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Category Archives: Nature Photography

Copyright © 2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I had heard there was a rare white Hummingbird in Santa Cruz at UC Santa Cruz’s Arboretum last year, but didn’t see it when I was there photographing Allen’s Hummingbirds that come to winter there.

This year a friend and I went over to find the tree it had been spotted  hanging out in and we found both the tree and the rare white Hummingbird straight-away.

Rare White Hummingbird

Here’s a  description of Leucism, “Leucism, a developmental condition resulting in the loss of pigmentation. Unlike albino birds, which can’t produce the pigment melanin, leucistic birds produce melanin but can’t deposit it into their feathers. Albino birds also have red or pink eyes, but this hummingbird’s eyes are black, along with its bill and feet.

What makes this Hummingbird so rare is that it is almost completely white. Most leucistic birds are only partially affected, and have white patches of feathers amid colored plumage.”~Audubon.org

I spoke with a woman working at the Arboretum after my visit to find out if this is the same Leucistic Anna’s Hummingbird that was there last May and she said, “they believe it is”.

Leucistic Hummingbird

It’s so striking, and pretty isn’t it?   Poor thing has some kind of infection on its bill. I asked about that too, but they haven’t captured the Hummer to do any tests on it. So, they don’t know what the infection is. She did say  he’s (it’s a male) getting better and the Hummingbird is zipping around acting healthy so, they’re letting nature run its course.

Leucistic Allen's Hummingbird

It flew away from its tree a few times, and I found it in the little fountain bathing but I wasn’t quick enough to get a photo of that. Unfortunately I spooked it.  I did manage a few images of it preening and cleaning its feathers afterwards though. Here’s one.

Preening Rare White Hummingbird

It was quite a treat to find this beauty so quickly, and observe it for a short while. It’s the first Leucistic bird of any kind I’ve ever seen.

I hope it returns next year and I’m lucky enough to see it again.

I hope you all have a wonderful week-end!

Nikon D700| Nikkor 200-500mm| Hoodman STEEL Digital Film| PS CC 2017

More to come…

Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Hump Back Fluke and Spout Blow out_DMZ7965

Humpback Fluke

Moss Landing from the Legacy

Nikon D700| Nikkor 80-200mm + Tamron 1.4TC| Hoodman STEEL Digital Film| PS CC 2017

More to come…

Copyright © 2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I went Whale watching yesterday and saw quite a few Humpback whales in the Monterey Bay.  I sailed out of Santa Cruz with the Stagnaro’s boat crew on the Legacy.

Here she is with some of the crew prepping her for our trip.

The Legacy_IMG_6818

We sailed out about 2 miles into Moneterey Bay where their sister ship Velocity was already spotting whales.

We saw several flukes and spouts of breath, and heard them too! A couple of times the whales were so close to the ship I couldn’t focus on them!

Hump Back Fluke_DMZ8019

The Monterey Bay is a popular place for whales of several species to feed because there’s plenty of food there.   I talked about the Submarine Canyon before in this post from a Whale watching trip last year here .

I didn’t see any Breaching or lunge feeding this time, but I was thrilled to see the spouting or blowing, and their flukes above the water.

2 Humpback Whales This was the second time I’d been whale watching with this company. It had been 5 yrs since I went out with them. I recommend them highly.

I have more images to share, and to tell you about an exciting sighting I saw on Saturday  which was a Leucistic Hummingbird which I’ll be sharing with you later this week.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Nikon D700| Nikkor 80-200mm + Tamron 1.4TC| Hoodman STEEL Digital Film| PS CC 2017

More to come…

Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Pipvine Swallowtail Butterfly

Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly

Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly

Nikon Df| Nikkor 180mm f/2.8| SanDisk Extreme Pro Digital Film| PS CC 2017 & On1 Photo 10

More to come…

Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Here’s the post I promised on Monday here that I would be sharing this week about a birding surprise.

After sunrise, and a little birding last Saturday Gordon, myself, and another friend went to breakfast then we headed over to another part of Don Edward’s Wildlife Refuge to check out the Anna’s Hummingbird on her nest.

I had heard from a good friend that she had had her brood of two. There were indeed two chicks in the nest, and their eyes were open!

They waited for Mama to return to the nest with food! They were so quiet. I thought they would be peeping constantly, but they didn’t.  They look too big for the nest already don’t they.  Mom must sleep on top of the nest with them smooched down into the nest to keep them warm at night.

This nest isn’t deep in the canopy either! It’s pretty exposed.

Anna's Hummingbird Chicks eyes open

When the chicks are new their Mom will leave the nest for very short periods of time. Just a minute up to 15 minutes to find food. The chicks can’t keep warm without her so she doesn’t dare leave them alone long. Once they can regulate their own temperatures and keep warm she leaves the nest to forage for food for up to 20 minutes.  This Mom would leave for 15-20 minutes, but return to do buzz or hover check several times too.

Here is the Female/Mom just returning from a food sortie.

Anna's Hummingbird Female Returns to her Brood

Two little beaks hungry and not patient anymore.

Anna's Hummingbird with Hungry Chicks

Food at last!

She eats insects and drinks nectar which she regurgitates as a liquid mixture into the open mouths of the chicks.  She’s on the go constantly hunting for food and feeding the chicks every 20 minutes! The male doesn’t help at all feeding or raising the chicks. If the male does come around the Female will chase him away b/c she finds him a threat to the chicks.

Anna's Hummingbird Feeding her Chicks

These chicks are already a couple of weeks old. At 3 weeks old they will look more like Hummingbirds, and will be testing out their wings more to get ready for flight.  Once they’re flying the Female will show them how to catch bugs, and drink nectar, and within a few days of that the chicks will fly away as adults never to return to the nest.

I can’t tell you how amazing this was to watch and photograph! It was gift!  It’s so moving, and beautiful watching her feed the chicks and knowing how dedicated she is, and how tired she must be. These images were made on March 18, 2017

I dropped by Thursday afternoon (3/23) to see them. They were still in the nest with Mama feeding them every 20 minutes. There was quite a crowd there, and I had #1 Grandson with me. He got a kick out seeing the chicks too. I didn’t break out my camera today. I was holding #1 in my arms so he could see them, but I’m hoping I can get back over once more before they fly from the nest which may be as early as a week and a half away.

For more information about Hummingbird chicks you can visit http://www.worldofhummingbirds.com/baby.php

Nikon D700| Nikkor 200-500mm| Lexar Digital Film| PS CC 2017

Have a wonderful week-end everyone!

More to come…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

The Chickadees are back!  This little one was flying down to the feeder to grab a peanut then fly back to a perch inside the safety of my Camellia bush.

Chickadee

I’ll leave you with a poem about a sweet Chickadee by Hanford Lennox Gordon

Chickadee, chickadee, chickadee-dee!
That was the song that he sang to me–Sang
from his perch in the willow tree–
Chickadee, chickadee, chickadee-dee.
My little brown bird,
The song that I heard
Was a happier song than the minstrels sing–
A paean of joy and a carol of spring;
And my heart leaped throbbing and sang with thee
Chickadee, chickadee, chickadee-dee.

My birdie looked wise
With his little black eyes,
As he peeked and peered from his perch at me
With a throbbing throat and a flutter of glee,
As if he would say–
Sing trouble away,
Chickadee, chickadee, chickadee-dee.

Only one note
From his silver throat;
Only one word
From my wise little bird;
But a sweeter note or a wiser word
From the tongue of mortal I never have heard,
Than my little philosopher sang to me
From his bending perch in the willow tree–
Chickadee, chickadee, chickadee-dee.

Come foul or fair,
Come trouble and care–
No–never a sigh
Or a thought of despair!
For my little bird sings in my heart to me,
As he sang from his perch in the willow tree–
Chickadee, chickadee, chickadee dee:
Chickadee-dee, chickadee-dee;
Chickadee, chickadee, chickadee-dee.
~Hanford Lennox Gordon

Nikon D700| Nikkor 200-500mm @460mm| Lexar Digital Film| PS CC 2017 & On1

Have a great week-end everyone!

More to come…

Copyright © 2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Pigeon Guillemot/cepphus columba

Pigeon Guilemot

Nikon D300s| Nikkor 300mm f/4| SanDisk Digital Film| PS CC 2017

More to come…

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