Wild Wednesday 4/52 White-tailed Kite

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

A friend and I went birding Saturday at two Wildlife Refuges. We reversed the order we normally do these two refuges and I’m glad we did. It was pretty birdy at Merced Wildlife National Refuge, but I’m going to share with you the last bird I photographed for the day at San Luis National Wildlife Refuge.

And, what a bird to end the day on! It’s my favorite raptor.

White-tailed Kite

It’s a medium sized raptor and likes open grasslands, and savannas.  It hovers while hunting for prey, and have big amber/red eyes. Here’s some information about their hunting behavior from allaboutbirds.com

While hunting, the White-tailed Kite characteristically hovers up to 80 feet off the ground and then drops straight down onto prey items. This ability to hold a stationary position in midair without flapping is accomplished by facing into the wind, and is so characteristic of these birds that it has come to be called kiting. White-tailed Kites also perform ritualized courtship displays in which a male offers prey to a female prior to egg laying. In an often spectacular aerial exchange, the female flies up to meet the male, turns upside-down, and grasps the prey.“`allaboutbirds.com

I think they’re the prettiest of the raptors.  If I could be a bird this is the one I’d be. 🙂

You’ll find them up and down Western to Central California, Oregon, Mexico, Central and South America.

Nikon D810| Nikkor 200-500mm@500mm| 1/640s| ISO 500| cropped| Hoodman Digital Film| PS CC 2018

more to come…

 

 

 

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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…

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…

3wk Old Anna’s Hummingbirds on the Edge of Fledging

Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Saturday I paid another visit to the wildlife refuge with the Anna’s Hummingbird chicks to see their progress.  Seeing them was nothing short of amazing! Each visit brings new delights, and wonder to my eyes and soul.

They were bigger and their feathers, and colors were more like Hummingbirds now.  I must have just missed Mom when I got there.

Anna's Hummingbird 3 wks old

It wasn’t long before she returned to feed them. Here’s probably the last image I’ll have of them together as a family.

Anna's Hummingbird Family 3wks

After feeding the chicks rested a minute. Then the one on the right got very active flapping its wings preparing for flight.

Spreading their Wings

Preparing for Flight

…and before I knew it it did an in flight turn just milliliters above the nest and BOOM! it was on the branch! ” Ta Da! Look! I’m as big and beautiful as Mom!”

Looking Just Like Mom

Siblings on the verge of Adulthood, and Flight.

Anna's Hummingbirds 3 weeks old

I heard yesterday that they are flying around well above the branches now. They’ll be leaving the nest today I think.

I feel so blessed and lucky to have seen these two delightful gifts of nature.

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

More to come…

 

 

Chestnut-backed Chickadee

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…

Wordless Wednesday 8/52 Sea Worthy

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…

Wordless Wednesday 7/52

Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

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

More to come…