Thursday, December 3, 2020

Light Morph Rough-legged Hawk Taking Off

Rough-legged Hawks are back at Bear River!  It was so nice to see and photograph one of them. Unfortunately, the Hawk  was hiding between branches of the Russian Olive tree and I could do nothing about it. 

When he took off the situation improved a little bit and my camera was finally able to focus on the Hawk.

Last winter I was blessed to see and photograph a few Rough-legged Hawks, I hope that this coming winter I will see more of these beautiful and powerful birds.

Generally, life is good!

Monday, November 30, 2020

North American Porcupine is Collecting His Breakfast

When I spotted a huge ball with sharp stiff hairs in the top of Russian Olive tree I didn't know what to think.  I have never seen a Porcupine in the wild and especially in the top of a tree.  

Apparently, North American Porcupines spend much of their time in the tops of trees where they eat berries, munch on bark, sleep and sometimes build nests.  

The Porcupine impressed me as a very talented climber, he almost never lost balance. Of course, there were moments when he made my heart to beat a little faster but the Porcupine never fell down.

A very smart tactic. The Porcupine is pulling the branch with berries lower to get them into his mouth.

Another challenge was to reach high for the top branch without loosing balance. The maneuver was tricky but the Porcupine figured out that if he would stretch his front left paw he could manage the situation well.

And then the Porcupine took a rest.  He settled comfortably between two branches and stayed like this for a while. 

At that precise moment I heard how the branch on the ground snapped. I looked around and saw a coyote.  I don't know for how long this coyote was around but I am sure that the coyote's curiosity kept him for a while close.

Generally, life is good!

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Coyote in November


I don't know for how long this coyote was around, I only can tell that he certainly was very cautious and silent.  I was photographing a porcupine on a tree and at some point I heard that a branch was broken and saw the coyote.

He was so close that for a few awkward seconds we just stared at each other and then I decided to be "submissive" and show that I am harmless and friendly.

Well, my way to show "submissiveness" was to get lower to the ground and to my surprise it worked, the coyote didn't run away.

At the beginning of our encounter the coyote was with the dry leaf in his mouth and he kept it for a while.

Today I was blessed with a wonderful opportunity to watch and photograph a coyote and be in a close proximity to him.

Generally, life is good!

Friday, November 27, 2020

What Happened? Why Immature Eared Grebe is Still at Bear River?

November brings the first freeze at Bear River triggering the waterfowl birds to leave it.  I was heartbroken when I saw this immature lonely Eared Grebe struggling to swallow fish that was too big for him.  

Eared Grebes most of the year are not flying but each fall they make a powerful overnight nonstop flight of hundreds of miles. To make this nonstop flight the Eared Grebes have to eat a lot to store the fat.  

Watching this Grebe struggling to swallow fish I was wondering if he is still flightless?  

Fish is still in the Grebe's mouth, looks like it stuck there. 

It wasn't successful fishing. Grebe lost his fish. 

My guess is that probably not enough of fat was stored that Grebe could make the big overnight flight.

The Eared Grebes only have enough fuel for one attempt, and on one of evenings in October hundreds of them take off together for their overnight nonstop flight over the desert to the Pacific Ocean.  

Why this little Grebe was left behind?  What happened?  My only hope is that soon the Grebe will store enough of fat and make his overnight nonstop flight.

Generally, life is good!