“Do you ne’er think what wondrous beings these?
Do you ne’er think who made them, and who taught
The dialect they speak, where melodies
Whose household words are songs in many keys,
Sweeter than instrument of man e’er caught!”
– from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s ‘Tales of a Wayside Inn’
Jess Van Wickel
“Here is a photo of a Mountain Chickadee taken Sept. 20, 2011 in Idyllwild, CA. My wife Linda and I do a mountain getaway for a weekend three or four times a year to Idyllwild which is just above 5,000 feet in elevation to cleanse our souls a little from workaday chaos. We stay in the same cabin each trip at the Idyllwild Inn and sit on a deck and watch a myriad of animals and birds. As a bonus, I get a chance to photograph critters without having to go more than a few feet from the cabin! Idyllwild is a cool little community in the San Bernardino National Forest in Riverside County about 2 hours from our home in San Diego.”
Camera: Nikon D200. Lens: Nikon ED – AF Nikkor 80-200mm 1:2.8 ED
See more from Jess at his online photo album.
“This picture was taken on a warm, sunny day in March, 2010, a day after a snowfall. That was the last winter we had any real snow accumulation in Santa Fe. We kept our bird feeder well stocked so it attracted lots of avian friends. This obviously well-fed bird (sparrow?) was patiently waiting her turn at the feeder. The birdsong created cheerful music in our back yard, especially in the morning.”
Steve is one of the duo known as the Santa Fe Travelers.
“As a child growing up on the Florida gulf coast, seeing different birds on a daily basis was quite normal; all different colors, sizes, and shapes. I remember many times fishing with my family, enjoying the outdoors and watching the birds wading in and out of the water for food. The roseate spoonbill was always one of my favorites. Like the American Flamingo, they get their pink color from their diet. This particular bird was not camera shy and allowed me to get up quite close to just sit, watch, and snap away.”
January is sharing the planet one blink at a time at J Dawn Photos.
“Pre World War II the ranchers on the Island of Kauai in the Hawaiian Islands brought in several thousand Japanese White Eye Birds from Vietnam to control bug population for agriculture. The bird is considered to be rare because they did not populate as expected. Needless to say the idea was good at the time but it did not work. I saw this one on top of banana flower in a banana tree.”
Jim Cox Artworks Studio is located near Taos, New Mexico.
The Grey Crowned Crane (Balearica regulorum)
The habitat that the Crested Caracaras prefers is open flat countryside, for instance river edges, ranches, savannas and pastures. At times you may find them in marshy areas and in forests. The Caracaras can be found in southwestern United States and Florida, South America and Central America. In the falcon group, the Crested Caracara is the most terrestrial bird and spends a large amount of its time on the ground.
The Caracara feeds normally on dead animals but if the opportunity comes up they will take the advantage of other food sources such as small mammals, amphibians, turtles, reptiles, fish, crab, eggs, worms, insects and birds that are nesting. The Crested Caracara will either take food from other birds or they will hunt for food off the ground. Crested Caracaras will build a large stick nest off the ground in palms, trees or cacti, or on the ground. The Caracaras as other members of the falcon family do not construct nests. The female will lay 2 to 3 eggs and will incubate them up to 28 to 32 days. Unlike most other birds, the young caracaras have a much longer fledging period and can take up to three months before they can fly as independent birds.
Check out more of her awesomeness at Schmidt Photography.
Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) One of the best fisherman of the world. Their diet is 99% strictly fish and they hunt everyday for a meal, they nest near bodies of water for an easy food source. One can find them on most all continents except Antarctica. Mating for life, they can return to the same nest each year. The hatchlings have been known to fledge after 69 days from birth and during this time the adults will bring up to 6 fish per day to the nest. The typical life span is only 7-10 years but some make it into their 20s. Bald Eagles are their only enemy, usually just stealing their fish but not any predation. It is a privilege to see them start a family and watch them fishing.
“I used an old Canon PowerShot point-and-shoot for this. I took it back in 2002 in the Philippines. The site is at the historical Cagsawa Church Ruins, an old Spanish church that was covered with molten lava back in 1814 as the Mayon Volcano erupted. It left the ground level so high that only the steeple remained. The chickens in the image are walking along a wall which is part of those old Spanish ruins.”
You can find John over at his website.