I’ll be incommunicado this weekend while I hang out with some warthogs and hornets and watch some lightning. 😉 More pics to come on Monday.
This was one, way cool falcon and only the second I have ever seen in person. A captive bird used for educational purposes by HawkQuest , it was quite cooperative as it sat perched in a wooded area with some cool, red, fall foliage behind it.
Aplomado falcons are arguably North America’s most endangered raptor. Once found across much of the southwestern United States and Mexico, habitat loss and historical use of DDT and other insecticides have taken an extraordinary toll on these birds.
Small populations still exist and there are some signs of recovery but it will be a long, slow road to get their numbers up to where they should be.
Just a random picture from one of my hikes this past weekend. The clouds were just crazy cool, seeming to emanate from a single point on the distant horizon. Throw in those beautiful, blue Colorado skies behind them and it was a very pleasant, fall scene.
This past Saturday I was looking to get out and stretch my legs and wanting to do something different from my recent excursions. I hadn’t visited with my favorite pair of bald eagles since their little one fledged back in July and while it was a long shot they would be around, I figured the hike would at least do me some good.
As I was walking in before sunrise, the male came flying the opposite direction, heading off to hunt I would guess. Getting closer to their home, I found the pretty lady, perched and enjoying the solitude. She didn’t stay long, soon relocating to their favorite perch on the opposite side of the river.
I followed along, pulling up a spot on the river bank, and just sat, enjoying the crisp air and beautiful morning. She gave me some nice captures over the next couple of hours as she posed, preened, and stretched.
Just as I was getting read to pack it in, I spot the male, coming in fast to join his mate. I was able to track him perfectly as he approached, circled behind the tree and landed right next to her.
This image is from the instant before those impressive talons grabbed the branch and he landed next to his beautiful bride. It is probably my favorite capture from the morning. With his wings spread wide and legs extended, you really get a great look at these impressive creatures.
Random thought… I used to try to come up with names for the eagles I routinely saw but then would forget what I had decided to call them the next time. This pair though, I have decided I am going to call Jack and Jill, if only because I figure I can remember those names with as much time as I spend with them through the year. 😉
Mom was on the move and anxious to move to a more private location but this little one was in no mood to wait. Bending over and diving right in, she stopped the doe in her tracks and got some breakfast. A growing child needs its nutrition, right? 😉
This is National Wildlife Refuge Week and fittingly enough, this was taken at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge this past Sunday. There are 567 national wildlife refuges across the United States, each providing great wildlife viewing opportunities. More importantly, these lands protect habitat for thousands of species of creatures that would be crowded out by human encroachment otherwise.
My photo walk Saturday was focused primarily on big birds, images of which I will share here soon. However, some little ones also garnered some attention. Among them, a spotted towhee, a bird I had never seen in person before and best of all, I managed a capture of it with a meal. Others were a common grackle all fluffed up, a killdeer along the river’s edge and a kingfisher.
Just a gorgeous, fall scene in the Rocky Mountains. I spent a morning a few weeks ago in the Upper Beaver Meadows area of Rocky Mountain National Park watching the elk.
The action was pretty light and a bit further away than I would have preferred but that allowed me to capture this cool scene. Below, a massive elk bull bugles and the sound echoes throughout the valley. Behind him, the indomitable, 14,259-foot high Longs Peak with some light, wispy clouds circling its rocky face.
I just sat on a rock, soaking it all in.
Kind of a fun, random shot from this past summer.
Taken from near the top of Mount Evans, looking across at Mount Bierstadt. I had taken the easier route to 14,000 feet, driving to the top of Mount Evans. These folks had hiked from the opposite side of Mount Bierstadt to summit that 14,065 foot peak.
The two mountain peaks are a bit over a mile away from each other and with the naked eye, you probably would not have seen the people on the opposite peak.
The American bald eagle. Most followers of this page know of my affinity for these raptors. Indeed, my quest in the past for them has in many ways driven my passion for photography.
I am always looking for them, savoring each and every moment with them. That passion for them is driven in part due to simply just how impressive of a creature they are but also, certainly, due to patriotism.
In my mind, I can think of no more fitting creature for our national emblem. From the birth of the United States of America, the bald eagle has symbolized this nation and its people – free, proud, majestic, ambitious, optimistic and certainly, ferocious.
Yes, we have our issues and in recent years I fear we have lost sight of the words that often accompany imagery of this emblem, “E pluribus unum” (out of many, one). Maybe we all need to step back, think about our emblem, and more importantly, think about our national motto and what those words mean.
Image: A 22-year-old captive bald eagle recently photographed at an event with @HawkQuest .
A way cool bird! I frequent areas of the plains where these guys are found but have never seen one in the wild. At a recent photoshoot with HawkQuest, I finally got to see one in person.
This particular owl was found tangled in a barbed wire fence in Kansas and, unfortunately, lost much of its right wing. As a result, it couldn’t be released back into the wild but it has a new lease on life as an educational ambassador with the non-profit organization.
This is probably my favorite capture of it from the day as it does a nice job showcasing its beautiful plumage and those brilliant, yellow eyes. As a bonus, we get a great look at the deadly talons and even its ear tufts.