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 Weds. Fall Tablescape + 1

Copyright ©2020 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Here are a couple of images I created for the Shooting for the Season’s course I’m taking.

Place setting-

Cozy dining table-

This week is lighting. I hope I can come up with a couple more creative and cute compositions for that!

Last week I went to Baby Girl’s for a few days and early one morning I had my morning tea on her deck, and had my camera handy. Out in the poison oak I spied a little bird so left my tea to cool on the deck and headed down to the field and sat on a little lichen covered rock and waited to see if the little bird would return to the poison oak bush. I didn’t have to wait too long.

It was a Ruby Crowned Kinglet Female.

Baby Girl and family are settling in nicely in their new home, and the boys love the space and freedom the land affords them, and number 1 Grandson is thrilled to be back in a live classroom making new friends, he likes his teacher, and he had a huge surprise on his first day in class. A classmate of his from last year has moved to the same town and is in his class! Small world!

It’s supposed to warm up today which will be nice since we’ve been having highs in the 50’s and lows in high teens lately.

I hope you’re all having a great week!

Nikon D810 w/ 50mm f/1.8G Nikkor lens and Fuji X-T3 w/ 100-400mm XF lens| PS CC 22.0.0

more to come…

Catching the Red-eye

Copyright ©2020 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Eared-Grebe

This is a Breeding adult which you can easily ID by the fan of golden feathers at the “ear”. This image is from early spring where I spied it swimming in one of the ponds at the golf course where we live.

Fun fact- Grebes have lobed rather than fully webbed feet that sit at the rear of their body.

Fuji X-T3| Fujinon XF 100-400mm@400mm| PS CC 21.2.1

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…

 

 

 

 

 

Wild Wednesday 40/52 Green

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I’ve been absent from the blog and reading blogs for more than a week because I was in Florida visiting my Mom and Step-Father, and touring around the state.  I haven’t even downloaded the images I made while on the trip yet.

We visited Epcot which was a first for me, then St. Augustine, and Tarpon Springs’ Sponge Docks; the Sponge Capitol of the US,  which is also it’s Greek community.  It was a good, but very hot trip.  It was the hottest September on record.   I hope there are a few good images to share.

Today I’m sharing an image I made of what I think is a Cabbage White Butterfly while walking around UC Davis Arboretum in July of this year.

White Cabbage Butterfly ?

I am always behind these days, but I’ll be catching up with your blogs soon.

Nikon D810| Nikkor 200-500mm @ 500mm| Hoodman STEEL Digital Film| PS CC 2018

more to come…

Wild Wednesday 1/52 Here Kitty, Kitty!

Copyright © 2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Bobcat

A Bobcat image…Finally!  I went birding with my friend Dali on the 30th of December which would be my last birding adventure for 2017.  We went to an area not too far from home that we hadn’t been to in a year.  While on the way out of the area and headed to lunch b/c the birds had gone quiet, and hunkered down well into the foliage out of sight Dali spotted this Bobcat.

I was so excited and had been looking for one or it when we went through this area coming in, because way back in the winter of 2011 Dali and I saw a Bobcat here, and it was right in my sights, but I missed the shot because my lens then was the 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 which was slow and would hunt in poor light. My lens just would not find focus, and by the time I switched to manual focus all I managed to get were blurry butt shots of the retreating Bobcat.  It was then I decided I had to move up to the 300mm f/4 prime lens.  Missed shots like this due to a hunting lens was unacceptable! Needless to say, every time I’ve birded this area since I’ve looked for the, or a Bobcat sans success…that is, until the 30th of December 2017.  6 years of hoping to see a Bobcat again in this area!

This Bobcat just like that day in 2011 was under the canopy of Oak trees and well shaded but, unlike that day my kit today is the 200-500mm lens, and the formidable D810 camera which together were able to attain focus so, I was able to fire off 4 shots before the Bobcat got behind the foliage and out of sight.  However all was not perfect…all four images were metered for a brighter environment so, they were all under exposed.  I didn’t delete them. Actually, I never delete “in camera” for fear of corrupting my card. I hoped I would be able to bring up the exposure enough in Photoshop and save the images especially since the Bobcat did turn and look at me for two of those four shots!

If I haven’t told you before how much I like Photoshop let me tell you now. I LIKE PHOTOSHOP! I was able bring back nearly two stops of light, and with some noise reduction have a “keeper” instead of having to delete the images again.

Was this the very same Bobcat? Probably not, but maybe its offspring. 🙂  Either way I’m a very happy camper with this shot, and my last birding excursion of 2017. Oh yes,  we did see birds. Lots of Hawks, Sparrows, and a Says Phoebe are the most notable birds, but the highlight for me was long awaited re sighting of the Bobcat.  I sure hope that bodes well for a stellar 2018 wildlife/birding year.

Here’s a link about the North American Bobcat from the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.

Oh, three more things; 1)  you may have noticed I have changed my blog theme, and hope you’re all able to view and read my posts sans problemes. My old theme was no longer supported, and I was having some issues with it for sometime.  Then I created a “sticky” post back in week 41 of 2017 and couldn’t figure out how I did it or undo that until week 51 or so when I had given up trying to fix that and tried new themes.  For now this is the theme I’m rollin’ with. Let me know in the comments if it’s working for you please.

2) while driving home from Baby Girl’s this evening I decided on my Project 52 theme for this year. Yes, I’m going to do another one.  It motivates me, and gets me out of the house with my favorite tool…my camera.  This year’s theme I’m calling Wild Wednesday.  I have plenty of wildlife images marinating in my archives in case I get stuck indoors, but I plan to get out to make many more new images, and not all things wild are animals. 🙂

3) My Header: It’s an image I made back on Jan. 1, 2011 of Stoneman Bridge in Yosemite National Park.  That was a stellar Photography Trip with Dear Friends Dali, Alex, and Theresa.  We’re way overdue for another Annual New Year’s Trip.  Just sayin. 🙂

I raise my glass and toast; Here’s to a good photographic year! 🙂

Nikon D810| Nikkor 200-500mm @f/8|ISO 1000| Hoodman Digital Film| PS CC 2018

more to come…