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…

Friday’s Feathered Friends-Scaups

Copyright ©2020 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

When it was snowing last week my neighbor and I took our cameras for a walk and had a lovely couple of hours birding our own neighborhood.  We’ve been keeping 6 feet apart and she’s in my very small group of contacts that I am seeing as we get through this pandemic.

These are Lesser Scaups that migrate and winter here. There are currently several pairs staying in a couple of the ponds at the golf course that meander through our community.

They are in the dipping/diving duck family and are the most abundant diving duck in North America.

I have no idea how much longer they’re going to be here, but I’ve enjoyed seeing them here.

Lesser Scaup Male

This is a group of both males and females that got skittish as we got closer to their end of the pond.

Lesser Scaup Males in Flight

Going for walks when I can have been great for my mind and spirit. I hope you’re all finding ways to keep your spirits up during this self-distancing and quarantine time.

We’ll get through this! 🥰

Fuji X-T3| Fujinon XF100-400mm LM OIS| SanDisk Digital Film| PS CC 21.0.3

more to come…

 

 

 

Wild Wednesday 20/52 Deep Greens and Blues are the Colors I Choose

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

On Saturday I went birding locally in the morning hoping to see a Lazuli Bunting. They’re only here in the Spring and I heard they were spotted in a place I’d seen one four years ago.  It was a stellar morning of birding! Not only did I get a brief look at the Lazuli Bunting, but I also saw lots of Violet-green Swallows. 🙂

Both birds have amazing colors.

Lazuli Bunting Male-  He’s song bird.

Lazuli Bunting

Violet-green Swallow Male

Violet-green Swallow

…and I got the “look” from a White-tailed Kite while she was hunting. You know how much I like them. My favorite of the Birds of Prey.  I like to think she was wishing me a Happy Birthday. 🙂

White-tailed Kite

I had a birdy long week-end that included some hiking/walking . Saturday I hiked just a smidge over a mile half of it was uphill and the beginning was steep.  Monday I hiked a bit over 2 miles, and Tuesday afternoon I hiked just over 4 miles.  He-Man and I hiked a trail we hadn’t hiked in a couple of years. It was good to get out and really stretch our legs.  Mind you, I feel so out of shape since having the flu and not doing much hiking since. I’m glad I made the loop up and down! I had doubts about being able to make it up to the second trail-head to make the loop. A couple of spots are steep. On two of the hikes I had some elevation gain which I like.  I like uphill for the first leg…more payoff for the exertion, and the reward is the downhill on the way back.  However, what I find is that there is uphill on both ends! I’m usually tired by the time I reach the upper elevation, and it’s work to get up those uphills on the way back.  I’m always so thankful I completed the hike, and if I carried my Garmin tracker seeing the stats always makes those uphills on the way back more rewarding.  I was tired and needed some extra Yoga stretches to ward off being really sore Wednesday, but I kept thinking “maybe I’ll get my groove back, and hike a couple times a week again.”

One can hope! 🙂

I hope you all are having a good week!

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

more to come…

 

 

 

 

Wordless Wednesday 39/52 American Kestrel

Copyright © 2017 Deborah M. Zajac.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Nikon D810; Nikkor 200-500mm @500mm | hand-held| SanDisk Digital Film| PS CC 2017

more to come…

Wordless Wednesday 33/52 Anna’s Hummingbird

Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Anna's Hummingbird

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

more to come…

American Bald Eagle & Me

Copyright © 2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I was birding on Saturday June 3rd looking for an Indigo Bunting and upon my arrival to the location soaring over my head was an American Bald Eagle! That’s a big deal in Santa Clara County. Eagles have been making a comeback here for the last few years which is super exciting to birders, but there are still only a handful here.

Anyway, it flew across the pond to a grove of tall trees and perched there and looked like he/or she was settled in for a long rest.  I watched it for sometime then moved to the grassy area to photograph Western Bluebirds which I’ll be sharing soon.

Then I followed some Red-winged Blackbirds a bit then turned around to check on the Eagle and OMG! It was flying right for me!

I brought my camera up to my face in lighting speed, and fired off a burst of images following its flight path.  We made eye to camera lens contact, then it veered right and headed for the northern hills, and I lost it.  I was doing my happy dance! Isn’t that wing span somethin’?

Click on the image to see it better. WP compression isn’t working for me again. 😦  I may have to mess around with image sizes again to find something that looks good without having to click on an image.

I received my 200-500mm back from Nikon Service on Thursday, but I haven’t felt good enough to get out with it.  I hope tomorrow this bug is over being in my system so I can go out and play!

Hope you all are having a great start to your week-end!

Nikon D810| Nikkor 300mm f/4| Hoodman Digital Film| PS CC 2017

more to come…

 

Wordless Wednesday 13/52: The Majestic Bald Eagle

Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Bald Eagle Female Perched_DMZ6824

Bald Eagle Talons Female

Bald Eagle Female

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

More to come…