FOR THE BIRDS BLOG
2017 I have a new home in Santa Barbara, California. The area is known for 496 bird species (including ones found on the islands). I found my birders' paradise!
May 2016 - I just returned from a photo shoot in Botswana and South Africa. Wow! Another amazing adventure. The last afternoon at Botswana's Lebala Camp was another day spent searching aimlessly for a wild dog experience. Our tracker and driver were barreling down a dirt road headed back to camp, when I shouted STOP! STOP! And, there he was - a beautiful Pearl-Spotted Owlet. At only 7-1/2” tall, he’s a little one.
The moment and the light were perfect. He looked at me and I looked back at him, and this is the result.
Once I arrived back at home, the final composition began to take shape. The landscape of Botswana was photographed from our small plane on our way to Maun. The night sky was captured after everyone was asleep and offered an incredible look at the Milky Way. The combination of all of these elements, became the perfect environment for my new little friend.
Pearl-Spotted Owlet ©2016
MORE BIRDS! My travels took me to Lake St. Catherine area on the I-90 in New Orleans at the end of 2015. There were more snowy egrets fishing than I had ever seen. They were at the edge of the lake right next to the highway. Trucks would drive by at top speed. The birds didn't move nor care. Driving slow or stopping made them skittish and they would fly away. But if you waited patiently, they would come back to their same fishing spots.
August 2015 On a recent trip to Kauai, I was photographing night shots at the Lighthouse when a bird came out of the sky and landed in front of me. And just as quickly, he vanished back into the night sky. Then came the sounds. Sounds that were amazing. It was the wedge-tailed shearwater and here is their sound.
Wild Mating Feathers And Colors!
(Birds Play Dress-Up)
Cattle egret beaks, lore and eye color explode during the short mating season around April and May (in Florida). Their feather displays are spectacular as well.
Little Blue Herons
Cattle Egrets Behaving Like Cattle Egrets
June 2014 - The US Government imported cattle egrets to Kauai in 1952 to solve the insect problem. Unfortunately, solving this problem created a much bigger one. Unlike other herons and egrets who eat fish, cattle egrets feed on insects, including the adorable and useful geckos and bird eggs. The government would like to declare open season on cattle egrets as well as barn owls. The barn owls are known to eat native baby Pueo and cattle egrets dominate habitats where endangered Ae'o or Hawaiian stilts live.
To the islanders the cattle egret is called the "gardener's bird". They follow the gardeners around in search of a quick meal. How well they have adapted to humans.
I photographed these images when the palm tree maintenance men came by to trim the trees. Down came the stunned Kauai anole lizard, down came the gecko and in flew the cattle egrets to scoop them up.