Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Perries at Play

Juvenile peregrine falcons spend their time diving at one another in play.
They screech for Mom to bring food.

Mommeeee. Where's the pigeon?
I'm hungry . . . . Now.
Screeching can echo for miles.

Mom watches, hoping they'll learn to catch their own food soon.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

La Jolla Cove House Finches

We flew in from New York for this view.

Who said peregrines?  Here?

I came for the food.
They only go after pigeons, no worries

I am a branch. a branch. a branch.
Gloria. where did you go?
Welcome to Paradise my pretties.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Shades of Birds

"Birds will give you a window, if you allow them.  They will show you secrets from another world, fresh vision, that though avian, can accompany you home and alter your life.  
Lyanda  Lynn Haupt, Rare Encounters with Ordinary Birds
Snowy Egret

Shoebill Stork
Night Heron
Great Blue Heron

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Brown Pelicans

Ah. Free to be me.

Just me and my shadow

First the right foot, then the left.  That's the way I land.

Up again, breeze in my feathers.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Fish Mesmer by Osprey

Stories tell of the spell an osprey casts on fish: a power to allure.

The only raptors that dive into water, an osprey's talons contain spikes called spicules. These enable the bird to hook into a fish with ease.  

Ozzie Osprey holds his dinner with one foot.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Love is a Black Phoebe

Black Phoebes won my attention when we moved to an apartment complex during our home remodel several years ago. I discovered a park next door and spent an hour each day observing and writing about nature. I sat under a sycamore tree in late summer and observed.

Above my head, a black bird cleaned its beak. It flew to a lamp post and into the ivy behind me. Each day for a week, I watched this fellow in action.

One day I brought a seed bell and hung it under the bird's sycamore branch thinking I'd attract even more of its friends.

I searched the internet and discovered the Black Phoebe fit the description of the behavior I had observed. My seed bell must have caused a snicker in the bird community. Phoebe only catch and eat insects on the fly.

Called hawking, they fly from from sunrise to sunset eating with the tenacity of a hummingbird. I've seen them capture bees and moths for dining pleasure. 

Phoebes move in a circular pattern in their territory and work harder than anyone I know. In the spring, they pair and create a nest from mud, one beakful at a time. The male stands guard and sits the nest in rotation with his mate.

I discovered the conical nest in the eaves of our apartment building. The next stage involved nesting behaviors.

Resident crows became aggressive causing both phoebes to take turns chasing them causing disruption to their feeding ritual.

I heard peepings but could not see how many chicks had arrived. Unfortunately, I left on a trip for two weeks.

Upon my return to the park, I did not see the pair I'd named Flash and Fee. The nest appeared vacant and no peepings sounded. I felt a sudden fear that the crows had taken over during my absence.

Then I looked at the center of the park to discover four phoebes. They took turns dancing on air. I crept closer and watched this marvel of flight training.

I searched my home neighborhood for Black Phoebes missing this daily association when we moved back.

Water features in my yard abound to attract my favorite Black Phoebes.

One day a breeding pair will return to capture my fascination.

In Awe of a Black Phoebe

Monday, July 16, 2012

Ozzie Osprey's Insights

It's naptime!
They always want me to perform.  Geesh!

Snap the photo, wouldja?

Ozzie's wingspan is about five feet when he choses to flare for the camera.

I can see you better than you can see me.

I can play Quasimoto.
How do you like my vulture pose?
I have a seagull housekeeper.

Just got my frohawk trimmed by the breeze.
I could use a manicurist.

All for now.  I need my beauty sleep.