, people mistakenly think that a flock of Starlings on the lawn necessarily [...]

2011-06-10T19:59:38+00:00June 10th, 2011|Uncategorized|0 Comments

No Dropped Calls

This Osprey doesn't have to worry about mobile phone dead zones at home -- nesting, as he is, at the top of a cell tower. Osprey love the tall platforms of human invention, but the settings can take their toll, too -- in the form of power outages, or even electrical harm to the birds. Dead trees are a favorite nesting spot for Osprey. With suitable trees and habitat in increasingly short supply, [...]

2011-05-11T02:12:32+00:00May 11th, 2011|Uncategorized|0 Comments

The Swallows [400 Miles North] of Capistrano

Quick note: With all of these photos, I kept my distance with an effective 600mm zoom. I'm careful not to disturb birds during nesting season. And, it's also against the law to disturb wild bird nests or eggs. These are the famous Swallows of San Juan Capistrano. Well, not these birds in particular. This species, the Cliff Swallow. The swallows pictured here were about 400 miles north and west of Capistrano. I find [...]

2010-05-10T18:35:59+00:00May 10th, 2010|Uncategorized|1 Comment
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