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- Pied-billed Grebe Eating Crayfish
- Blue-winged Teal At The Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge
- Pole Dancing Fox Squirrel
- Great Blue Heron Gulps Down A Large Fish
- An Opossum Welcoming Me Home
- Antelope Island Jack Rabbit
- Wildlife Gallery
- A Few Birds At Antelope Island
- Antelope Island Bison
- Coyotes At Antelope Island
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Category Archives: Birds
This Pied-billed Grebe hit the jackpot on finding several crayfish in one spot at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge In Oklahoma. I watched it dive under water and each time it came up with a crayfish. I counted three that it caught but I was only able to photograph it catching one. These birds are difficult to photograph when they dive and catch something because you never know where they will pop back up. This bird was a little easier because it was making dives in the same spot but as soon as it popped back to the surface it would have the crayfish swallowed before I could get my camera on it.
I have seen lots of Blue-winged Teals at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma this spring. The great thing about these ducks are that you can get close to them most of the time for photographing. They don’t do much but dabble in shallow water at the edge of marshes or open water feeding on plants, molluscs and aquatic insects.
Blue-winged Teal are generally the first ducks south in the fall and the last ones north in the spring. Adult drakes depart the breeding grounds well before adult hens and immatures. Most Blue-winged Teal flocks seen after mid-September are composed largely of adult hens and immatures. The northern regions experience a steady decline in Blue-winged Teal populations from early September until early November. Blue-winged Teal in central migration areas tend to remain through September, then diminish rapidly during October, with small numbers remaining until December. Large numbers of Blue-winged Teal appear on wintering grounds in Florida, Louisiana, and Texas in September. (Wikipedia)
My trip out west was great but it’s nice to be back home and to take a trip to the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma after being away for over a month. As soon as I arrived at the refuge, I spot this Great Blue Heron catching fish. I was able to finally get enough light to start photographing just as it caught this large fish. It didn’t gulp it down as fast as it normally does because it was so large.
I was going to spend some time photographing this Great Blue Heron but a man arrived and ruined that for me. I usually don’t do a lot of complaining when people ruin a photo opportunity for me but this guy was bad.
It is very obvious that I am photographing this area because you can’t miss my large camera and lens. The man comes over next to me and throws a net toward the Heron scaring it away. I started to say something but I doubt it would have done any good. Just because I have a camera instead of fishing equipment should I not get the same respect? I wonder how he would have felt if he was fishing and I threw rocks into the water scaring the fish.
Sorry for complaining but I just needed to vent. Life is good!
I was able to photograph a few of the birds on my visit to Antelope Island State Park in Utah. I wished I could have stayed longer and spent more time viewing and photographing the wide variety of birds this place has to offer. Bad weather was moving in and I needed to move on to a safer place. The main thing I enjoyed about photographing the birds that I did see was that you could count on a great perch with great backgrounds.
The Great Salt Lake and surrounding wetlands are home to over 250 species of birds and form a stop over on the Pacific Flyway between South and North America. Between four and six million birds nest and feed on the lake every year. The worlds largest populations of White-faced Ibis and California Gulls make their homes near the lake. A large population of Black-necked Stilts, American Avocets and newborn pelicans are also found on and near the Great Salt Lake. Many of the birds come to Antelope Island State Park to feed on the abundant quantities of Brine flies and Brine shrimp.
I met up with Mia McPherson and Ron Dudley after arriving at Antelope Island State Park in Utah. They were kind enough to drive me around and show me the wildlife and some of the best places to photograph them. Without there help I would not have seen some of the wildlife I saw. The Burrowing Owl would have been one of them. I thought that I had great eyes for spotting birds but Mia has me beat.
Utah should put Mia and Ron on the payroll because they are very knowledgeable about the wildlife and especially the birds of Utah. I really enjoyed my visit with them and I hope to meet up with them again one of these days. I wished I would have gotten a photo with them and I didn’t even think about it until I got home.
The Burrowing Owl is a tiny but long-legged owl found throughout open landscapes of North and South America. Burrowing Owls can be found in grasslands, rangelands, agricultural areas, deserts, or any other open dry area with low vegetation. They nest and roost in burrows, such as those excavated by prairie dogs. Unlike most owls, Burrowing Owls are often active during the day, although they tend to avoid the midday heat. But like many other kinds of owls, Burrowing Owls do most of their hunting from dusk until dawn, when they can use their night vision and hearing to their advantage. (Wikipedia)