Friday’s Feathered Friends- American Dippers

Copyright ©2021 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

I’ve been rather slow at telling you about several new to me birds that I’ve seen this year. There have been 5 so far this year.

The first one I saw was back in February. Yeah, I know. I love making the images, going out hiking, birding, etc., but processing the images and writing…not so much.

So, this bird I saw in February really made me do my happy dance… jumping for joy happy dance because I tried to find this bird several times over a couple of years while I lived in San Jose sans success. Just less than two years after moving to Nevada I found not one but a pair!! Here without further ado is the American Dipper.

They were gathering nesting material under an overpass and flying into a hole under it. Lighting conditions weren’t great. They were in the shadow of the bridge making it hard to get a good image of them. I opened up the shadows in post editing.

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This next image shows the white eyelid they have that you only see when they blink.

Finally, I got lucky and one flew out into the sunlight!

Fun Facts: Gleaned from allaboutbirds.org

  • The American Dipper chooses a nest site, invariably along a stream, that provides security from floods and predators. Availability of suitable nest sites appears to limit its populations.
  • To be able to survive in cold waters during the winter, the American Dipper has a low metabolic rate, extra oxygen-carrying capacity in its blood, and a thick coat of feathers.
  • Unlike most other songbirds, but similarly to ducks, the American Dipper molts its wing and tail feathers all at once in the late summer. The bird is flightless during this time.
  • The oldest American Dipper was over 8 years old, when it was recaptured and rereleased during a banding operation in South Dakota.

The American Dipper is North America’s only truly aquatic songbird. I’m so happy I finally saw them!

I hope you all have a great week-end!

Fuji X-T3| Fujinon 100-400mm| PS CC 22.4.1

more to come…

Wordless Wednesday-Profile of an American Robin

Copyright ©2021 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

AA

Fuji X-T3| Fujinon 100-400mm @400mm| PS CC 22.4.1

more to come…

Friendly Friday Challenge-Hands and Feet

Copyright ©2021 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Today I’m going to participate in Sandy’s challenge: https://thesandychronicles.blog/2021/04/23/friendly-friday-challenge-hands-feet/

While we were making plans to go to my son’s aka Big Baby Boy place for a few days he asked me, “Mom, you’re bringing your camera right?” I replied that I was and asked him why? He said he and the Dark Haired Beauty had a portrait in their heads and they hoped I would be able to help them create it.

They wanted to be holding hands and have their cat’s paw on their clasped hands. We gave it a go.

Those of you have followed me for awhile know this isn’t what I normally photograph, but it was fun and challenging!

Here’s the image they picked from the ones we made.

We’re all pretty happy with it. They had me print it and they’re getting it framed to hang in their home.

Thank you, Sheree from https://viewfromtheback.com/2021/04/30/friendly-friday-challenge-hands-and-feet/#comment-47165

I never would have seen this challenge if it wasn’t for reading your blog!

If you would like to play along head on over to Sandy’s to get the details click here

Fuji X-T3| Fujinon 16-80mm| PS CC 22.3.0

more to come…

Whatever Weds. San Clemente Pier Plus 1 more…

Copyright ©2021 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

He-Man and I have been traveling between our children’s homes in April which has been fun, and wonderful. Our latest trip we went to see our son in SoCal for several days. One evening we went down to the pier hoping for a good sunset. It wasn’t bad, but the company was perfect.

San Clemente Pier at Sunset

We dined out in restaurants and it was grand! Really. I missed dining out. We ate in places that we don’t have at home like Thai, Greek, and fresh Seafood. I was bad and didn’t take any images of the food at these places. Sorry!

We took after dinner hikes up in the canyon near Big Baby Boy’s and The Dark Haired Beauty’s place, and it was lovely. Spring wildflowers were in bloom.

Here’s a Sweet Pea of some sort- Sandy Beach or Chaparral? They are the largest flowers in the Pea family I’ve ever seen before.

I only took my Fuji X-T3 and my newest lens for it the Fujinon XF 16-80mm.

I’ve had the lens a couple of months now and really haven’t used it all that much, but this trip it got some love. I think it did a good job and its small, as well as light weight so it made a great travel kit.

There’s a nesting Red-tailed Hawk in a tree at the Golf Course where we live. I am hoping to get some good images of the chick and the parents bringing in food. So far I’ve not been lucky.

I hope you’re all having a good week so far. What’s new with you?

Fuji X-T3| Fuji 16-80mm| PS CC 22.3.0

more to come…

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- Bald Eagle

Copyright ©2021 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

A few weeks ago while He-Man was riding his bike I was birding and while driving out in the ranches I spied two Adult Bald Eagles just hanging out next to each other on telephone poles. I hung around for quite awhile hoping they’d fly, but they were content to continue surveying the land so I moved on. Here’s the first one I saw.

Looking not much different is the second one. I think they’re a pair though they were pretty close in size so I’m not positive about that.

Fun Facts:

Bald Eagles have a reputation of being bandits. They will steal fish from Osprey’s talons in mid air!

The largest Bald Eagle nest on record is in St. Petersburg, FL, which was 2.9 meters in diameter, and 6.1 meters tall. (114.17 X 240.15 inches) HUGE!

Bald Eagles live a long time. The oldest recorded bird in the wild was at least 38 years old when it was hit by a car and killed in New York in 2015. It had been banded in 1977. 

Fun facts gleaned from allaboutbirds.org

I hope you all have a wonderful week-end!

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

more to come…

Friday’s Feathered Friends-Sage Thrasher

Copyright ©2021 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

My neighbor and I have begun taking our cameras on our walks because we’re seeing more and more of the Spring migrating birds passing though. Last week on a longer walk to another neighborhood we spotted this guy eating those Russian Olives. Don’t they look like pearls?

Sage Thrasher

They are the smallest of the Thrashers and love the sagebrush of the western states. We’re on the western edge of its breeding territory. They mimic other birds while they sing. I didn’t hear this one singing though.

I was surprised to see this one up in tree! They usually are hanging around the sagebrush and will hide in it.

I hope you all have a great weekend, and if you’re watching the game I hope your team wins.

Fuji X-T3| Fuji 100-400mm| PS CC 22.1.1

more to come…