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Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Nuttall's Woodpecker

Nikon D700| Nikkor 200-500mm @460mm| f/5.6| ISO800| 1/1600s| Hoodman Digital Film|PS CC 2017

more to come…

Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I received my long lens back from service and couldn’t wait to get out and try it, but I got that bug so, didn’t go out to try it until yesterday (Sun. June 18th).  I headed over to Milpitas to see if the American Bald Eagle Fledgling was out of the nest testing its wings.  I arrived just before 7 A.M.  I didn’t have to wait long before it started flapping its wings and hopping onto a branch outside the nest.

It sat on the branch surveying the land for a bit then turned around and did a hop/fly combo back to the nest where it tucked itself down out of sight. It remained out of sight for over an hour. As we waited the morning got hotter, and hotter. When I left just before noon, hot, sweaty, and very thirsty it was 96º degrees Fahrenheit.  The high hit a record breaking 103º F!  That broke the 1945 record of 99º F.

Myself and several other photographers, and birders were patiently waiting for one or both of the parents to return with food, and of course we wanted the Fledgling to come up out of the nest again, but quite a few people left as it began getting hot and there wasn’t anything to see.

Finally, the young Eagle got restless and called its parents to no avail then it began to jump and flap its wings again. It jumped way up and flew to the branch!  It stayed there awhile pecking at the branch and looking around then suddenly it made a leap of faith into space and FLEW!!! Its maiden flight! A Fledgling at last!

Oh, I wish you were there to see it, to feel our anxiety and hope for success, and hear our joyous cries of delight when the young Eaglet made that leap of faith and flew to a neighboring tree!

There are quite a few images today, and the story doesn’t end here! Because there are so many images I’ll share the rest of the story another day.  I hope you enjoy these first images of the young Eagle’s Maiden Flight.

Popping up to check out what’s happening…

American Bale Eagle Fledgling in the Nest

Lemme test out my take off, and wing position. I wonder…

Practicing flight

Ha! I’m outside of the nest! Okay, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.

That was Easy!

Ready. Set.

American Bald Eagle Fledgling Take Off

GO!

First leap into space!

Okay, wings start flapping already!!

Oh! How do these Wings work again!

Oh, nearly there I can make it!  Talons ready, tail in position…wings open…

Okay there's a branch nearly there! Landing gear still down!

Ta Da!!! I made it, I made it! Where’s Mom? Now, how do I get back to the nest?

It's hot. How do I get back!

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

more to come…

 

 

Copyright © 2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Mockingbird

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

More to come…

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

Peeking out to wish you all a happy day!

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Birders notes: This little bird is a “year round” bird in my area ; Santa Clara County, but I tend to see it more in the Spring and Fall.  I think they fly further north for their breeding season. They are quite busy and rarely stay still.  They require a lot of patience to get a photograph of one in my experience but, they’re so cute, and beautiful the wait is worth it. 🙂

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

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

Pacific Loon

 

Pacific Loon

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

More to come…

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