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Wildlife

Freedom flyby

My first weekend staying close to home in quite a while and it actually turned out quite well. This morning I went to check a local bald eagle nest in Adams County, Colorado and was fortunate enough to find the residents home. Here one of them gave me a picture perfect flyby. I am looking forward to many more eagles returning to the area for winter in the coming months.

A bald eagle lit by the morning sun performs a flyby.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A bald eagle lit by the morning sun performs a flyby. (© Tony’s Takes)

One antler or not, I still look fabulous, right?

“One antler or not, I still look fabulous, right?” This younger bull elk was sporting some damage to one of his antlers recently. Perhaps the result of a fight with a more senior and more powerful resident of the area. Nevertheless, despite the damage and despite him not having a harem, he seemed rather proud of himself.

A young elk bull doesn't seem to mind the fact he is missing an antler. (© Tony’s Takes)

A young elk bull doesn’t seem to mind the fact he is missing an antler. (© Tony’s Takes)

Where did that little bugger go?

A bald eagle looks around for his tormentors, a couple little Western Kingbirds that were constantly harassing him. This beautiful raptor was hanging out in a tree at a lake on Colorado’s eastern plains back in June and provided a ton of photo opportunities. While he did not mind me one bit, he really was frustrated by a couple of the little yellow-breasted birds that were not at all intimidated by the size difference.

 

A bald eagle looks above for smaller birds that were pestering it. (© Tony’s Takes)

A bald eagle looks above for smaller birds that were pestering it. (© Tony’s Takes)

Naptime on the golf course

Some of the area elk had taken up residence on the Estes Park, Colorado golf course this past weekend. This young bull apparently decided golf was a pretty boring game and chose instead to take a bit of a morning nap in the warm sun. I’m not sure if the human players just play through these normally moving obstacles or steer clear. 😉

A young bull elk takes a nap on the golf course in Estes Park, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A young bull elk takes a nap on the golf course in Estes Park, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Um. Hello? You’re interrupting my naptime!

This male Great Horned Owl is regularly spotted in one of a few different trees at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. Needing a break from work, I took a quick drive through at lunchtime today and there he was as usual.Given that he likely was up all night, he was pretty tired and could barely open one eye to look at me.

The Great Horned Owl resides year-round in all but the farthest north parts of North America.  You can learn more about this amazing predator here.

A male Great Horned Owl opens one eye to see what is going on. (© Tony’s Takes)

A male Great Horned Owl opens one eye to see what is going on. (© Tony’s Takes)

 

Majestic bull elk stands tall in the forest

Weighing up to 700 pounds and standing over six feet tall, Rocky Mountain Elk bulls cut an imposing figure. Throw in a massive 12-point rack and put that bull on a hill above you bugling and it gets your attention real quick.

This bull was standing watch in the #Colorado forest over his harem of about 15 cows and calves. The sound of another nearby bull bugling put him on high alert and he began patrolling the area giving his own warning call as he did.

You can learn more about these magnificent creatures here: http://www.rmef.org/ElkFacts.aspx

A Rocky Mountain Elk bull stands proud on a hill.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A Rocky Mountain Elk bull stands proud on a hill. (© Tony’s Takes)

Proud buck

Elk are getting a lot of the ‘press’ now days in Colorado with the rut going on but this good looking buck deer made a strong case of his own. The mule deer rut typically begins in November which probably explains why he and another buck were shadowing six does in the area. Once the rut begins, the two males won’t be willing to be quite so close to each other.

A buck deer looks over its shoulder.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A buck deer looks over its shoulder. (© Tony’s Takes)

Are you looking at my ladies?

‘Are you looking at my ladies?’ A bull elk keeps close watch on his harem including making sure humans don’t get too close. He had a smaller sized harem of about 15 cows and yearlings.

The rut is winding down now. Having been to Rocky Mountain National Park 3 out of the past 4 weeks it is obvious the bulls are getting very tired. They are moving a lot slower, their bugles are quieter and they just don’t seem to have the energy they did when it started.

A bull elk keeps close watch on a cow. (© Tony’s Takes)

A bull elk keeps close watch on a cow. (© Tony’s Takes)

Geez! You kinda smell!

A mama marmot gives her offspring a bit of a sniff. What parent hasn’t done that?

Taken on August 17, 2014 at the top of Mount Evans, Colorado. If you like to sleep, you might wish you were a marmot. Yellow bellied marmots spend 80% of their lives in their burrows, 60% of which is spent sleeping.

'Geez! You kinda smell!' (© Tony’s Takes)

‘Geez! You kinda smell!’ (© Tony’s Takes)

Rainy morning moose

Taken at Brainard Lake, Colorado in Arapaho National Forest back in August. This big guy was grazing right next to the road early in the morning when a surprise sun shower rolled through. For those wondering, I was safely inside my truck when I snapped this pic. 😉

A moose bull grazes while a sun showers moves through. (© Tony’s Takes)

A moose bull grazes while a sun showers moves through. (© Tony’s Takes)