Whatever Weds. “You’re off to great places…

Copyright ©2022 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Today is your day. Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!” ~Dr. Seuss

Mt Shasta seen from Lower Klamath NWR, Oregon

Happy Hump Day! I hope your week is going well.

Fuji X-T3| Fujinon 100-400mm| PS CC 23.2.2

Friday’s Feathered Friends- Bald Eagles

Copyright ©2022 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

At the end of February I met up with some friends one of them Gordon from https://undiscoverdimagesamongstus2.wordpress.com/ We met up in Oregon in the Klamath Basin region to do some birding. We were hoping to see American Bald Eagles and the other usual winter suspects.

What we didn’t expect was to see 17 American Bald Eagles around and on the first pond we went to!

You know we hit that pond several times while there mornings, and afternoons.

The first morning we were all together was Saturday we rose early and headed to the pond. It was a chilly 14 degrees Fahrenheit, but we saw Eagles. Later that afternoon we went back and saw an Eagle trying to retrieve its prey from the icy pond water.

American Bald Eagle- Incoming!

It missed, but oh, it was so cool seeing it try.

Missed!

It landed in the water then pulled up and swung around again for another pass.

Landed in icy water
Pull up!

This time it tried a different approach, and missed again!

American Bald Eagle over the Target!

Then it just flew away leaving us wondering if this was just retrieving practice?

American Bald Eagle Adult in Flight

It was quite exciting and entertaining to watch and one of the highlights of the week-end.

Fun Facts:

The American Bald Eagle has been the national emblem of the United States since 1782.

These magnificent birds aren’t really bald, but their white-feathered heads gleam in contrast to their chocolate brown bodies and wings.

Rather than do their own fishing, Bald Eagles often go after other creatures’ catches. A Bald Eagle will harass a hunting Osprey until the smaller raptor drops its prey in midair, where the eagle swoops it up. A Bald Eagle may even snatch a fish directly out of an Osprey’s talons. Fishing mammals (even people sometimes) can also lose prey to Bald Eagle piracy.

Had Benjamin Franklin prevailed, the U.S. emblem might have been the Wild Turkey. In 1784, Franklin disparaged the national bird’s thieving tendencies and its vulnerability to harassment by small birds. “For my own part,” he wrote, “I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly. … Besides he is a rank Coward: The little King Bird not bigger than a Sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the District.”

Sometimes even the national bird has to cut loose. Bald Eagles have been known to play with plastic bottles and other objects pressed into service as toys. One observer witnessed six Bald Eagles passing sticks to each other in midair.

The largest Bald Eagle nest on record, in St. Petersburg, Florida, was 2.9 meters in diameter and 6.1 meters tall. Another famous nest—in Vermilion, Ohio—was shaped like a wine glass and weighed almost two metric tons. It was used for 34 years until the tree blew down.

Immature Bald Eagles spend the first four years of their lives in nomadic exploration of vast territories and can fly hundreds of miles per day. Some young birds from Florida have wandered north as far as Michigan, and birds from California have reached Alaska.

Bald Eagles occasionally hunt cooperatively, with one individual flushing prey towards another.

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

Once endangered by hunting and pesticides, Bald Eagles have flourished under protection.

Fun Facts gleaned from All About Birds

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

I will be sharing more images from this trip in future posts. Until then I hope you cut loose a little and have a lovely week-end! 😀

Fuji X-T3| Fujinon 100-400mm| PS CC 23.2.1

more to come…

Friday’s Feathered Friends- Wood Duck

Copyright ©2021 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

A couple of week ago I discovered a new park with a pond not far from home and this beautiful male Wood Duck was there among the mallards and geese.

Wood Duck Male

I heard there was a female there too but, I never saw her. She too is quite striking and pretty. Here’s an image I made last year along the river of a female Wood Duck checking out a tree for a nesting spot I thought as they nest in holes in trees or if available a nesting box. They have claws that can grip bark so they can perch on branches.

The Wood Duck is one of the prettiest ducks of all the waterfowl.

Fun facts:

  • Natural cavities for nesting are scarce, and the Wood Duck readily uses nest boxes provided for it. If nest boxes are placed too close together, many females lay eggs in the nests of other females.
  • Wood Ducks pair up in January, and most birds arriving at the breeding grounds in the spring are already paired. The Wood Duck is the only North American duck that regularly produces two broods in one year.
  • The Wood Duck nests in trees near water, sometimes directly over water, but other times over a mile away. After hatching, the ducklings jump down from the nest tree and make their way to water. The mother calls them to her, but does not help them in any way. The ducklings may jump from heights of over 50 feet without injury.
  • The oldest recorded Wood Duck was a male and at least 22 years, 6 months old. He had been banded in Oregon and was found in California.

We got a good snow dump during the night and early morning hours on Tuesday. It made everything so pretty! As I write this (Thursday) we’re supposed to get more snow today. #1 Grandson will be celebrating his 9th year on this planet next week. I hope we can get over the mountains to see him to help him celebrate. 9 years old! Time is flying by.

What are you doing this week-end, anything good? Have you finished your holiday shopping?

Fuji X-T3| Fujinon 100-400mm| PS CC 23.0.0

more to come…

Wordless Weds. Views from the Neighborhood…

Copyright© 2020 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Pond and Clubhouse after the First Snow of the Season

Lumix FZ200| PS CC 22.0.0

more to come…

Wordless Weds. Perseids and the Milky Way

Copyright ©2020 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

The last bridge to the stars perhaps?

Persied Meteors and the Milky Way
Copyright ©2020 Deborah M. Zajac ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Nikon D810| Nikkor 18mm f/3.5 Ais| PS CC 21.2.1| Single Frame

more to come…

Whatever Weds. Daybreak on the Pond

Copyright ©2020 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

We had 7 inches of snow last Thursday all over Carson Valley!  On Friday a friend and I got up and out really early to catch the sunrise and do some birding.  Before we even made it out of our gate we had to stop at the pond to catch the wonderful color and scene at the pond.

Daybreak on the Pond

The storm blew through really fast, but oh what it left behind is so pretty!

Nikon Df| Nikkor 24-120mm @24mm| f/11|0.5s| ISO 100| PS CC 21.0.2

more to come…

Wild Weds. 19/52 Mandarin Duck Male

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Several months ago I went birding near Sacramento, CA. to look for two exotic ducks, one was the Wood Duck which I blogged about here.  The other was the Mandarin Duck.

The week before I visited the pond there were two pair at the pond, but the morning I went there was only a lone male.  He’s gorgeous don’t you think?

Mandarin Duck Male

He sought the shade of a palm tree, but soon came out from under again, thankfully!

Mandarin Duck Male

Here are several facts about the Mandarin Duck:

The Mandarin Duck Drake is widely considered the world’s most beautiful of the ducks. It’s a native of China and Japan.  They favor small wooded ponds and avoid large bodies of water.

There are limited populations in the United States; they’re usually escapees from captivity.  China exported thousands of Mandarins, but the trade was banned in 1975.

They are wonderful fliers, able to fly through trees, with remarkable agility.

They will often perch in trees, but the female will lay her eggs (9-12 eggs) in a hole or cavity of a tree, or if a nesting box if one is available.  Once the Female has gathered her brood she takes them straight to the water!  Mandarin Ducks only pair up for a season. New pairs form again in the Fall/Autumn. ~https://www.livingwithbirds.com/tweetapedia/21-facts-on-mandarin-duck

I was thrilled there was still one there for me to see and photograph.

Nikon D810| Nikkor 200-500mm @500mm| f/8| 1/200s| ISO 800| Tripod w/Wimberley Sidekick Gimbal Head

more to come…