Kind of a neat capture from last week. We have a couple red tailed hawks that hang out in our neighborhood and the surrounding area. Once or twice I have seen them perched on the cross at the nearby church but have never gotten a picture. Coming home from work the other day I saw one of the pair there and decided I would give it a shot. The skies were kinda cruddy gray but it still made for a neat scene. Hopefully someday I can get both of them there and with a better background.
Sunday I went to check on my favorite pair of great horned owls. I was able to easily locate one of the two. It was clearly pretty worn out after a night of carousing and hunting, barely opening its eyes to acknowledge my presence. I looked and looked and could not find its mate. I don’t know for a fact but am thinking it was possibly in the nest cavity, already sitting on eggs. In years past when they started incubating, the female was a good ways down in there and not always visible. After last year’s disastrous results (the previous female passed away), I am hopeful for better results this year.
The waning gibbous moon setting over the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains. It was a beautiful morning Saturday along the Front Range. As I enjoyed my morning photo outing, I kept an eye on the moon, waiting for the change to get it as it descended in the west. It worked out well with the grasses of the plains in the foreground followed by the foothills then the snow-covered mountains. A pretty nice view for sure!
Quite the looker this lady is, isn’t she? American kestrels are quite common although due to their small size, you might dismiss them not realizing they are a raptor. Indeed, they are just as ferocious of predators as their bigger cousins. Most often I see them hanging out on utility wires so I don’t usually stop and take pics of them. This one, however, had itself a nice spot on top of a bush yesterday and was willing to sit long enough to allow me some nice portraits.
January’s full moon is really called the wolf moon but I figured given these shots, I would rename it for my purposes.
Earlier this week I went on a bit of an excursion and since my desired subject matter chose to stay hidden, I took pics of these common creatures instead. I don’t normally photograph Canada geese as they are everywhere and, honestly, I find them kind of annoying. But, in the late afternoon, multiple skeins of them flew over with the moon serving as a backdrop.
While I didn’t get pics of the critter I wanted, at least these guys helped occupy my time.
Umm. Yeah. That is WAY cool!
Last Sunday’s photo excursion started off slow but then this handsome fellow and his mate turned it all around. Perched on poles, I wasn’t overly enthusiastic about the spot but I figured it was worth the hike to see what I could get from them. Both made it well-worth my while, giving me a ton of cool captures.
Here, the male returns to a pole right near me and in doing so, gave me some jaw-dropping captures. There is a lot to love in this shot. That focused look and beautiful, white head. The wings, goodness, they were massive. And, of course, those deadly talons!
“Pole bird” or not, I will take all of these kind of shots I can get. Have a great weekend, everyone!
A couple of weeks ago I shared a capture of a spectacular sundog that remained in the air for more than two hours. Since it was so long-lived, I was able to take a ton of shots of it from various locations and had the chance to try some different compositions. Here are three more looks at it, this time showing only one side of it. One is a closer look where the sundog met the horizon. The other two are just a couple of compositions I liked with the trees in the foreground. I still smile when I think about that morning and how much fun I had running around in the sub-zero temperatures.
Holy moly what a view this was – and one where I initially thought I missed the show. As I headed to my photo destination Saturday, it became clear that sunrise was going to be a good one. Unfortunately, by the time I got off the highway and found a spot with a decent foreground, the show to the east was over. I was frustrated but as I turned around and looked west, I realized the best was right behind me. A layer of clouds was above and low clouds had descended on the mountain valleys in the distance. Mount Meeker stood proudly in the alpenglow with Longs Peak’s summit being lit up and coming out from behind Meeker’s shadow. Colored by sunrise, the entire scene was just amazing!
It is that time of year when the owls are starting to get frisky and preparing to settle down for the spring. I checked my favorite local nest on Sunday and was happy to find the pair napping after a night of hunting. Naturally, only one was willing to give me a clear shot. Last year I first saw the female in the nest the first week of February so we will see when she takes up residence this year.
Owls nest earlier than most other birds as, since they don’t build their own nests and usually take over those previously built by other raptors, they stake their claim early. This pair, however, has little to worry about as the previous spot they used is a tree cavity so there likely isn’t any interest from neighbors. I did get some cool, individual shots of this pair and will share them later.
Kind of a fun encounter although the perch this raptor chose was less than ideal. I had just finished paying a visit to my local owls and was heading for home when I spotted this Cooper’s hawk on a light pole over a somewhat busy suburban street. While these guys are quite common, they are not commonly seen, preferring to hide out in the thick of trees, keeping watch and being ready to strike any unsuspecting prey. As a result, I don’t get to photograph them often so was happy for the opportunity, even if I wished it had chosen a better spot to hang out.