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on Jun 12, 2020 in Wildlife Photography

Otter Satisfaction!

It was a week of complete otter satisfaction! If you’ve read my book Captured, you know that my love affair with the Teddy Bears of the Sea goes way back decades. Having the good fortune to spend an entire week with them was truly special. We traveled up to Alaska working the large congregation of them in K Bay. Seeing rafts that numbered in the hundreds is a site of my career and one I’ll never forget. It was very heartwarming! Our trip was focused on the time mom is with young pups but we ended up seeing a whole lot more biology than just that. Adorable their entire life, otters are they’re cutest when really young. This 8-10 month old pup is at that stage when riding on mom’s belly isn’t practical anymore so more often floats alongside mom. The pup is able to swim with her underwater and grab its own meal but like any kid, prefers mom feeding it. They prefer the quieter water of back...

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on Jun 9, 2020 in Wildlife Photography

Sometimes, The Background Just Surprises You!

I really wasn’t looking for the shot, I’m up in Alaska working with Sea Otters. But I love Pigeon Guillemots with their bright red feet and squeely high pitched call. So when I saw this one floating by, it was real simple to throw the D6 / 180-400VR on it and get the shot. It took a matter of seconds, I really didn’t “look” at the scene, just the Pigeon Guillemot. Then back at the computer, I looked at the water and I fell in love with the reflections. It’s a real simple click. Just sometimes, the background just surprises...

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on Jun 5, 2020 in Wildlife Photography

I was Too Late?!

Six days after we moved to The Ranch, I had all our nesting boxes up in place. Four days later I saw Red-breasted Nuthatches checking one of them out. Now understand, it never happens that way! Birds don’t find nesting boxes days after you put them up, they just don’t. More to the point, they just don’t move in either that fast. Cavity nesters tend to spend weeks and weeks checking out possible sites and then, they start to excavate. But here it was unfolding before our eyes, these nuthatches were definitely taking up residence in our nesting box. How fun! I grabbed my copy of Nests, Eggs, and Nestlings of North American Bird and looked up the nesting biology of the Red-breasted Nuthatches. They incubate for about 12 days and are nestlings for about 16 days. I knew this clock was ticking yet life swept me away and I lost total track of time. We’d been seeing lots of activity, I kept saying I need to stop and...

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on May 19, 2020 in Wildlife Photography

Free Water is the Answer!

Backyard bird photography is a great past time and can be a real money maker. Some though have limitations such and money, mess, or unwelcomed pests. How can you attract the birds to your lens in your backyard and avoid these roadblocks? This video goes into that and a whole lot...

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on May 12, 2020 in Wildlife Photography

Those Darn Squirrels?

One issue many have with feeding birds in their backyards are squirrels. Squirrels love the seed we put out for birds perhaps more than the birds themselves. For them, it’s real simple, easy calories. The problem for bird photographers though is that the squirrels tend to scare off the birds if not totally prevent them from feeding at the feeders. If you want to photograph birds, this makes them darn squirrels, pests! There are some measures you can take to deal with pesky squirrels. One is the anti-squirrel bird feeders which close off the feeding holes by the weight of the squirrel landing on the feeder. I got one of these for The Ranch to see how well they work. They do keep the squirrels out but the White-tailed Deer have figured out how to eat from it. Too funny! But I want to ask the question, those darn squirrels? I realize they can eat one out of house and home, making feeding birds expensive. They can scare off...

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on Apr 30, 2020 in Wildlife Photography

It’s Nesting Bird Time!

Spring has to be one of my favorite times of the year. It’s that time of year when birds are so active with nesting. Literally one of the first things I did when we got to The Ranch was put out our bird boxes and just six days later, one has a new owner! We were delighted today to see a pair of Red-breasted Nuthatches taking nesting material to it feverishly. I can’t wait until the kids pop and I can photograph them! Photographing nesting birds, no matter the species can be done by anyone. There are only a few rules (I hate rules, but these are important) you need to remember: No photograph is worth sacrificing the welfare of the subject! Never have the parents off the nest for more than twenty minutes! Have Fun! After that, it just takes a little homework, thought, planning and execution. Here is the abridged version to get you started! Finding the Nest – Pre-Field Homework When it comes to photographing a...

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