Venice Rookery, Florida
Jun 27, 2011
One of the most fascinating moments of my recent trip to Florida happened on my last morning there. I had been debating whether I should sleep in and skip shooting since I had to be at the airport at noon. Instead I dragged myself out of bed nice and early and got to the burrow before sunrise.
It was a good decision!
Mockingbirds are frequent visitors to the burrows and they live up to their name....constantly swooping down on the owls and annoying them at every chance they get . They also follow the owls while they are hunting and often take-over favourite perches. They come in groups and quickly ruin the calm environment with their loud calls and almost "malicious" behaviour. (Despite all of that, I really like them!)
I watched as five mockingbirds arrived and started "mocking" the owls and I was beginning to get concerned that the owlets could be harmed by the annoying and persistent birds. As that thought ran through my head....I saw one of the mb's swoop down and the male owl launched himself into the air, flipped upside down and landed with the mockingbird in his talons about 10 feet away from me. I quietly moved back another 5 feet so that I could take some shots and was cursing myself for leaving my other camera and 100-400mm in the car across the street.
Instantly the injured mockingbird started making loud screeching sounds and flailing around trying to get away. His friends started dive-bombing the owl trying to peck him and grab onto him so he would release his prey. One in particular was obviously distressed (maybe the injured birds mate?) The owl stood his ground and continued to hold and kill the mockingbird. He didn't go easy.
Nobody I've talked to in Cape Coral has ever seen this behaviour, even the CCFW or volunteers. It was one of those lucky sightings that I'll probably never witness again.
Jun 25, 2011
Jun 24, 2011
Jun 22, 2011
Jun 16, 2011
I know....lots of owls lately but at least this one is a different species ;-)
I had so many idea's for a title but I'm interested in hearing what you guys would name the image. Fire away!
Jun 15, 2011
Anybody else here hate spiders? I have severe arachnophobia, they send chills down my spine and no matter how much I want to kill them...I can't bring myself to get close enough to do it.
I would love to have Burrowing Owls in my yard. Kill all the spiders for me before they even get into the house. Perfect.
Jun 13, 2011
Cape Coral, Florida
I was horrified to see the news today and can't imagine what kind of a person would do something like this.
This week I will be donating 100% of the proceeds from Burrowing Owl print sales to CCFW (Cape Coral Friends Of Wildlife.) Please visit the link below and contact me anytime with questions.
Jun 10, 2011
Jun 9, 2011
Jun 8, 2011
Jun 7, 2011
From tonight at a Nature's Photo Adventures Walk in High Park, Toronto.
It was a really fun group and we spent some time with this little guy, a very large beaver and a variety of birds.
Can't say anyone's ever grabbed me in fear before when I've been leading a workshop....but it happened tonight. The threat? A curious and hungry Canada Goose ;-) We're going to give that participant some time before suggesting she join us on a Bears In Alberta Tour. We'll master the Geese first.
Now it's back to work....I have a couple of deadlines that won't be completed if I don't stop procrastinating.