Time for Chicks

Today’s post features a pair of Great Egrets at the Venice Rookery (Florida) this February. While photographing Great Blue Herons that were actively nesting, several pairs of Great Egrets were busy building their nests, bringing in sticks and branches. Looking over to one pair, they were engaged in mating:

Great Egret pair, mating

Great Egret pair, mating

Great Egret pair, mating

This was the only “active nest” of Great Egrets. Their nesting schedule is usually a bit behind the Great Blue Herons, so it was a pleasant surprise to see this pair kicking off their nesting season.

Coming up, more birds at the Venice Rookery.

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark 2 body
  • Canon 500mm, f/4 IS lens
  • Bogen 3221 tripod, with Wemberly gimball head
  • ISO 6400 (early in the morning at the rookery, in low light)
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter 1/100 sec.

 

 

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Photo-bombed By an Ibis

Today’s post comes from my recent Florida trip, and was captured at the Venice Rookery. While photographing an active Great Blue Heron nest, I was shooting lots and lots of images, hoping to capture “that special moment”. Well, as it was early in the morning, the roosting White Ibises (“Ibi”?) were beginning to leave the rookery. This Ibis flew directly in front of the heron I had my lens trained on.

Now getting “photo-bombs” or “butt shots” are not unusual to a nature photographer … particularly when one tries to capture action or behavior shots. I get these types of shots often, but decided to post this one … out of spite for all the times the birds (or other critters) get the upper hand!

Enjoy, and have a great weekend!

White Ibis "photobombing" a nesting Great Blue Heron

Coming up … some feeding images with the little ones … with a rather unusual breakfast menu.

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark 2 body
  • Canon 500mm, f/4 IS lens
  • Bogen 3221 tripod, with Wemberly gimball head
  • ISO 6400 (early in the morning at the rookery)
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter 1/200 sec.

 

 

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Feed Me!

Today’s post comes from my February trip to Florida. One of my favorite shooting spots is the Venice Rookery. Today I’m featuring an active Great Blue Heron nest, located at the rookery.

Today’s images were taken early on, during my 2-day photo shoot here. In this nest, there are 3 “cute” nestlings:

Nesting Great Blue Herons

Nesting Great Blue Herons

Nesting Great Blue Herons

Nesting Great Blue Herons

In upcoming posts, I’ll share more of this heron family, including some of the typical behaviors often seen at an active nest.

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark 2 body
  • Canon 500mm, f/4 IS lens
  • Bogen 3221 tripod, with Wemberly gimball head
  • ISO 1250 and ISO 2000
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter 1/30 sec. to 1/80 sec.

 

 

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Happy Mother’s Day 2020!

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the Mothers out there! As if on cue, our little Canada Goose family (mom, pop, 6 goslings) visited us yesterday evening while we were working in our gardens by the dock, giving me a great opportunity for some Mother’s Day images! Enjoy, and have a great Mother’s day!

Canada Goose family

Canada Goose family

Canada Goose family

Canada Goose family

Canada Goose family

Canada Goose family

Canada Goose family

Canada Goose family

Canada Goose family

Canada Goose family

Canada Goose family

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!!!!

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 100-400mm, f/4.5 – f/5.6 IS lens
  • Handheld, with IS “ON”
  • ISO 400
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter 1/250 sec. to 1/3000 sec.

 

 

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And Away We Go!

Today’s post is the last of the series on the Canada Goose nesting, that occurred on our boat dock at the Lake of the Ozarks (Missouri) this spring. If you missed any of the other nesting posts, you can find them here:

Immediately after moving from the flower pot nest, to the dock, to the water, the entire family of 2 Canada Geese parents and 6 goslings began feeding on the shoreline and then swimming about the area, before swimming down the cove. As they gathered together, I captured these parting shots of the family:

Canada Goose family

Canada Goose family

Canada Goose family

Canada Goose family

As this concludes the Canada Goose experience, I will continue posting some of my late winter trip highlights to Florida, along with some local, Missouri Ozark wildflowers.

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 500mm, f/4 IS lens
  • Bogen 3021 tripod with Wemberly gimbal tripod head (500 mm lens)
  • ISO 1600
  • Aperture f/4.5
  • Shutter 1/4000 sec. to 1/8000 sec.

 

 

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Gosling Olympics

Today’s post is the third of 4 posts about the brood of Canada Goose goslings that recently were hatched on our Missouri Ozarks dock.

In the last post (“How to Transplant a Gosling”), I featured images of six little Canada Goose goslings as they left their nest … in one of our large flower pots that is located on our boat dock. As I mentioned in the last post, the first gosling to enter the water “fell” in … while running about the dock, he stepped between the dock ramp and the dock, where a  ”~4-inch opening exists. Today’s post features some more comical antics of this group of goslings, as the rest of the brood entered the water for the first time … enjoy!

In this first image, 5 of the goslings are wandering around the dock … you can see the gosling that fell into the water, at the bottom of this image:

Canada Goose goslings ready to enter the water

One of the parents, the father I think, jumped into the water to be with the fallen gosling:

Canada Goose goslings ready to enter the water

Canada Goose goslings ready to enter the water

Canada Goose goslings ready to enter the water

… while the other parent stayed with the 5 youngsters on the dock:

Canada Goose goslings ready to enter the water

But coaxing the remaining 5 goslings into the water was her next task, so she shows them how to do it:

Canada Goose goslings ready to enter the water

Canada Goose goslings ready to enter the water

That’s about all it took to get the youngsters diving into the lake waters:

Canada Goose goslings ready to enter the water

Canada Goose goslings ready to enter the water

Canada Goose goslings ready to enter the water

Canada Goose goslings ready to enter the water

Canada Goose goslings ready to enter the water

Canada Goose goslings ready to enter the water

Canada Goose goslings ready to enter the water

Canada Goose goslings ready to enter the water

Canada Goose goslings ready to enter the water

Canada Goose goslings ready to enter the water

Canada Goose goslings ready to enter the water

Canada Goose goslings ready to enter the water

Canada Goose goslings ready to enter the water

Canada Goose goslings ready to enter the water

And finally, the last gosling shows his form:

Canada Goose goslings ready to enter the water

Canada Goose goslings ready to enter the water

Canada Goose goslings ready to enter the water

Canada Goose goslings ready to enter the water

So much fun to watch this new family as they leave the nest and go out into the world … but, also nice to get our dock back! In the final post of this family, I’ll share some family photos as they swim off to explore their new environment.

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 500mm, f/4 IS lens
  • Bogen 3021 tripod with Wemberly gimbal tripod head (500 mm lens)
  • ISO 1600
  • Aperture variable
  • Shutter variable

 

 

 

 

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How to Transplant a Gosling

Today’s post is a followup to the previous post (“Growing Goslings” , in case you missed it).

“Transplanting” is the process of moving from one location to another. How do the goslings relocate? Well, I was blessed with the opportunity to see how the little ones moved from the dock flower pot to the dock floor.

Here are the little ones, all fumbling about, each one wanting to leave the pot and join up with it’s parents (off to the left, out of this image), but afraid to be the first “jumper”:

Canada Goose goslings ready to leave the nest

As I was watching this comical sight, the first one leaped from the pot … I missed the shot, but here’s the first one on dry land:

Canada Goose goslings ready to leave the nest

Canada Goose goslings ready to leave the nest

This action then created a mass exodus with the remaining goslings:

Canada Goose goslings ready to leave the nest

Oops, didn’t stick the landing!

Canada Goose goslings ready to leave the nest

Then the next one prepares to take the leap of faith:

Canada Goose goslings ready to leave the nest

Looks like a swan dive:

Canada Goose goslings ready to leave the nest

But turns into a belly flop:

Canada Goose goslings ready to leave the nest

Meanwhile, here comes the next one:

Canada Goose goslings ready to leave the nest

Canada Goose goslings ready to leave the nest

Canada Goose goslings ready to leave the nest

And he sticks the landing!  Even sticks his little wings out to balance the landing. Then, the next one prepares himself:

Canada Goose goslings ready to leave the nest

Canada Goose goslings ready to leave the nest

Canada Goose goslings ready to leave the nest

Canada Goose goslings ready to leave the nest

What do you call that … a mid-air, 90-degree landing?

As the group of six goslings congregate on the dock, it’s time to explore … the one on the right is racing towards Mom:

Canada Goose goslings ready to leave the nest

Finally, all six are together in a group. Note the one on the far left … the one behind the railing. My next post follows this little family around, and the one on the left makes a big, OOPS!

Canada Goose goslings ready to leave the nest

By the way, a seventh gosling was still in the nesting pot. Unfortunately, he was the runt of the litter and did not survive.

The next post … “Gosling Olympics”.

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 bodies (2 used)
  • Canon 100-400mm, f/4.5-f/5.6 IS IS lens, and Canon 500mm, f/4 IS lens
  • Handheld, with IS “On” (100-400mm lens) and Bogen 3021 tripod with Wemberly gimbal tripod head (500 mm lens)
  • ISO 200 through ISO 1600, depending on lighting and action at the time
  • Aperture variable
  • Shutter variable
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Growing Goslings

How do you grow goslings? Well, here at the Lake of the Ozarks we use the “flower pot method”! Today’s post covers about a month-long process of monitoring and photographing an active Canada Goose nest on our dock at the lake. An absolutely wonderful experience to be able to follow this goose family (mom and pop) as they built their nest (in one of our dock’s flower pots), laid eggs and incubated seven eggs!

The first inkling of something was happening was about a month ago, when we saw this Canada Goose sitting in the flower pot:

Mother Canada Goose incubating eggs

Because she sat in the flower pot for long periods of time, we had to wait a while to catch her off the pot, just to verify what was going on:

Five eggs in a Canada Goose nest

Yep, we’ve found a new home!!! This photo shows 5 eggs, but over another day or so, another 2 eggs were added, totaling 7 eggs. The incubation process was a rather “boring” time as not much to see … her incubating the eggs, while papa goose stayed close by and chased other geese, herons, and even us away from the dock!

But on the morning of April 24, Mother Goose was posturing on the nest as if there might be some little ones hatching. She would sit on the nest, but her wings were not tight against her body, but rather more like an “umbrella” over the nest. Sitting and watching for some time, we observed the first gosling in the nest, then more:

Canada Goose nest with gosling

Canada Goose nest with gosling

Canada Goose nest with gosling

This first seen gosling grew quite active as time progressed … quite a little “ham”:

Canada Goose nest with gosling

Canada Goose nest with gosling

Canada Goose nest with gosling

… but still a bit chilly … “I need my down coat”:

Canada Goose nest with gosling

Peek-a-boo, from my bed:

Canada Goose nest with gosling

A while later, mom gets off the nest and we see her brood:

Canada Goose goslings in their nest

The parents tried to coax the young ones out of the nest, but they were quite content to stay in the warm nest:

Canada Goose goslings in their nest

By now, it was getting late in the day, so mom climbed back into the nest and covered them up.  The following morning, they were still in the nest with mom keeping them warm. But it didn’t take long before they began leaving the nest … I’ll feature some of those images in another post!

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 bodies (2 used)
  • Canon 100-400mm, f/4.5-f/5.6 IS IS lens, and Canon 500mm, f/4 IS lens
  • Handheld, with IS “On” (100-400mm lens) and Bogen 3021 tripod with Wemberly gimbal tripod head (500 mm lens)
  • ISO 200 through ISO 1600, depending on lighting and action at the time
  • Aperture variable
  • Shutter variable

 

 

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Fun Friday: A Wise Little Bird

Today’s “Fun Friday” post comes from Cape Coral, Florida, during my February trip around multiple sites in Florida. The Burrowing Owl is an endangered and protected species in the community of Cape Coral. This little owl was spotted in a residential area, just down the road from one of my good Florida friends:

Burrowing Owl

Note the “cross” … this is a perch that has been placed near his burrow, by the protective group that oversees these little guys in Cape Coral. I’ll be following up with more information on these little owls, as well as more photos in a subsequent blog post.

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D body
  • Canon 100-400mm, f/4.5-f/5.6 IS IS lens, at 400mm
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 400
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter 1/3200 sec.

 

 

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Another White Spring

Today’s post comes from one of my daily walks along the lake road, near my home at the Lake of the Ozarks. This time of year is truly a re-awakening, particularly when all the Dogwood trees begin to bloom!

Flowering Dogwood is the state tree of Missouri and I look forward each spring to see the amazing display of them throughout the Ozark woodlands. Here are a few images from my last walk:

Dogwood trees in bloom

Dogwood trees in bloom

And a closeup of the beautiful flowers:

Dogwood trees in bloom

Coming up … more Florida wildlife, more Missouri spring woodland wildflowers, and a new nursery at my back door!

 

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 28-135 mm, f/3.5-f/5.6 IS lens
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 400
  • Aperture f/16 (top 2 images) and f/6.7 (bottom image)
  • Shutter 1/20 sec., 1/30 sec., and 1/500 sec.

 

 

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