Thursday, March 31, 2011

Great Horned Owl - Hagerman, Idaho

I took this photo a few weeks ago while in the Hagerman area. This owl would hoot all night, but I could not find a nest or any other owls nearby.

Canon 60D with 5oo mm lens.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Gambel's Quail - Male and Female - Nevada

This pair of quail posed on a rock for me. This pair only has one top not feather on their heads, but I saw some that had two on their heads. I saw more with just one than I have with two, but I have no idea if the number means anything.

There are lots of quail out courting right now and they will soon be sitting on eggs and hatching their young. I have been told that Road Runners will catch and eat many of the young quail before they learn to fly.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Buffle Head Duck - Nevada

This Buffle Head is swimming in a small pond with some red rocks reflecting on the water. Sometimes I think I would like to own a small pond and put up colored panels of various colors to get a variety of reflections of of the water. The reflected color can really make or break a photo.
These small ducks are quite shy and I felt fortunate to find one this close.

Canon 60D with a 500 canon lens and 1.4 multiplier.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Gambel's Quail - Nevada

Male Gambel's Quail are starting to call to attract females here in the desert. These little quail are hard to approach and move so quickly that many of my photos of them do not turn out well.
This male is sitting on a high rock so that the females can see him.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Great Gray Owl - Idaho

This Great Gray Owl fledgling is watching a red tailed hawk fly by while waiting for it's mother to bring a meadow vole to eat. Hawks will attack owls if they catch them out in the open.

I was fortunate enough to find this owl with it's mother and two siblings a year ago near my home in Idaho. I was standing on a county road when I took this photo.

The male owl was missing when I found this owl family and I fear that their close proximity to the road may have caused his death. Owls will dive on mice running across the road in the headlights of motor vehicles and get struck while doing so.

I ran over a Great Horned Owl at night many years ago as it caught a mouse right in front of my fast moving pickup.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Oregon Wolf Dies After Being Radio-Collared

Oregon Fish and Game Photo

A yearling gray wolf has died within a week after being collared by by state biologists. This photo is shows an Oregon biologist radio-collaring a wolf captured in a similar operation.
Oregon wolves are collared so they can be tracked and killed if they get in trouble by killing or chasing domestic livestock.

Wolves and other captured animals often die from the stress and over exertion caused by being trapped and captured. The fancy name for this is called "Capture Myopathy". The muscles break down and flood the kidneys with damaged muscle protein causing them to fail.

A Collared Wolf Is A Dead Wolf!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Sandhill Cranes Are Back In Idaho!

I was sitting out in my daughter's yard here in Boise, Idaho yesterday and was surprised and pleased to hear the call of Sandhill Cranes circling overhead. I could see about thirty of the birds circling and calling from way up in the sky. They were far too high to photograph.

I was delighted to see them, as sandhills are one of my favorite birds to see, hear and to photograph.
I was a little concerned, because they were quite near the Boise Airport. The thought of thirty large sandills colliding with a commercial jet was a little unsettling.

I took this photo in New Mexico two years ago. There is a circle of ice on this crane's leg
as it takes off from a partially frozen pond.