They grow up so fast…..

Back in May, I posted an image of a sandhill crane that was one of two that had been born in the Spring out back. The two newbies are still in the neighborhood never far from the adults, but, as you can see, they have really grown in three months. The red crown doesn’t come in for the first year juveniles. The brownish feathers they were born with are transitioning to fresh grey feathers during the molt in late summer.


Are you my Mommy?

Like many bird species, sometimes the kids bear no resemblance to the Mom. We started with about a dozen Black-bellied Whistling-duck ducklings out back and nature has reduced that to about 7. Nevertheless, I stumbled upon them last Sunday and spent some quality time with them, my Z9 with the Nikkor 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR lens attached. A nice combination to capture the kids…..



Lunch

The Nikon Z9 is just amazing. The white pelicans have been around for about a month and stopped by a nearby lake to feed. While I remember shooting this pelican in the middle of his lunch, he was so quick I never saw the fish until later in processing where is was one of a 20 image burst I shot. Every image in that burst, like other bursts that day, is tack sharp. And shooting with autofocus in 3D tracking mode, the Z9 was amazing with locking on and staying on birds in flight.

White Pelican


Field Trip

Had a great time exploring various birding locations in Sarasota County with the Manatee Audubon Society. One of my favorites from the morning. A snowy egret exploring below a dock created this great shooting opportunity. Just had to wait for the gesture….


Just Hanging Out

I’ve written before about carrying my D6 with the 80-400mm around the golf course. We are usually out at daybreak, a great time as well as great light for wildlife. Coming up to a tee, my friend, Alan, pointed out this Great White Egret hanging pretty close on the top of a tree. It’s breeding time and note the green patch below the eyes that happens at this time of the year. Love is in the air….


Its all about the Spoonbill

Was surprised to see a lone Roseate Spoonbill the other day working first a small wet area in the fairway and then a more predictable body of water. Staying to the shade in already 95 plus heat and burying the spoonbill in the mud and water, I captured a lot of images of a pretty pink bird that really didn’t want to show his defining feature to anyone. Like a lot of times in wildlife photography, patience paid off and he finally took a moment to reposition himself at the edge of the pond.

Roseate Spoonbill


I think I’ll have a bug for breakfast

We have a lot of Red-Shouldered Hawks in the area. This one was more interested in finding breakfast than worrying about me. Standing as still as a statue on the edge of the fairway, it suddenly broke out in a dead run, buried its head in the grass and came up with breakfast. Still loving the Nikon D6 with the Nikkor 500mm PF combination.

Red-Shouldered Hawk on the run
Red-Shouldered Hawk with cricket