Friday’s Feathered Friends-Northern Harrier

Copyright ©2021 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Several weeks ago He-Man was up for exploring so I took him to some of my birding spots that he hasn’t been to yet. While driving into one area I spotted a Northern Harrier on the ground in an irrigation ditch and as soon as we parked I took off to try to get a photo of it. It remained still and let me take a series of images of it. I wondered if it had a meal in that pile of weeds/grass?

Sitting Northern Harrier Male;

Afterwards I caught up with He-Man and while we were picking our way through a field avoiding the muddiest spots he spotted another one sitting in the field. WOOT!

Later on I spied her flying and on the lookout for a meal.

Look at this wing span! She’s ready to pounce! She came up empty and flew out of my range and view onto a new hunting ground no doubt across the pond.

Cool facts:

Male Northern Harriers can have up to 5 mates at once though most only have two. The males provides the food, and the females take care of incubating the eggs and brood the chicks.

Northern Harriers are the most owl like of the hawks, but they are not related to owls. They rely on their hearing and vision to find prey. They have a disk shaped face the looks and functions like an owls with stiff facial feathers that direct sound to their ears.

Juvenile males have pale greenish-yellow eyes, while juvenile females have dark chocolate brown eyes. The eye color of both sexes changes gradually to lemon yellow by adulthood. I didn’t know that!

They eat small mammals and small birds but have been known to take down ducks and rabbits.

The oldest known Northern Harrier on record was a Female at least 15 years, 4 months old when she was captured and released in 2001 by a bird bander in Quebec. She had been banded in New Jersey in 1986.

Cool facts gleaned from allaboutbirds.org

The Harriers were the most exciting sighting at this location soon we were on our way to find a meal ourselves then call it day and head home.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, keep safe and warm!

Fuji X-T3| Fuji 100-400mm| PS CC 22.2

more to come…

Catching the Red-eye

Copyright ©2020 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Eared-Grebe

This is a Breeding adult which you can easily ID by the fan of golden feathers at the “ear”. This image is from early spring where I spied it swimming in one of the ponds at the golf course where we live.

Fun fact- Grebes have lobed rather than fully webbed feet that sit at the rear of their body.

Fuji X-T3| Fujinon XF 100-400mm@400mm| PS CC 21.2.1

more to come…

Wordless Weds. Cooper’s Hawk

Copyright ©2020 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Copyright © 2020 Deborah M. Zajac
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Fujinon X-T3| Fujinon 100-400mm| PS CC 21.2.1

more to come…

 

Wordless Wednesday 44/52: Then There Were Five

Copyright © 2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Nikon D810| Nikkor 200-500mm| Hoodman Digital Film| PS CC 2018

more to come…

Wordless Wednesday 43/52 Loggerhead Shrike

Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Nikon D810| Nikkor 200-500mm| Hoodman Digital Film| PS CC 2018

more to come…

Wordless Wednesday 41/52 Fall Color

Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Yellow Warbler-Female

Nikon D810| Nikkor 200-500mm| SanDisk Digital Film| PS CC 2017

more to come…

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVE

It was a busy week-end with little to no time spent on the computer. Of course Photography figured high on my list of things to do this past week-end.

The Super Moon was number 1 on my list and I made plans months ago to shoot it with friends in Central Valley Calif.  We were a large group and while waiting for the group to assemble before heading to our chosen shooting location I was photographing little birds in a nearby bush.

A friend and I spied a little flighty bird hopping from one branch to the next all the while staying deep in the foliage.  I thought it might be a Warbler of some sort, but couldn’t be sure until I got a better look.  I watched and waited hoping it would come out just for one good look and image. A little patience paid off.  It showed itself in the open less than a minute! I managed to get only 3 frames of it hoping with fingers crossed that just one of those frames would be good.

Imagine my delight at finding I liked all three well enough to keep and share!

Then late last night I was trying to catch up with blogs and emails and read Donna’s post about her latest birding adventure and there in her images was a bird that looked just like the little bird I photographed that very afternoon!

I pulled out my Stokes Field Guide to the Birds of North America to compare my bird, and Donna’s bird with the Field Guide to see if I had a match and positive identification.  I believe so!  If true then this bird is a new ” Lifer” for me! An exciting spotting indeed! Thank you Donna!

Without further ado I present a Ruby-crowned Kinglet with the 3 images I made:

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Ruby-Crowned Kinglet

If you think this is different bird please let me know!

Nikon D700| Nikkor 200-500mm| Lexar Professional Digital Film|

More to come…