Friday’s Feathered Friends-Great Horned Owl

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

Saturday I met some friends at a National Wildlife Refuge for some birding. One of those friends was Gordon. Some of you know him from his blog

https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/84102527/posts/3117603841

We adhered to the the Corona Virus Covid-19 guidelines by each driving their own car, and when out of the car we wore our masks and stood well apart. I can’t tell you how great it was to see friends I’d not seen in quite awhile. We had great birdy day with great weather for it too.

Upon my arrival while walking to the duck pond I crossed paths with another birder whom I didn’t know, but I ask him if he’d been seeing good birds and he replied while pointing that there was a Great Horned Owl just down there, and told me where to look. When I got to the pond I shared this info with my friends and we all headed up the trail to find the tree. While the Owl wasn’t in the tree he or she wasn’t too far away and we got some great looks, and images of it.

It’s not “in” the tree where it has its nest, but what a great look we got here. Wide awake!

Here it is in its nest. Just a split in the tree.

Copyright © 2021 Deborah M. Zajac ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Fun facts about the Great Horned Owl- From All About Birds.

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Great_Horned_Owl/

  • Great Horned Owls are fierce predators that can take large prey, including raptors such as Ospreys, Peregrine Falcons, Prairie Falcons, and other owls. They also eat much smaller items such as rodents, frogs, and scorpions.
  • When clenched, a Great Horned Owl’s strong talons require a force of 28 pounds to open. The owls use this deadly grip to sever the spine of large prey.
  • If you hear an agitated group of cawing American Crows, they may be mobbing a Great Horned Owl. Crows may gather from near and far and harass the owl for hours. The crows have good reason, because the Great Horned Owl is their most dangerous predator.
  • Even though the female Great Horned Owl is larger than her mate, the male has a larger voice box and a deeper voice. Pairs often call together, with audible differences in pitch.
  • Great Horned Owls are covered in extremely soft feathers that insulate them against the cold winter weather and help them fly very quietly in pursuit of prey. Their short, wide wings allow them to maneuver among the trees of the forest.
  • Great Horned Owls have large eyes, pupils that open widely in the dark, and retinas containing many rod cells for excellent night vision. Their eyes don’t move in their sockets, but they can swivel their heads more than 180 degrees to look in any direction. They also have sensitive hearing, thanks in part to facial disc feathers that direct sound waves to their ears.
  • The oldest Great Horned Owl on record was at least 28 years old when it was found in Ohio in 2005.

Late in the afternoon we returned to this refuge and went to look for the Owl again. It wasn’t in the nest, but perched on top of branch.

Great Horned Owl on a tree top

The Great Horned Owl is one of the most common owls in North America. It lives in deserts, wetlands, forests, grasslands, backyards, cities, and just about any other semi-open habitat between the Artic and the tropics. We were really excited and happy to see this one.

OT- My 11th Blogaverisary on WP was Wednesday I’d like to thank everyone who has followed me, left comments, for the conversations, lessons learned, and the friendships I’ve made with quite a few of you over the years. Thank you!🥰

Fuji X-T3| Fuji 100-400mm XF WR OIS lens| PS CC 22.1.0

more to come…

Whatever Wednesday: Coyote

Copyright ©2019 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED!

Hello! I hope this finds you all doing well and the start of 2019 has been easy on you.

I started the year birding on January 1st with several friends. Upon entering one of our favorite wildlife refuges we spotted a Coyote and got some great looks at each other.

Isn’t it a beauty!

Coyote

The Coyote in Symbolism is the guide that can appear to you when you’ve lost your way or path.  It speaks to the path less traveled. The Coyote is the trusted guide that leads the way for those answers along this path.

It was a wonderful day of birding and wildlife seeing, and I knew when we spotted the Coyote first thing it was a good omen for the day.

Update on Baby Girl– The planned inducement date is January 28th! In just 19 days barring any changes, we’ll be seeing our newest member of the family! Our little man in the womb is doing great, and Baby Girl is hanging in there like a trooper.

Blogging this year– I thought about doing another weekly self-challenge, but didn’t want to limit myself, and I really like posting on Wednesdays-it works for me, but I don’t want to commit to Wordless Wednesday cause sometimes I like to talk or tell a story, so this year I’m going to be open to posting Whatever and mostly I’ll post on Wednesday, but I may pop in on a different day, but I won’t be loading up your email inbox with more than two posts a week.  Once a week works for me, but once in awhile, there might be two posts in a week.  So, I’m posting Whatever Wednesday this year.

Perhaps, this Coyote is a good omen for 2019 for me?  Odd years are usually better for me as strange as that sounds it’s true. I’m hoping it holds true this year too.

Happy Hump Day everyone, and here’s to a wonderful 2019!

Nikon D810| Nikkor 200-500mm| Hoodman Digital Film| PS CC 2019

more to come…

 

 

 

 

 

Monochrome Madness 2 44/52 Late Afternoon Merced Marsh

Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

MM2 Late Afternoon Merced Marsh_3000593

My friend Dali and I went out to Merced National Wildlife Refuge last week-end and found oh, so many Snow Geese, and some Lesser Sandhill Cranes along with the usual suspects.  We were photographing some of the Snow Geese and other birds in the nearest marsh when all of the sudden the noise level escalated and the birds took to the air!

The squawking, screeching, quacking, and honking was so loud you couldn’t hear yourself speak!  It was pretty neat to see and hear. We’re not sure but, we think a Hawk, or Coyote spooked them.

This is my entry to Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness 2. To check out all the entries this week click here.

Nikon D300s| Nikkor 200-500mm VR| Delkin Devices Digital Film| PS CC 2015 & On1 Photo 10

More to come…

Ring-necked Pheasants

Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I don’t see these birds too often, and seeing two together last Saturday was very exciting!

Ring-necked Pheasants

It was a challenging image to make. I was in the backseat, the birds were in front of us; we were on an auto-route only in a National Wildlife Refuge, we had to stop a good distance from them to keep them from dashing off too soon, the driver’s mirror was in the way, and the back windows only rolled down halfway or a tad less. Why are manufacturer’s doing that? GRRR!! There should be a way to roll them down completely!

I had removed my shoes earlier to be able to sit with my legs tucked under me to get more height to shoot down on birds that were near the shore edges, or grassy levies and it helped to get me over the challenges of shooting this pair from the car.

The sound of my shutter clicking spooked the pair and off they flew!

I can’t tell you how pleased I am to have one keeper image of the pair together!

Nikon D300s| Nikkor 200-500mm VR| Lexar Professional Digital Film| hand-held from a car| rental lens- san jose camera & video

 

 

Pheasant Under Grass

Copyright © 2012 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright © 2012 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

This is my first Pheasant capture! A couple of friends and I were shooting with a Meet-up group in Solano County and were on the way back  from lunch when one of my companions noticed him. I was shooting from a car window, and didn’t think anything would be very good, but was thrilled to see this shot would be a keeper. I love his coloring, wing patterns, and long tail. Even though he’s sort of camouflaged in the grass I’m thrilled  that I was able to capture a  photo of him in his natural habitat.  He darted behind a knoll just after this shot. I didn’t see him again.

Nikon D300s| Nikkor 70-300 @ 300| f5.6| 1/1600 sec| Iso 500| Manual Mode| Hand-held