A small sparrow like bird that wears a distinct black bow tie and has shiny yellow breast -the Dickcissel is a remarkably gifted singer whose musical notes waft in the summer air over prairies and grasslands!
Although I’ve seen and heard the Dickcissel several times, I was able to get some decent pictures recently while passing through tall grass prairie in central Iowa. What is remarkable about the Dickcissel is that it tends to mainly breed in the Midwest prairies. But even before the cold wind blows, the Dickcissel has already packed its bags and soared all the way to Venezuela!
Honey Creek Resort Iowa
Hummingbirds are busybodies in constant motion all the time or so it seems, flapping their wings at supersonic speeds of 50 beats/sec on average! They are absolutely fascinating to watch, flying forwards and backwards with equal ease, and it is quite challenging to capture their stunts on camera! But even hummingbirds have to rest periodically after expending all that energy.
About ten years ago, I came across this elegant Rufous tailed hummingbird displaying its brilliant colors at the foothills of Arenal volcano in Costa Rica, in blissful meditation!
Rufous tailed hummingbird, Costa Rica
Roseate spoonbills are an absolute treat to watch -gorgeous in stunning pink, these birds are mostly found in southeastern US. They are often mistaken for flamingoes, but can be easily recognized by their signature bills which are uniquely shaped and hence the name! I’ve photographed a few of these birds in the past, but this one turned out to be a winner! You can see the winning entries at http://www.orangeaudubonfl.org/Audubon-Contest-Winners_2017.htm
This autumn has been exceedingly pleasant despite the heated rhetoric on both sides that may lead to the winter of our discontent! I’ve tried to capitalize on this Indian Summer and take in the beauty of the natural landscape. As the leaves begin to transform and display their rich hues before falling off, the season offers excellent opportunities to photograph the dazzling colors of the foliage and the birds that get ready to migrate to warm weather. Trying to spot tiny birds such as warblers high up in the branches can be quite challenging but when you do, it is indeed a fulfilling moment. The Palm Warbler and the White-breasted Nuthatch below were photographed at the Celery Bog in West Lafayette, while the rest were taken at the Audubon Sanctuary in Bent of the River, Southbury, CT.
White Breasted Nuthatch
Yellow Rumped Warbler
Yellow Rumped Warbler
Ruby Crowned Kinglet
Despite its name, the Yellow-Crowned Night-heron (YCNH) forages during the day as well as night and is found mostly in the coastal regions of the Southeast. Typically a solitary creature, it loves to feed on crustaceans, with crab delicacy an all time favorite. I chanced upon this juvenile YCNH that appeared to catch a crab or was it the other way round! It was hard to distinguish prey from predator as the drama unfolded, until finally…
It was dusk and the sun was setting in the horizon when I noticed this Little Blue Heron intently gazing at something. I wasn’t expecting any action when all of a sudden it spread its wings in its classic pose before striking gold!
This Willet goes into deep meditation while performing the one-leg pose or Ekapada-pranamasana!
A couple of my entries were adjudged winners at the St Pete Audubon Bird Photo Contest…….
Double Crested Cormorant -Pinellas County Breeding Bird
Ruddy Turnstone -Migratory bird
As warmer temperatures beckon us down south during this time of the year, Florida’s Gulf Coast offers a treasure trove for the birding enthusiast, not to mention sunny skies! Here’s a sampling of a few birds from a recent visit, photographed at various locations.
Have you ever had a hair-raising experience like these subjects which I was fortunate to capture…..Kodak moments!