Showing posts with label birding. Show all posts
Showing posts with label birding. Show all posts

Sunday, February 28, 2021

5 Minutes in Nature: The selectively forgetful bird

Chestnut-Backed Chickadee in Snow, Washington

When I launched the 5 Minutes in Nature project, I purposely avoided talking about specific plants or animals. This project is about finding your own connections to the natural world. I also didn’t want to suggest something that you would never see in your own area.

But today, I’m going to introduce you to the chickadee. It’s a fascinating bird. And you can find it almost everywhere. You can likely even find it now before other birds arrive for the spring.

Monday, February 15, 2021

5 Minutes in Nature: Backyard bird teamwork

Spotted Towhee in Snow, Washington

Have you ever taken the time to observe how many different types of birds use your yard? In this 5 Minutes in Nature activity, we’ll venture out to appreciate the variety of birds and see how they get along.

This post is part of the 5 Minutes in Nature project, a series of quick activities designed to help you relax and build a deeper relationship with nature — a few minutes at a time.

Monday, January 25, 2021

5 Minutes in Nature: Diving for dinner

Ring-Necked Duck Diving, Magnuson Park, Seattle

I suspect for most people, ducks are the first wild creatures they remember encountering. Ducks are everywhere and some species, like the mallard, don’t show much fear toward people — probably because we have a reputation for tossing bread at them.

We now know we shouldn’t give them bread. It’s like junk food for them, making them feel full without giving them the nutrients they need. But it’s still fun to watch them feed. Take five minutes to study them.

Monday, November 30, 2020

5 Minutes in Nature: Winter flocks

Flock of Ducks and Olympic Mountains, Washington

If you’re in one of the many communities that are returning to stay-at-home orders, you might find some enjoyment in appreciating how social some animals are this time of year.

This post is part of my 5 Minutes in Nature project, a series of short activities designed to help you relax and feel closer to nature. Numerous studies have found that spending even a few minutes outdoors is good for our well-being.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

The modern cliff dwellers

Great Horned Owl Nest, Montezuma Well, Montezuma Castle National Monument, Arizona

The Montezuma Castle wasn’t built for the Aztec leader. It isn’t even a castle. But it and the other cliff dwellings in central Arizona are still supporting life to this day, even though people haven’t lived in them for 600 years.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Waiting for the owlet

Great Horned Owl and Owlet on Nest, Skagit Valley, Washington

As I write these words, more than a quarter-million people are watching a live Internet video stream of a captive giraffe that’s about to give birth. Or so they think. April’s keepers have been saying she’s due for a couple of months now.

I’m not much of a giraffe-cam groupie. I’ve seen a few minutes of the video every now and then as I scrolled down my social media feeds. But as a nature photographer, I realized I have a lot in common with those people who’ve been hanging on for her every tail flinch.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A sight to see: In For The Night

Crows at Roost, Glowing Eyes

There is no one today who has witnessed the spectacular migration of the passenger pigeon. The last bird died more than 100 years ago, but decades earlier their numbers had dwindled so much that they were no longer able to eclipse the sun.

Today, there is a similar spectacle. But just like when the passenger pigeons were in their prime, relatively few people appreciate the show.

Friday, July 31, 2015

The thrill of the hunt

Atlantic Puffin, Close Up, Iceland

It may be hard to believe, but there are still a few wondrous places on Earth where animals aren’t afraid of people. With word this week that a hunter with more money than compassion brutally slaughtered a lion from one of these special places, I’m afraid we’re about to lose another.

I’ve never photographed a lion in the wild, but like most nature photographers who’ve ventured very far off the beaten track, I’ve had my share of absolutely magical encounters with wildlife. One that has had a dramatic impact on my view of animals and our relationship with them happened nearly 10 years ago on my first trip to Iceland.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The story behind "Great Blue Heron Fishing, Seattle Arboretum"

Great Blue Heron Fishing, Washington Park Arboretum, Seattle, Washington

The vast majority of my images are taken with the camera mounted firmly on a tripod. For the image of a great blue heron catching a fish for dinner, however, I used a much different type of tripod: the side wall of an inflatable kayak that was beached on lily pads.