Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Northern Harrier

This Northern Harrier was hunting a field next to where we were waiting to see the PanSTARRS comet this evening. I actually saw him drop down to ambush something, but apparently missed. It happened right behind some scrub brush, so I didn't get it on "film". This shot was taken right after his failed attempt.

Northern Harrier (More images and info HERE.)

Monday, March 4, 2013

Wild Turkey

This Wild Turkey "Jake" (immature male) was nice enough to pose for me - long enough to get a good profile photo of him. You can see his "snood" as a stub poking up from his forehead. It will eventually grow to hang over his beak and turn bright red. Not the prettiest face you've ever seen - even as an adult.


Spotted Towhee

These robin-sized birds are fun to watch as they dart in and out of the underbrush, grabbing morsels to take back with them. They eat insects, fruits, seeds, acorns, and sometimes small snakes and lizards. I caught the one pictured here as it hopped up on his watering hole to get a drink.

(More images and information HERE.)

Brown Thrasher

This is another first photographed for me - the Brown Thrasher. Like the Spotted Towhee, the Brown Thrasher stays in dense underbrush. It will dart out to grab a bite to eat, then return to the brush as quickly as it appeared. Like most other thrashers, the Brown prefers running or hopping to flying.

The Brown Thrasher eats insects (loves beetles), worms, grains, nuts, berries, and fruit. Its numbers are said to be declining - possibly due to the fragmentation of large, wooded habitat that it needs.


Pine Siskin

This is another first for me to photograph. It caught my attention by way of its yellow wing stripe.

The Pine Siskin is an unpredictably nomadic little rascal. They tend to prefer pines, spruces, and other conifers. They will make a mass exodus from an area if the food supply isn't to their liking. The Pine Siskin eats conifer seeds and insects, and can be seen feeding along roadsides, lawns, and weed fields. He can be a vicious fighter at the dinner table.