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Maybe if I’m very quiet that guy with the camera won’t see me!

Great Horned Owlet this past Sunday in Thornton, Colorado.  This is one of the owlets I have been documenting in recent weeks and it won’t be long before it and its sibling are gone.  Just in the past week they have moved from the tree with the nest to a separate stand of trees about 25 yards away.

“Maybe if I’m very quiet that guy with the camera won’t see me!” (© Tony’s Takes)

Fog shrouded Rocky Mountains

Taken early yesterday morning in Longmont, Colorado  as the sun was rising.  Looking to the west, Longs Peak was starting to be bathed in filtered sunlight while fog hovered close to the ground at lower altitudes.

A soft look at the Rockies. (© Tony’s Takes)

A soft look at the Rockies. (© Tony’s Takes)

Photogenic bald eagles in Longmont, Colorado

Rumor had it there was a pair of bald eagles hanging out near McIntosh Lake in Longmont so I headed that way this morning. Found them right off the bat.

Initially tough shooting conditions with low clouds and having to shoot facing into the sunrise. The female soon left but the male turned around into the sun and then stayed and posed for two hours. I ended up giving up after that and packing it in.

Do wish he had flown off at some point so I could get some action shots but I am not going to complain. 

Aren't I just mahvelous? (© Tony’s Takes)

Aren’t I just mahvelous? (© Tony’s Takes)

Swainson’s Hawks galore

Lacking any better alternatives I once again headed east of Denver to the area north of Denver International Airport.  As expected I found plenty of Swainson’s Hawks willing to provide me with ample photo opportunities.  This time they were quite cooperative with some great launches and landings.

Daddy and Mama keeping an eye on the nest.  Amazingly the nest is right next to a busy road and only about 10 feet in the air.  One of my favorites from the day. (© Tony’s Takes)

Daddy and Mama keeping an eye on the nest. Amazingly the nest is right next to a busy road and only about 10 feet in the air. One of my favorites from the day. (© Tony’s Takes)

Swainson’s Hawk close flyby

Swainson’s Hawk today in Adams County, Colorado.  I don’t have a problem getting these raptors to give me picture perfect flybys.  What I do have a problem with is Mother Nature giving me gray skies as a backdrop.  😉

Swainson's Hawk flyby.  © Tony’s Takes

Swainson’s Hawk flyby. © Tony’s Takes

Full flower moon

‘Full Flower Moon’ as seen from #Denver, Colorado. Clear, early morning skies provided a great viewing of the full moon today. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the name comes from the fact that flower “spring forth in abundance this month.” It also is called the Full Corn Planting Moon or the Milk Moon.

Full Flower Moon. © Tony’s Takes

Full Flower Moon. © Tony’s Takes

Regal young eagle

On the way home today I stopped by an open space area that I rarely visit and decided to take a walk not expecting much out of it. Much to my surprise, there was a young bald eagle perched in a tree.

It was incredibly tolerant of my presence – walked virtually directly underneath it, circled all around. He sat there for an hour letting me snap away. Just amazing!

My only regret… Because I wasn’t expecting to find anything, I didn’t bring my stool or tripod. My arms and legs got very, very tired! 

Regal young eagle. © Tony’s Takes

Regal young eagle. © Tony’s Takes

The Chase: Great Horned Owl versus Magpie

As you may have heard on the news, parts of Colorado were hit by a somewhat unusual May snowstorm yesterday. In its wake I figured I would go check on the local owl nest and see how the little ones were doing.

As it turns out, the three owlets weathered the storm (pun intended) just fine. While I was observing them I heard a commotion coming from a nearby tree and saw a lot of movement.  On further inspection I see mama or daddy owl being hassled by a rather persistent magpie that did not appreciate the big bird’s presence.

I captured a few shots of them sniping at each other and then the owl took flight with the magpie chasing it. Captured a few shots of the chase. Unfortunately they didn’t come out as sharp as I would have liked but it was pretty cool to see nevertheless. 

“The Chase.” A magpie chases a great horned owl. © Tony’s Takes

Saturday photo shoot turns into a veritable hawk fest

My usual Saturday morning wildlife viewing started out quite slow.  A drive through the Rocky Mountain Arsenal yielded little more than a curious deer but after heading north and east, hawks and owls clearly became the dominant subject.

Swainson’s Hawks were plentiful in the area north of Denver International Airport with many of them being more than willing to pose for me.  Most notably was a pair ‘caught in the act’ mating on a fence.

From there I headed to a known Great Horned Owl’s nest to check on the family.  The three owlets who aren’t too small anymore had worked themselves out of the nest and were lower in the tree.  Dad and Mom kept a watchful eye from nearby.

A female Swainson's Hawk flies by. © Tony’s Takes

A female Swainson’s Hawk flies by. © Tony’s Takes

 

Mouse – It’s what’s for dinner

Hawks have become quite plentiful along the Colorado Front Range this spring as they return from their winter grounds.  Today was a veritable hawk fast out near Denver International Airport.

Among the many images captured today was this Red Tailed Hawk with its kill.  It was initially perched on the pole, then swooped down to a nearby field and emerged with its meal. Unfortunately he didn’t want me to watch him eat and soon flew off before I could see it eat.

A Red Tailed Hawk stands on a pole with its catch. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Red Tailed Hawk stands on a pole with its catch. (© Tony’s Takes)