Monthly Archives: July 2011

Momma Feeding Her Chicks

Osprey Chick Calling for Food

I had the opportunity to return to the Osprey nest this week. The chicks are getting close to taking flight. Their wings are now fully developed. No more wholes created by not enough feathers.

Osprey Chick with Mouthful of Fish

One of the things I like about visiting this nest is that it is very peaceful. Most of you have heard this before but wildlife photography affords you a lot of time to think as you sit and wait for something to happen (it doesn’t always). This time however I was able to capture something new to me. The female Osprey feeding her young.

Pappa Osprey Keeping Watch Over Nest

All this occurred while dad kept a watchful eye over me!

Images captured by Nikon D700, 600 f/4 w/ 1.4 TCe-II on Lexar Digital Film.

Glossy Ibis

I had the opportunity to observe a group of Glossy Ibis that were feeding near the Osprey nest that I visited the last few weekends.

Glossy Ibis in Flight

Its interesting that I have never seen a troop of Ibis at the nest prior to this visit. I have visited this particular nesting site for the last 3 years.

Glossy Ibis Portrait

It was unfortunate that the group moved off into the distance not long after I arrived, but it was fun pulling out my binoculars and watching them interact. I also made some great images of the mother Osprey feeding the chicks which I will share with you all shortly.

Images made with Nikon D700, 600 f/4 with 1.4 TCe-II on Lexar digital film.

Monday Musings – A Morning with Yellow Crowned Night Herons

Yellow Crowned Night Heron in Front of Grass

Its rare that I go out on a photography hunt and come back with the exact species of wildlife I hoped to photograph, except for when I go to a nest. Its one of the things I like most about wildlife photography. You plan, plan some more and then plan again, and your trip presents you with something you didn’t plan on!

Yellow Crowned Night Heron Eyeing Breakfast

This morning I was not looking for Yellow Crowned Night Herons. In fact this was a new species for me.

Yellow Crowned Night Heron Plunge

But ALL I found this particular morning was Yellow Crowned Night Herons. I did not photograph anything else. The morning was glorious with great light and fantastic sunrise.

Yellow Crowned Night Heron with Crab Breakfast

I really enjoyed sitting at this location (about 2 hours) and watching these Herons hunt. The typical behavior…..shaking the leg while they feel for their prey. It was a great morning. And capturing this bird with a crab made the day that much more special. I wonder sometimes if I really like watching the behavior of my subjects more than actually getting the image. On second thought I definitely like getting the image :-).

Images captured with Nikon D700, 600 f/4 with 1.4 TCe-II on Lexar Digital Film.

Osprey Chicks

I had the good fortune to visit one of my favorite Osprey nesting locations this weekend. This site is just killer at sunset…..when there are Osprey sitting on a nest of course :-).

Mother Osprey Returning to Her Nest

This was the first time I had a chance to visit this particular nest during the current breeding season. I have been here a few times over the last few seasons. This was the first time I have had a female feel threatened by my presence which I thought was odd given the nest was in a populated area. Since she seemed to be agitated, I grabbed my tripod and moved away as not to stress her. I’m sure you have heard the saying, “No image is worth the welfare of your subject”. I have never felt threatened by an adult Osprey before but she was definitely getting close overhead as I was retreating.

Osprey Chick Preening

Once momma landed on the nest I slowly and gradually made my way back to the nest. She seemed fine with this.

Osprey Calling

I wasn’t really sure what the Osprey and her chick were focused on in the swamp, it was out of my view. But you can see here that they were not very happy. The male Osprey was watching about 150 yards away from atop a pile driven into the swamp.

Images captured with a Nikon D700 600 f/4 w/ 1.4 TCe-II on Lexar digital film.

Monday Musings – Feeding Frenzy

First of all, I would like to wish my fellow Americans a Happy 4th of July! I also want to thank the countless numbers of Americans who have sacrificed so much so that my family and I could enjoy the freedoms that we do today.

Putting in your time is an important part of wildlife photography. I am often amazed by how many people think I can walk up to a wild animal and just take its picture! Sitting and waiting, watching and learning, sometimes for hours is a normal part of the job for me. Sometimes putting in my time pays huge dividends and other times it does not. Putting in my time this past weekend had some really big payoffs.

Snowy Egret with Bill Full of Fish

I am an incredibly poor sleeper. I only require about 6 hours sleep a day to function at 100%. Incredibly fortunate for someone who needs to rise at 4:30-5:00 everyday. High tide in the Hamptons was running early this weekend. I used my local knowledge of the area to concentrate on a strip of Dune Rd. where I knew I would find some tidal pools. I hit the area right on the mark.

Snowy Egret Side View

These images were taken as the tide was just going out, trapping a large amount of bait fish in a tidal pool. Because I put in my time on a previous trip, I had a really good idea where to go. Within minutes, a large group of Snowy Egrets, at least 25, descended on the pool and provided me with the photographic equivalent of shooting fish in a barrel!

Snowy Egret with a Big One

So next time you go out to find some wild creatures to photograph, make sure you come home with more than just images. Knowledge of your subjects is a powerful thing.

Images captured with a Nikon D700, 600 f/4 with 1.4 TCeII on Lexar Digital Film.