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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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Love is being nose to nose with Mom

A bit early with what would be a cool pic for Mothers Day tomorrow but I was just flipping through older images and came across this one. Taken last May, these American Badger had her den in a great spot for viewing and provided me tons of photo opportunities of her and her cubs.

I’ve been watching the same spot this year but thus far haven’t seen them. Hopefully I will in the coming weeks but, it is pretty rare to see one at all so I am doubtful.

The American Badger is a rarely seen creature found across the western and central United States, northern Mexico and southern Canada. Its preferred habitat includes grasslands where it can find it’s the prey it relies on to survive. Carnivorous, the badger is part of the same family that includes the wolverine, ferret and weasel. It is ferocious in its hunting ability choosing snakes, prairie dogs, mice and other residents of plains-like areas where it lives. It is considered an endangered species in parts of Canada and a threatened species in some locations in the United States.

An American Badger sow and cub share a quiet moment.  (© Tony’s Takes)

An American Badger sow and cub share a quiet moment. (© Tony’s Takes)

Bald Eagle brings home American Coot for breakfast

I had spent all morning hanging out at one of my favorite Bald Eagle nests. While the female and her two eaglets were around, the male was nowhere to be found. Just as I was packing up, I see him come flying in. I quickly started snapping pictures as I could see he was carrying something.

Once he landed I could tell – he had caught himself an American Coot! He sat just below the nest, enjoying his meal, shredding it as he did. After a time and having had his fill, he took the leftovers to the nest for the rest of his family. The light was pretty harsh by the time all this action took place so the pics aren’t the greatest but it sure was fun to witness!

Taken southwest of Denver, Colorado.

Clear the landing area! Big bird coming in!

You can’t really appreciate the size of an American White Pelican until you see one up close. They are surprisingly large and that wingspan is just massive. Last week there was a big pod of these patrolling a local pond and while it was mid-afternoon with harsh light, I had to stop and take pictures. They put on a nice show including this one that came in for a landing right in from of me.

An American White Pelican comes in for a landing at the Adams County, Colorado Fairgrounds. (© Tony’s Takes)

An American White Pelican comes in for a landing at the Adams County, Colorado Fairgrounds. (© Tony’s Takes)

I see you down there!

“I see you down there!” A Great Horned Owl owlet checks out the photographer in Thornton, Colorado. My time with this trio was brief but so much fun. I learned about the nest early last week. On the day of this picture, Thursday, two, including this one were in the nest still. One had fallen out of the nest and was perched in a bush on the other side of the trail. The nest day, all three were out of the nest.

A Great Horned Owl owlet peers down from its perch about its nest in Thornton, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Great Horned Owl owlet peers down from its perch about its nest in Thornton, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Gru of Despicable Me fame hangs out in Colorado

Gru of Despicable Me fame hangs out in Colorado. Okay, maybe not, but I swear these Black-crowned Night Herons bear an extraordinary resemblance. 😉 I have only gotten pictures of these birds a few times so when I happened across one recently, I did my best stealthy approach to try to get a decent capture. Crouching down, I waddled like a duck through some tall grass, contorting myself to get this picture of the red-eyed creature as it kept watch on the water for a meal.

A Black-crowned Night Heron in Adams County, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Black-crowned Night Heron in Adams County, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Big, bad Grizzly Bear

I don’t know why but today I am obsessing over these massive creatures and my desire to photograph more of them. Harkening back to June of 2016 along the Trans-Canada Highway east of Banff National Park.

We happened across this beast not far off the road and needless to say, I hit the brakes hard and pulled over. It was only in view for a few moments but the encounter yielded my best pics of a Grizzly to date.

While I have photographed a few others, mainly in Yellowstone and the Tetons, those encounters suffered from issues with bad lighting to long distances to obscured views. Some day I hope have “that encounter” that will at least partially satisfy my photo dreams.

Perhaps next year if we are able to head to Alaska like we are planning.

Naturalist George Ord gave the Grizzly its classification, ursus arctos horribilis, due to its intimidating character. Lewis and Clark studied and wrote extensively about grizzlies including relaying one story in their journals of an encounter during which Lewis was actually chased by one. Not an enviable position to be in for sure!

A Grizzly Bear looks for a meal along the Trans-Canada Highway in Alberta. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Grizzly Bear looks for a meal along the Trans-Canada Highway in Alberta. (© Tony’s Takes)

Muskrat makes off with a crawdad

This was a first for me getting pictures of either of these creatures. I stopped by a local pond Friday and saw something swimming in the water. Along came a Muskrat with the crayfish, a nice little meal for it I am sure. It was mid-afternoon so light was really harsh but it was fun to see and I am glad to have gotten pics of them.

A Muskrat carries off a crawdad in Adams County, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Muskrat carries off a crawdad in Adams County, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Muskrat carries off a crawdad in Adams County, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Muskrat carries off a crawdad in Adams County, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Snowy Egret in flight

I made a quick stop on my way home yesterday at the Adams County, Colorado Fairgrounds. The mid-afternoon light was harsh so I wasn’t expecting much out of my pictures but there was a lot of bird activity so I really wanted to check it out.

I’ve been using my Canon 6D Mark II more and more and continue to be impressed with its capability. It handled the bright light exceedingly well, just as I have been seeing it do in low light. This beautiful bird flew nearby and I managed a very nice sequence of images and was able to retain all the detail within the white despite that harsh light.

A Snowy Egret flies over the water of a pond at the Adams County Fairgrounds. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Snowy Egret flies over the water of a pond at the Adams County Fairgrounds. (© Tony’s Takes)

Pouncing kit for Fox Friday

Like any good sibling, this little one took great joy in pouncing on and tackling its littermate. The light was low on this evening making catching any sort of fast moving action like this tough. Nevertheless, it was fun to see and even better to have gotten a few images. I haven’t seen these little ones since that day unfortunately as their mom undoubtedly moved the den again. Hopefully I get another chance but it will have to come soon as they won’t all be hanging out together for long.

A Red Fox kit pounces on its sibling in Weld County, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Red Fox kit pounces on its sibling in Weld County, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)