That face! So cute and it certainly looks to be one happy raptor. Humans do tend to project our emotional reactions and our perceptions onto animals when we really have no idea what they are ‘feeling’ but you can’t help it with this image.
This particular owl was a participant at a photo workshop I took back in October. Cupid is two years old and was captive bred for educational programs and he now serves as an ambassador for Wild Wings Environmental Education.
These medium-sized owls can be found across most of the globe, including the contiguous United States. They typically remain out of sight roosting in tree cavities, dense stands of trees and of course barns and other buildings.
The talons on these creatures are nothing short of impressive. Getting a close look at them helps you understand why they are so effective – and deadly. When they are relaxed, eagles oftentimes will hold on to their perch with one talon then lift the other up and tuck it inside their feathers. Such was the case with this guy last month which is why you only see one. He didn’t give a hoot about me being there and was quite content and relaxed.
Bald Eagles are believed to have a grasp capable of exerting an astonishing 400psi. By comparison, the average human’s hand comes in around 20psi. Needless to say, when an eagle latches on to a rabbit, prairie dog or fish, the prey isn’t very likely to get away.
Last weekend I was observing this beautiful lady and her mate. Things were awfully quiet for the longest time as for the most part they sat still but then they decided to try fishing in a nearby pond. Neither was successful but the female gave this absolutely fantastic sequence of her as she approached and then flew by.
This is probably one of my best in-flight Bald Eagle pics I have ever captured. The light was just about perfect and coming from the right direction as she approached and flew by. Focus is pretty much spot on showcasing the beautiful detail in the bird’s plumage. A whispy streak of clouds help to just ever so slightly break up the solid blue Colorado skies.
Have a great weekend!
I can’t say I have ever heard of “National Puppy Day” but I guess that is what it is. I don’t have many pics of pups beyond my own dogs so dug into the archives for this one. I reckon it also works for #TBT as it was taken in early May of last year. This cutie Red Fox and its litter-mates were playing in a suburban front yard and my friend was kind enough to let me know so I rushed over. The sun was already below the horizon so light was dim but I managed a few okay captures including this one. So darned cute!
Great Horned Owls are some of the most adaptive owls out there. They have proven that they can survive – and indeed thrive – despite humans oftentimes intruding on their territory. This pretty lady proves that.
She and her mate have chosen to make their home not 50 yards from Interstate 25, the main north-south highway through the state of Colorado. Certainly trees here on the plains can be relatively scarce so they didn’t have a lot of options however one would think they would have preferred someplace at least a bit secluded. Instead, their nest is in full view of passers-by on the highway and a frontage road goes almost right under their nest.
The good thing for someone like me is that I get to watch with very easy access. When I saw her this past Saturday, she seemed to be sitting up high in the nest which may mean there are little ones underneath her. I will definitely have to keep a close eye on the progress.
I was sitting observing a pair of my favorite bird (you know what kind) when there was suddenly a bit of action right in front of me. One Canada Goose had decided to claim a section of the pond as its own and wasn’t willing to let any other geese in. It comes flying in at another pair of geese landing right on top of another. As those two headed off for a different spot, the aggressor gave pursuit. It was a pretty fun sequence and their aggressiveness was clearly on display as they prepare to mate and lay eggs soon. Taken at St Vrain State Park, Colorado.
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Bighorn Sheep lambs may not be all that big but they are nearly as adept at climbing as the adults. The rugged landscape of Colorado’s foothills is a great place for the young ones to learn and while a human would struggle, the lambs scale the rocks and steep slopes with ease. This young ram was more interested in playing with some of the other young members of the herd but did stop to check out the photographers gathered below.
Found across much of western North America, Bighorn Sheep are adept mountain climbers, best known for the adult male ram’s monstrous horns. While the animals are social, rams and ewes typically only meet during mating season. Diseases from European livestock and overhunting had caused the animal’s population to drop precipitously by the early 1900s. Thankfully #conservation efforts have been successful in helping the sheep rebound since then.
I was expecting a typically gorgeous Colorado sunset on this day not long ago but it was the pre-show about a half hour before that was the best part. Iridescent clouds appeared and turned the sky into a rainbow of colors. It was an awesome one seen from my backyard.
Cloud iridescence is caused by clouds (usually cirrus) that have small water droplets or ice crystals in them causing the light to be diffracted, or spread out. The phenomena is much like the rainbow colors seen with oil in water.
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Daytime images of our only natural satellite are a lot of fun. Normally we only pay attention to the moon in the dark but during the day it looks pretty neat against those blue skies. Taken yesterday morning, the waning gibbous moon was easily seen in the southwestern sky.
I can’t help but look at the moon and wonder ‘what could have been’ had our nation continued on its course of manned space exploration exploring beyond low Earth orbit rather than essentially giving up in the early 1970s. Surely by now we would have bases on the moon and likely would have even been to Mars. Such a shame.
The landing sites of Apollo 12, 14 and 15 can actually be seen in this image. Those of Apollo 11, 16 and 17 are just inside the area in shadow on the right. Want to know where they are? See here for more info.
I was actually looking for owls when I came across this pair of raptors. There was no nest in sight but they sure did not seem to appreciate me being around so I snapped some quick pics and retreated. Skies were overcast so not the prettiest of backgrounds but the birds themselves looked gorgeous. Taken in Thornton, Colorado.