Saturday, June 14, 2008

Happy Father's Day

We do not remember days, we remember moments.
Cesare Pavese

I thought I would use these pictures to wish all you fathers out there a happy day! I know some of you like to see this shot between the cross hairs , but I prefer to see it through my lens and thrill at the sight every time I see one of these magnificent creatures.

I wasn't going to look for deer tonight but at the last minute changed my mind and decided to go. It was raining and dark, not good for photos but am I ever glad I went.

The first deer I saw was faraway and was putting more distance
between me and her.

Then, as if an answer to prayer, I saw this mama helping
her little one along.

She didn't want me to see him and was stepping quite fast.

The little fella was keeping up and moving right along.

Isn't he just adorable. I love to see the fawns.

Mom isn't happy with me sitting in the car taking pictures.

He did a lot of jumping and hopping around.
Hard to get a good clear picture with all the motion

After alot of pictures she says ok, honey it's time to go.

Come on now..

Hurry along.

After she had him hid in the grass.. she came out to give
me one more look posing beautifully in the grass.
This handsome doe was standing perfectly still as if
I couldn't see her through that grass. She stared and stared
at me, and I kept taking pictures. I got about 20! all the same.

Another one hiding and standing perfectly still. She probably
has a baby hidden from me.
What a long face she has.

Now this one was like a jokester... see her laughing!!
Wasn't trying to run away or anything.

She stood and watched me unafraid of the camera or car.
See her back legs touching together... my mom would
have used a term like 'knock kneed' for that.

And, once again I see the piebald deer. She has been around
for a lot of years. It is always a relief to see her in the Spring and
know she out smarted the hunters one more year.

Let's honor our fathers and let them know how important
they are in our lives.

To God be The Glory ~ Great things He Hath Done

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Kestrel Update

There is very little detailed data out there on the behavior of nesting American Kestrels. A lot of general facts but it doesn't seem to answer my questions about this pair I'm observing. Up until last Friday I had been observing them in the tree at work during the day. Sometimes one or both them would show up and often eat a mouse there.

Since this is my first encounter with the Sparrow Hawk as it is called I did not know what to expect. According to Cornell Lab 'All About Birds'

It is the most colorful raptor in the world. Nests in cavities of trees, buildings and nest boxes. Sprays feces around nest. 4-5 eggs.. nestlings helpless when born.

Nesting time is Late April to early May. The female will then incubate the eggs for around 30 days, while the male hunts for the family. The young fledge 30 days after hatching, but will remain part of the family unit for quite some time.

Having said all that ... I am reporting what I am observing.

Fred, the Male Kestrel
sits on the highest point....seen here on a pipe on top of a
building near the nest.

Sometimes when he was sitting and watching...I can
assume she is in the nest , he would scratch and make
funny faces which was entertaining.

Other nights he would fly from one place to another.
This perch had added 'greenry' to compliment
his beautiful colors.

My friend commented he looked like a parakeet in this photo.

But... all that sitting and watching and waiting changed last
Friday evening. When I came out from work I could hear the
loud klee klee klee of an excited Kestrel. I could not stay
and search the tree for the sounds as I had an appointment to keep.
I did go back up on the week end but saw and heard nothing.
The tree and nest sight were as quiet as a tomb. No activity.
I assumed the young fledged and I missed it.
Or, they had abandoned the nest for some reason.
I have no idea what all the fuss was about on Friday.
Then...... tonight I thought I heard the familiar call once again
right after work so I stationed myself under the nest
sight and immediately he came looking agitated.
click for a closer view.

He sat for only a moment and was gone.

About 25 minutes later Ethel showed up with what looks
like a cicada.

She looked around very quickly...

All this took about 3 seconds

Then in she went... if you click you can just see her tail.
Then out she flew.

They are not calling to each other now....... they are all
about going in and coming out. Intent upon the job of feeding
I am guessing. Another 30 minutes pass and they both fly
in ...I only got him.

But a second later he disappears into the nest and she flies out.

It is no wonder I didn't see anything the last few times I
looked. I hope this means there are babies...
Stay tuned..
To God be the Glory ~ Great Things He Hath done.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

'Wren't Free housing...

That would be something to sing about!

I have so many House Wrens in my yard that at times
they sing in unison and it sounds like stereo.

The one in the little red house has babies and is in and out
all day feeding while it's mate sits in the tree above and

When she stands at the door I can hear many little
chirpers inside. They must know mommy is out there.

They are the happiest sounding bird I have ever heard.
Their tee kettle tee kettle tee kettle is loud.

No nest yet in the pink house but being checked out by
a different pair of happy singers.

This is yet another one in a tree in my backyard. singing
loudly of course.

under the tree in low light they look so different

While watching Wrens this morning I caught this Northern
Flicker stopping for a drink.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Kestrel keeping 'High' profile

It's hard to know what goes on with these Kestrels .. they fly
back and forth from the tree to the nest and it has
become very very quiet. No babies being seen.
Ethel has been seen in the tippy top of the tree for a couple
days. She can pretty much see the nest from this vantage

The telephone pole also gives her a nice view.

Being this far away and with leaves it is really hard to spot
the birds at all now.
On this day she must have been bored because it looked
like she was doing stretches and 'Kestrel' exercises.

Wings up now!


How about a flip over with the tail extended to the sky.

Left and right wing up!

Make like you're gonna fly...

Wow! That feels so much better.

This picture I called 'hiding in plain sight' I saw her fly
in and without the zoom of the camera couldn't see her
at all with my eye.

More to come..... stay tuned to window on nature.
To God be the Glory ~~ Great Things He Hath Done!
(these picts were taken with H5 before I got my H9 back with the
added tele-conversion lens..sorry so far away)

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