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-Nesting

Copyright ©2020 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I’ve been doing a lot of birding lately and I’ve come across some nesting birds.

The first one is a Great Horned Owl nesting in a broken branch of a big tree near the river.  I call her Sleepy Eyes.

Great Horned Owl Nesting

Not too far from her is a nesting goose. She too is nesting on a broken branch. I worry about her because I never see the mate nearby and I wonder if she’s eating? I sure hope so!  She’s usually tucked into the wood there so if you didn’t know to look you’d miss her. On this day she felt like sunning her face.

Goose Nesting

This next nest has been empty all winter and the other day while driving to my birding location I spotted the top of a head and pulled over to see who moved in.  A Hawk!

I don’t know what kind of a hawk, but guess a Red-tail since they’re most populous of the hawks here.

Hawk in the Nest

I’ll be keeping an eye on them hoping for chicks soon!

We’re supposed to hit 80 degrees on Saturday! I think Winter may have let go here.

I hope you’re all doing well, and have a nice week-end!

 

Fuji X-T3| Fujinon 100-400mm| SanDisk Digital Film| PS CC 21.1.1

more to come…

Friday’s Feathered Friends-MT. Chickadee

Copyright ©2020 Deborah M. Zajac.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Two more images from my time with the Chickadees.

Mountain Chickadee

Look at this one taking two seeds at a time! I love it! I didn’t realize it had taken two until I uploaded my images.  Moutain Chickadee

I didn’t crop it in too much so you can see the environment we snowshoed into to see and feed these birds.  It was pretty cool being out here almost alone for a good bit. As the morning wore on though more and more snowshoers started coming up the mountain. We spent an hour and a half feeding the Chickadees then headed down to venture to other places to see what we could find. I’ll share those finds in future posts.

I hope you all have a good week-end!

Fuji X-T3| Fujinon XF 100-400mm  LM OIS| PS CC 21.0.3

more to come…

 

 

 

Whatever Weds.

Copyright ©2019 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

We’re settling into our new home. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel of boxes!

Sunday I went out with a local birding expert and guide for a morning of birding.

It was so much fun and a great birdy day with so many bird highlights. We saw a pair Great-horned Owls, some Owlets, a Barn Owl, Bald Eagles, lots of Red-wing Blackbirds, Yellow-headed Blackbirds, sparrows, Turkey Vultures, and a pilot practicing aerial loops, swoops, and dives!

I’ll share just two images today though.

A pair of Kestrels in a tree with breakfast. I didn’t notice the prey until I uploaded my images.  I’ve never seen a pair together before so this was a real treat for me.

American Kestrel Pair with Prey

and from my backyard, there are flocks of Yellow-headed Blackbirds enjoying the trees and my feeder.  I never saw these in Silicon Valley. I love their vivid heads and lovely white pattern on their wings.  I’m not sure if these are year-round birds or just spending Spring here. I’ll soon find out!

Yellow-headed Blackbirds

Yesterday the cabinets for the laundry room arrived so the contractor is going to open those boxes up and see what we got. I have to select and order my counter top still, and I think he’s going to paint He-Man’s closet. He textured the new framing for it yesterday.  I’ve been taking photos of the project at each step. I’ll share those later.

I hope your week has been going well and continues to go well through the week-end!

Nikon D810| Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6 top image and 300mm f/4 bottom image| Hoodman Steel Digital Film| PS CC 2019

more to come…