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Coyote on the hunt for breakfast

Coyote on the hunt for breakfast

Such a pretty lady, eh? She looked absolutely stunning as she hunted the fields in the Upper Beaver Meadows area of Rocky Mountain National Park this past Sunday. It seems like if I see coyotes in the park, this is usually the spot. The ones there seem quite comfortable with the humans that intrude on their domain and oftentimes just go about their business, ignoring the interlopers. This particular one was clearly looking for a meal, at one point stopping and listening ...

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Bison graze at ease along the Madison River

Bison graze at ease along the Madison River

This beautiful scene kickstarted our visit to Yellowstone National Park last month. Winter had been harsh up there with a great deal of snowfall and the spring was a wet one. However, all that moisture made for a lush, green landscape and rivers flowing full and quick. Soon after arrival we set out for a quick exploration trip and found a herd of bison grazing along the banks of the river. Above, a cloud-dotted sky with spots of bright blue peering ...

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The intense focus of a raptor

The intense focus of a raptor

While raptors like this Red-tailed Hawk are certainly gorgeous, they are also ferocious predators. With the right look, they can look quite pretty but at the same time be downright intimidating as this pretty lady appears in this capture. Karma is a captive bird, used for falconry and education. A few weeks ago I and my son got the opportunity to spend a lot of time photographing her and some other raptors up close and personal. Found across all of North America, Red-tailed ...

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The master of the deep forest

The master of the deep forest

Rumor had it that the Moose in my favorite area had finally returned after spending the past month or so at higher altitude. The weather looked iffy at best but I could not resist at least making an attempt to see them Sunday. At 10,000+ feet in altitude I knew it would be cold and fresh snow had fallen. There was some welcome sun initially but soon the clouds descended bringing a thick fog and snow began to fall again. It ...

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Barn Owl owlet puts on a show

Barn Owl owlet puts on a show

Such a ham. While its siblings remained hidden in the next within the tree cavity, this little one seemed to revel in the attention myself and a half dozen other photographers gave him a few weeks ago. Three times he scampered out of the nest, and then back in, climbing around and putting on a display each time. It was undoubtedly a bit cramped down in the home so this particular time it chose to stretch its wings above its head. ...

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Burrowing Owl among wildflowers

This morning I shared an image of a whole clan of these cool little raptors. Here is a close up of one of the adults. It was kind enough to hang out in a spot with some nice flowers to add some color. Okay, I realize they may just be flowering weeds but it still looks better than the dirt mounts we normally see them on. 😀

During the summer Burrowing Owls can be found across much of the western United States. At more southern latitudes closer to Mexico and in Florida they stay in place year round. Unlike most owls, Burrowing Owls are diurnal (versus nocturnal) so it is quite common to find them out and about during the day.

Burrowing Owls are considered a threatened species here in the Colorado. Their numbers appear to be on the decline as humans take over and destroy their habitat. Many folks think nothing of wiping out Prairie Dog colonies, a keystone species itself, but don’t think of the cascading effects of that on all of the other creatures down the line, including these little guys.

A Burrowing Owl keeps watch above its flower covered home. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Burrowing Owl keeps watch above its flower covered home. (© Tony’s Takes)

That is one big family!

I was trying to decide what to post a picture of this morning, trying to keep an eye toward a creature I hadn’t posted in a while. Burrowing Owls were what I settled on and while I have images of these cool little ones that are far better, I remembered this one.

Taken back at the end of June, it shows more Burrowing Owls in a single picture than I have ever seen – one adult and nine young ones! I had never seen so many at a single burrow, usually finding four or five at a time. They can have clutches from two to 12 so this family was at the upper end of the spectrum.

A very large family of Burrowing Owls northeast of Denver, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A very large family of Burrowing Owls northeast of Denver, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Mama fox looking for a meal to feed the kits

I happened across this pretty lady a couple of times this past summer. She didn’t have much a fear of people which is probably not a good thing overall. However, for this photographer, it worked out well.  She had caught a bird and dropped it off for her kits and then headed back out looking for more food.

While they aren’t seen often, Red Foxes are quite common across the entire Northern Hemisphere from near the equator to the Arctic Circle. They are extremely adaptable and able to coexist in areas with large human populations. Taken near Mount Evans, Colorado.

A female Red Fox hunts for food in the Colorado high country.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A female Red Fox hunts for food in the Colorado high country. (© Tony’s Takes)

A female Red Fox hunts for food in the Colorado high country.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A female Red Fox hunts for food in the Colorado high country. (© Tony’s Takes)

Foggy fall road

Such a picture-perfect scene showcasing the change of seasons here in Colorado. Taken a few weeks ago when the fall foliage along the Front Range were approaching their peak. The morning started clear but then fog arrived and enveloped the landscape. This road was lined with birch and cottonwood trees and seemed to disappear into nothingness at the end of it. This is probably one of my favorite pics of the fall colors that I captured this year.

Fog and fall foliage along a road on the Colorado plains.  (© Tony’s Takes)

Fog and fall foliage along a road on the Colorado plains. (© Tony’s Takes)

Oh, give me a home, where the Buffalo roam…

It is National Bison Day so I sure can’t let that go by without notice. This image was taken last weekend and is one I absolutely love. This massive Bison bull was hanging out alone on the Great Plains. In the distance, the snow-capped Rocky Mountains.

These massive animals were hunted to the brink of extinction in the 1700s and 1800s with as few as 750 reported by 1890. Their numbers have since rebounded with about 500,000 now living on public and private lands.

It used to be we called these buffalo but that actually was incorrect. While they are part of the same family that includes the European and African buffalo, the Bison is its own, distinct species. It is believed they were called buffalo by early North American explorers due to their resemblance to the Old-World species. Native Americans call them Tatanka, a Lakota word that translated means “bull buffalo.”

In May 2016 the Bison became the official mammal of the United States, a fitting and long overdue honor.

Taken at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge near Denver, Colorado.

An American Bison bull walks across the Great Plains with the snow-capped Rocky Mountains in the distance. (© Tony’s Takes)

An American Bison bull walks across the Great Plains with the snow-capped Rocky Mountains in the distance. (© Tony’s Takes)

Big brother?

This young White-tailed Deer buck was curious about the new, seasonal arrivals but he also tried to bully them a bit, kicking at them. Mom tolerated it for a while but then chased him off. Here, before he became aggressive, one of the fawns and the yearling enjoy a tender looking moment. I hope you all have a great weekend!

A White-tailed Deer fawn greets a young buck.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A White-tailed Deer fawn greets a young buck. (© Tony’s Takes)

You’re still at work? Go home!

This gorgeous Bald Eagle is wondering why you are still at your desk and not already enjoying your weekend. Remember – It is 5:00 somewhere! Have a great one everyone and TGIF!

A Bald Eagle wonders why humans are still at work on a Friday afternoon.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A Bald Eagle wonders why humans are still at work on a Friday afternoon. (© Tony’s Takes)

Beavers hard at work

Not a creature I have gotten many images of but this pair was very cooperative on the South Platte River. They were hard at work gathering material to add to their lodge, climbing the banks and grabbing material then hopping back in the water and carefully placing it at their home. Lighting was dim in the canyon but it was fun to watch them hard at work.

A Beaver drags branches down to the South Platte River. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Beaver drags branches down to the South Platte River. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Beaver returns to its lodge on the South Platte River. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Beaver returns to its lodge on the South Platte River. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Beaver returns to its lodge on the South Platte River. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Beaver returns to its lodge on the South Platte River. (© Tony’s Takes)

Bugling big boy

The annual Elk rut is over and they have settled down and are preparing for a long, cold winter. This image was taken back in the middle of September at the height of the mating season.

While this bull looked and sounded quite impressive as he patrolled the hills, the ladies either weren’t very taken with him or he was not as good of a fighter as you might guess from his looks. There was only one cow in the area and she was doing her best to avoid him. I guess looks aren’t everything. 😉

An Elk bull bugles hoping to attract the females. (© Tony’s Takes)

An Elk bull bugles hoping to attract the females. (© Tony’s Takes)

Welcome to Sleepy Hollow

A rather scary road ahead on All Hallows’ Eve. 😉 I took this a couple of weeks ago and it was actually a very pretty scene with fog and fall foliage. As I was playing with it in post-processing I took it to the darker side to give it a much more ominous look. Kind of fun and thankfully no headless horseman to worry about. Have fun tonight!

A scary looking road ahead on Halloween. (© Tony’s Takes)

A scary looking road ahead on Halloween. (© Tony’s Takes)