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Apr 082010


It’s the time when the pheasants are bold with color and courage.  Trying to impress the girl.  I just missed a scuffle with this guy and another suitor.    It was dramatic watching the two.  Just couldn’t get my camera out and all ready in time.  This is probably the winner.  The loser flew off.  And he looks like he is standing pretty tall and “cocky”.

American Coot

American coot Fulica americana

Identification Tips:

  • Length: 12 inches Wingspan: 25 inches
  • Fairly large, duck-like waterbird with short wings and a short tail
  • Very short, thick bill
  • Frequently seen both swimming and walking
  • Often flicks and cocks short tail while walking, exposing white outer undertail coverts
  • Sexes similar
  • Toes have lobed webbing, unlike gallinules


  • White bill with dark reddish ring just before tip
  • White frontal shield with reddish oval near tip
  • Slate gray head, neck, back, upperwings, breast and belly


  • Lacks the frontal shield of the adult
  • Horn-colored bill may lack ring near tip
  • Pale gray-brown head, neck, upperwings, breast and back; feathers on underparts often with paler edges

Similar species:

Common Moorhen is of similar size and shape but has a reddish bill with a yellowish tip, a white stripe along the flanks, and a brownish back.


A real common bird in our area.  And a real joy to watch.

 Posted by at 8:27 PM
Apr 062010

the last2010bald

The Bald Eagles are thinning out somewhat.    The new migrators are “flocking” in.  From now till late summer it’s an exciting time for the birders in Utah.

 Posted by at 8:24 PM
Apr 042010


Nothing better than Sunday morning listening to migrating birds.  Oh!  And recording what I can of the funny, crazy and beautiful animals!


The Avocets are going crazy…must be love in air.


The great “fisher”  Blue Heron.  In full camouflage I got a little more time with this guy.  What a specialist at fishing!


Like a bolt of lightning the Great Blue Heron “picks” it’s meals from the water.   I was lucky to watch for some time until………


The guy in the ford truck with the barking dog shows up.  You guessed it.  The dog was let out.  Either to ruffle my feathers or the birds.   Man people can be ignorant!

 Posted by at 10:14 PM
Apr 022010

Duck Bath

Tonight the Doc says….”you have a little irritation around the area we fixed the torn retina”  I wonder if that is why the past few days my eye has felt like it had been dipped in acid?  Seriously I am blessed.   I feel that over time I will be fine.  The sight is no better in the eye.  But the great news is it’s not worse!

My camera gear still goes most places I do.  So tonight after a short “nap” in my truck.  (should not be driving under the influence of xanax.}  I stopped at FBBR.  Found this gorgeous duck.  With only a half an eye working I assumed it was gorgeous.  When I brought it up at home I was amazed.  A beautiful animal.  The late and very short sun reflecting on the water helped a little.  I  guessed a little with the depth of field.  So it’s not perfect.  I do love the colors however.

 Posted by at 9:43 PM
Mar 282010


It really can be more about the technology and equipment than just talent.  That’s the case for me, especially now…..

About a year ago my left eye went “wacko”.  A big white blob took over a portion of my sight area. The Doc said I would get used to it.  I guess he never had a big white blob in his eye.  I shoot through my camera with my left eye.  The world was coming to an end!  Have you ever photographed with the wrong eye?  It’s like writing left handed.  A new method of shooting had to be obtained and conquered.


I found myself dancing with my camera.  Changing eye to eye.  Every shot seemed blurry.  Luck and odds helped produce a couple of keepers.


Then all heck broke loose this last Friday.  My right eye went really “wacko”.  I was seeing spider webs, streaks, blobs, bugs, kitchen sink, etc.   The eye doctor agreed to see me at 11:00 p.m. Friday night.

“I’m concerned about your eye” the Doc said.  Really?  If your concerned, pass the Xanax please!!!!!!   Like an idiot I was not worried about work, or reading, or driving.  I was worried about photography!  Kinda shows how shallow I am.   I had been asked by some dear friends to photograph their daughter the next morning (yesterday)at a dance competition.   They have done tons for me!  There is just about no way to pay them back for their efforts in my behalf.  I couldn’t let them down.  Especially their daughter.  It was her day.

Camera in hand, looking through milk, spider webs and the such with my eyes I was depending on the technology I was carrying.  A digital camera with auto white balance, auto focus, and almost auto everything.   Just point and shoot…at 3200 ISO and 9 frames a second.


About a minute and a half dance program.  174 frames later the camera (Nikon D3) and the lens (Nikon 70-200 2.8) saved the day!  Yes I pointed and shot.  The subject-a beautiful young lady fell in the frame of my camera.  Her talent and beauty captured by new technology and sheer luck.   Her talent and beauty…from her mother.  The caring and concern…..her father.

 Posted by at 9:03 PM
Mar 032010

Kestral Dinner

These American Kestrals are a kick to watch.  Like mentioned on an earlier blog they are tough little birds.  Not much fighting back from the dinner this guy is enjoying.

Geese Gang

The geese are dropping in in groves!  Can’t wait for all the shore birds to return to FBBR this year.

 Posted by at 8:47 PM
Feb 212010


Had a chance to get out this morning.  Seasonal changes at the FBBR.  No ice and the eagles are where the crowds aren’t.  The geese however are stopping over in big numbers.    Not much photography during the Olympics.  Most of my time on the couch.

 Posted by at 9:27 PM
Feb 142010

Eagle Chase

The carp are dead.  DWR kills the carp most years at this time.  It’s free food for the scavengers and the Eagles (also scavengers).

Eagle FeastSome food fights are created.  Which is really strange because there is dead carp everywhere.  Thousands of them.

Eagle Launch

All morning the Eagles were moving around.

seagull dancesmllEven the seagulls have a “pecking” order!   It was a great morning.  The only thing to make it better would be a sunny sky.

 Posted by at 7:15 PM
Feb 012010


Another great reason to live in the Wasatch Front!   The Harrier Hawk can be readily watched and photographed at the Bird Refuges of Utah.  As of late the areas are flooded with photographers hoping to get a “fun” shot of this bird.

Adult Description

  • Medium-sized hawk.
  • Long tail.
  • Long, slender, rounded wings.
  • White rump.
  • Flies low, with wings held up in slight “V.”

Male Description

Head, back, and upper chest light gray. Chest and belly white, usually with some rusty markings extending onto flanks. Wingtips black. Line of black on rear of wings. Underwings white. Tail darkish gray above and whitish below, with some barring. Rump white.

Female Description

Back dark brown, with many feathers edged with tawny. Face streaked brown and whitish. Face outlined by white facial disk. Chest and belly streaked dirty white and tan. Rump white. Upper side of wings brown, lower side barred white and dark brown. Tail brown with dark bars.


Immature Description

Juvenile similar to adult female, but with rusty wash across mostly unstreaked underparts.

Cool Facts

  • Most male Northern Harriers are mated to one or two females at the same time. Some males pair with up to five mates in a season. Females incubate the eggs and brood the offspring, while the male provides the bulk of the food for his mates and their nestlings.
  • Unlike other hawks, the Northern Harrier relies on its hearing as well as its vision to capture prey. The feathers of the face are stiff to help transmit sound, and it shows a pronounced “facial disk,” much like that of an owl.
  • The Northern Harrier feeds primarily on mice, other small mammals, and small birds. It will, however, take larger prey, such as rabbits and ducks. It has been known to subdue large prey by drowning it.
 Posted by at 9:57 PM
Jan 312010

Hello Kestral

American Kestral

Identification Tips:

  • Length: 8.5 inches Wingspan: 21 inches
  • Short, dark, hooked beak
  • Small, long-tailed hawk
  • Long, narrow, pointed wings
  • Gray crown
  • White cheeks
  • Two black mustache marks
  • Black spot at rear of crown on both sides
  • Seen from below, flight feathers are pale with dark barring
  • Juveniles and immature females like adult female

Close Kestral

Adult male:

  • Rust patch on crown
  • Rust nape, breast, back and tail
  • Rust tail has a broad black subterminal band and a narrow white terminal band
  • Pale belly
  • Blue-gray wing coverts
  • Dark flight feathers with pale subterminal spots creating a “string of pearls”
  • Black spots on scapulars, wing coverts and flanks

Adult female:

  • Pale buff breast streaked with brown
  • Rust-brown nape, back and wing coverts
  • Back and wing coverts barred heavily with black
  • Rust-brown tail with numerous dark bars of even width and a narrow white terminal band

Immature male:

  • Barred rust-brown back barred heavily with black
  • Streaked breast

Cold Kestral

I love this Bird – The American Kestral

 Posted by at 8:27 PM