Today, I came upon a contentious thread about bird banding on my local birding listserv. This thread made me think of the emails I got in response to my Snowy Owl post -- the post which criticized the photography field ethics we witnessed up at Boundary Bay. On today's listserv, a member birder had concerns about the effects of banding on birds like dippers. The subsequent conversation veered toward some strong opinions, and someone posted [...]
... and grackles foraging across Nevada, exploiting urban food scraps. One of my favorite things about visiting southern climates is the summer night chatter of grackles ... the cavatina that becomes the dissonant ensemble of grackle song when huge groups of the birds roost on urban plazas. These were winter-time grackles -- Great-tailed Grackles roaming the parking lots of Las Vegas in search of handouts and leftovers. I particularly love the way grackles use their [...]
You see signs of wild horses before you ever see horses ... The Sign of the Horse - ©ingridtaylar And, along the way, these signs ... Horse Crossing - ©ingridtaylar From the point where I turned off the highway north of Las Vegas and headed west into wild horse country, I drifted under the speed limit in anticipation -- watching for horses on the two-lane road that stretched straight to the [...]
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 [...]
photos ©ingridtaylar - email me for permissions Big-haired, 80s-style, Belted Kingfisher -- on a windy day in Des Moines, Washington. Kingfishers are famously elusive when they see a lens pointed at them. This girl had good fishing prospects at the Des Moines Marina, so she put up with me for the sake of her prime real estate.
Double-crested Cormorant - Phalacrocorax auritus. Photographed with my Olympus E-3 and Zuiko 70-300mm. The birds were silhouetted in late afternoon light, high ISO 1000, some post-processing NR to compensate for the darker conditions.. I shot this series along the Lake Washington Ship Canal in Seattle. If you've watched Double-crested Cormorants [literally] coming home to roost, you know that the process of securing a branch of one's own can be arduous. These cormorant wings are designed [...]
I watched this Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) preening and relaxing for a half hour or so. At the very end of our "visit," he yawned and held the pose for just a few seconds. I snapped this shot. A bird yawn always takes me back to the chaotic year of looking after two rescued racing pigeons, Chauncey and Clive. At the end of every bath session, they'd do an extensive preen, then [...]
. . . it's a Seattle thing. First alert -- a look overhead and warning calls: American Wigeon first responders leave lone Eurasian Wigeon to contemplate his next move: And he's off: Safety in numbers: The instigator comes into view: The juvenile Bald Eagle shows little interest in the ducks, catches the thermals, and whirls up over the trees. The wigeon [...]
Here's a great way to make a photographer happy: After viewing her photos, say something like "wow, you must have really great gear." Everyone knows photography is not about the gear. Right? Well, it isn't . . . but sometimes it is. Artistic vision is definitely not about the gear. And you'll rankle a lot of artistic people if you say it is. I know a few people who are stocked to the gills with [...]
On a recent morning, nursing my perfect cup of coffee as brewed by my perfect host of a friend, I heard a sound from the kitchen. A shout, actually ...
Wildlife oil spill experts are on the scene in Louisiana, setting up emergency centers and assessing the damage from the Deepwater Horizon spill.
Squirrels don't win popularity contests with gardeners and bird feeders. Tree squirrels, agile and clever, have been known to outsmart even the toughest mazes designed to thwart them. In fact, if you never saw the 1990s British documentary Daylight Robbery, check out the video clip at the end of this post. From there you can link to other segments of the show. The gist of it is . . . grey squirrels in the UK [...]
Our "gear" began with a collapsible pet carrier and some work gloves. At that point, we could still transport a few pieces of luggage and one niece or nephew in the backseat. Years later, in the same two-door Civic, we can barely get a turnip in the trunk. [read more of this post . . . ]
It's estimated that 400 million animals die each year on roads in the United States, struck by vehicles. It's impossible to know precise numbers, particularly since mortally wounded animals will crawl away from road shoulders (where the dead can be counted). That 400 million figure is extrapolated from various local surveys and collision statistics. A Road Kill Diary This topic is on my mind because of a Photostream I came upon at Flickr [...]
“Responsible wildlife photographers observe a strict code of ethics. The cardinal rule: if anything you do directly or indirectly endangers, restricts or harasses an animal, stop and leave the animal alone. The integrity of a wildlife photograph evaporates if the subject was not free to come and go, if it shows fear or anxiousness, if it has been provoked to attack or to defend itself.” ~ Robert Winkler, A Wildlife [...]