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All photos © Tony’s Takes. Images are available for purchase as prints or as digital files for other uses. Please don’t steal; my prices aren’t expensive. For more information contact me here.

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Posing endangered Black-footed Ferret

Posing endangered Black-footed Ferret

Capturing pictures of an endangered species is exciting. Capturing images of one very rarely seen and once considered extinct is nothing short of thrilling. The Black-footed Ferret is a rarity on the Great Plains and the only ferret native to North America. Once numerous, the small animals were harvested for the fur trade. That, coupled with a loss of habitat and disease, resulted in a declining population and it was eventually declared extinct in 1979. Two years later, a small population ...

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Red-tailed Hawk focuses on the landing

Red-tailed Hawk focuses on the landing

This is probably my favorite image from a recent event I attended. Karma is a nine-year-old hawk that is used for falconry and educational purposes by Wild Wings Environmental Education. On this morning, just about everything came together perfectly for this shot - the golden light of the early morning sun, a dramatic sky in the background and of course the extraordinary subject. In the end, this is a capture that I am very proud of.

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Pit stop thunderstorm

Pit stop thunderstorm

On my recent trip to the northern Rockies, our first overnight stop was in northern Wyoming in the town of Kaycee. Soon after arriving as sunset grew close, thunderstorms started to build just to our east. This particular cell was quite beautiful as it was lit by the direct sunlight to the west and the shades or orange of the soon-to-come sunset. For a time it was severe warned as it was dropping golf ball sized hail - thankfully not ...

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A big, bad Bison bull in black and white

A big, bad Bison bull in black and white

Yesterday morning was a pretty dull, gray day with cold temperatures and light snow along the Colorado Front Range. That made for tough lighting and wildlife activity was pretty slow. However at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge I did find a few cooperative Bison including this big guy. Doing some post-processing of the image allowed me to add some drama to the image and I think it makes the big guy look pretty impressive (which he was!). I hope ...

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Osprey takes flight head on

Osprey takes flight head on

A very fun picture taken this past weekend at St. Vrain State Park, Colorado. There are a number of Osprey that spend their summers in the area and this was the male of a pair that is nesting within the park. He was happily perched in a tree near the nest when he decided it was time to go fishing. Thankfully I was ready and snapped this image as he headed right toward me. Due to the compression effect of using a ...

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Mountain Goat soaks in the early morning sun

Even in the summer it is quite chilly at 14,000+ feet in altitude. In fact, it was 34 degrees when this image was snapped about an hour after sunrise. Of course these high country residents are quite able to handle the cold although even they seem to welcome the warmth of the sun’s rays.

Mountain Goats are actually not native to Colorado, having been brought here in the early 20th century as a tourist attraction. Unfortunately, they can carry diseases which are deadly to our state’s official animal, the Big Horn Sheep. When the goats roam into sheep territory, they are often killed to prevent them from infecting the sheep.

A Mountain Goat closes its eyes and enjoys the warmth of the early morning sun on Mount Evans in Colorado.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A Mountain Goat closes its eyes and enjoys the warmth of the early morning sun on Mount Evans in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Early morning Blue Jay

It isn’t often I train my camera on smaller birds but this colorful one demanded my attention. These birds are so beautiful and their plumage just awesome. I happened across this one last week just as the sun was popping over the horizon on Colorado’s plains.

A Blue Jay soaks in the morning sun on the Colorado plains.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A Blue Jay soaks in the morning sun on the Colorado plains. (© Tony’s Takes)

Little outhouse on the prairie

Taken at one of the most photographed spots in Grand Teton National Park. It is tough to come up with an original composition here as it has been seen and imaged so many times by photographers far beyond my humble capability. So, rather than focusing on the historical barns and houses, I chose to give a nice look at a less picturesque structure, but one that is extraordinarily important. 😉

An outhouse on Mormon Row in Grand Teton National Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

An outhouse on Mormon Row in Grand Teton National Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

Bad attitude Osprey

The male at this particular nest not too far from my house didn’t really seem to want his picture taken on this morning. This was taken a few weeks ago and I haven’t been back since but do need to get by there as I believe he and his mate now have a few new mouths to feed.

Osprey are actually a type of hawk. They are spring and summer residents of the Centennial State and spend their winters in the warmer environs of the coasts of Mexico and South America.

A male Osprey seems less than thrilled about having its picture taken. (© Tony’s Takes)

A male Osprey seems less than thrilled about having its picture taken. (© Tony’s Takes)

Bald Eagle landing sequence

Kind of a fun little series of images put in slideshow format of this gorgeous female Bald #Eagle when she came in for a landing one day back in April. It is hard to do it justice as they move so fast and Facebook limits how many images you can put in this to 10. Hope you enjoy your Freedom Friday show!

Pelican on the go

If there is one creature on our photo excursions that my wife will tolerate me spending time with more than any other it is these large birds. She is enamored with them. Earlier this week we spent a number of days at a relative ‘hot spot’ for them where dozens tend to hang out during the summer months.

With a wingspan that can reach an amazing 8+ feet, they are extraordinary fliers, able to soar with great ease, rarely flapping their wings. American White Pelicans spend their winters along the Gulf and southern Pacific coasts as well as in Mexico. Springtime sees them move north with many going to Canada and the northern plains but some choosing to stop part way and spend the summer in the Centennial State, northern California and a few other spots.

An American White Pelican flies over the waters of Jackson Lake State Park in Colorado.  (© Tony’s Takes)

An American White Pelican flies over the waters of Jackson Lake State Park in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Little deer, big ears

Oh my goodness! I could have bundled this little Mule Deer fawn up and taken it home it was so cute. That soft-looking fur, adorable look and those ears were just irresistible. It and its twin were out for an early morning walk with their mom at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge last week. Mom largely ignored me but the two little ones couldn’t help but be curious and that allowed me to snag some nice pics of the two of them.

Found across western North America, Mule Deer are aptly named due to their oversized ears.

A Mule Deer fawn keeps watch in the early morning sun.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A Mule Deer fawn keeps watch in the early morning sun. (© Tony’s Takes)

Jack never understood why everyone could find him so easily when playing hide and seek

Jack never understood why everyone could find him so easily when playing hide and seek. 😉

This Black-tailed Jackrabbit did its best to hide from me yesterday morning but those ears were a dead giveaway as to its location.

Also called the American desert hare, these jackrabbits have a wide range across the western United States where they can be found at altitudes ranging from sea level to 10,000 feet. Here in Colorado, they are pretty common on the plains.?

A Black-tailed Jackrabbit tries to hide but its ears give it away. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Black-tailed Jackrabbit tries to hide but its ears give it away. (© Tony’s Takes)

“This is MY spot on the lake”

A little bit of drama between these two, massive Moose bulls. The one on the right had just swam across the lake (see my pics from last week) and was seeming to enjoy its time alone when another bull arrived. It did not appreciate the intrusion and feigned an attack rushing toward the other. The interloper didn’t want the confrontation and ran into the water to get out the way. Very fun and exciting to see!

A Bull Moose chases off another bull that dared to come near the area it was on a lake shore.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A Bull Moose chases off another bull that dared to come near the area it was on a lake shore. (© Tony’s Takes)

Bringing home the bacon. Um, no. Bringing home the bird.

This was my second run-in with this foxy lady over a span of two weeks. This time however, this Red Fox vixen wasn’t begging for food from folks driving along the road. She in fact had proven that she can hunt on her own and managed to catch herself a nice little feathery meal. I for one would prefer bacon, but I guess beggars can’t be choosers. 😉

A Red Fox vixen returns to her den with a bird in its mouth.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A Red Fox vixen returns to her den with a bird in its mouth. (© Tony’s Takes)

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