Readers’ wildlife photos

Today we have some bird photos sent by reader Paul Peed, whose notes are indented and whose images are at eBird and Instagram. 

My birding “Patch” is T.M. Goodwin Waterfowl Management Area in Brevard County, Fl. a 6300 acre restored wetland.  Goodwin is accessed via Fellsmere Grade Road,  a 11-kilometer dirt track with deep canals running on both sides.  The road begins with scrub pines (mesic woodlands) for 4 kilometers before transitioning into palms and wetland foliage.  Perfect habitats for a wide variety of birds, mammals and reptiles.

For the first 4.5 kilometers, I scan the scrub pines for Eagles, Owls, Osprey and Hawks and am often rewarded.

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus):

This gal was preening when I spotted her.  A little feather floated in the air around the eagles head for the entire time I watched her.  I was not worried about stressing her as I was 28-30 meters away and the other side of a canal from her.

Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) . The GHOs have distinct begging and alert voices which allowed me to find and observe them.  The female has an injured eye but seemed to be getting along alright although I have not seen them this mating season. From extreme distance – 40 meters +

Barn Owl (Tyto alba). I normally arrive at my birding patch at dawn.  On this day I was a touch late.  Imagine my surprise when a flash of pale white wings caught my eye.  I followed to a dense stand of scrub palms and looked up into the canopy to find a pair of Barn Owls.  The density of the cover and time of day made for a difficult image.

Barred Owl (Strix varia). This pair presented themselves 15  minutes before dawn one beautiful morning.  I had pulled over into my first “recording spot” to log the first sightings of the day when I heard the unmistakable calls of Barred Owls.  The exposures were 1/4 second which is a very long time for a dedicated coffee drinker because of the low pre-dawn light conditions.

Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus). While I would be hard pressed to attach “beautiful” to the Black Vulture, they are indispensable to the marshes.  The Black Vulture is also highly social and quite the family-oriented bird.  They feed their young for months after fledging and share food with their relatives. Sounds of the Black Vulture

Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus). Fellsmere Grade Road has the highest concentration of Red-shouldered Hawks I have ever experienced.  It is a poor observing day when I do not spot at least 6 individuals along the 4 kilometers of mesic pine flatwoods leading to T.M. Goodwin.  This is a juvenile RSH trying his best to keep the snake population optimal.

Sounds of the Red-shouldered Hawk

20 Comments

  1. Charles Sawicki
    Posted October 20, 2019 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Thanks! Great pictures.

  2. Diana MacPherson
    Posted October 20, 2019 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    One drawer of cables would be a blessing for me. I just categorized all my cables that I don’t often need and stored them in the basement in plastics, labelled freezer bags and stores all those in a plastic drawer unit. The. Aridity includes USB mini, power cords, USB you use mainly for old hard drives, RCA cables and VGA and DVI cables.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted October 20, 2019 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      Let’s try again.

      One drawer of cables would be a blessing for me. I just categorized all my cables that I don’t often need and stored them in the basement in plastic, labelled freezer bags and stored all those in a plastic drawer unit. The variety includes USB mini, power cords, USB you use mainly for old hard drives, RCA cables and VGA and DVI cables

  3. rickflick
    Posted October 20, 2019 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the fine images. The eye injury to the great horned owl, at first seems like it would create a real problem. But, on second thought, they use sound to detect and zero in on prey, so the loss must not be such a big deal.

    • Paul Techsupport
      Posted October 20, 2019 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

      Hi,

      Wish I had better news. Unfortunately, this easily identifiable GHO individual has not been sighted since shortly after these images. Still, she had a mate and was a fully mature….probably older Great Horned Owl. Unless the injury was quite recent she had lived for quite some time with loss of binocular vision. Quite a disability in a raptor.

      Thanks for the kind comments,

      Paul

      • rickflick
        Posted October 20, 2019 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

        Very sad indeed. Let’s how she’s alive somewhere.

  4. norm walsh
    Posted October 20, 2019 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Lovely pics Paul.

  5. Frank Bath
    Posted October 20, 2019 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Thank you for the photos. Good work. Good birds.

  6. Blue
    Posted October 20, 2019 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    These all, Mr Peed, are spectacular.
    My thanks.

    Blue

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted October 20, 2019 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

      +1

  7. GBJames
    Posted October 20, 2019 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Excellent photos.

  8. Stultis the Fool
    Posted October 20, 2019 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Beautiful photos!

  9. Cate Plys
    Posted October 20, 2019 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Thank you! And crazy as I am for owls, thanks especially for the black vulture–I don’t think I’ve ever seen one before.

    • Paul Techsupport
      Posted October 20, 2019 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      Hi,
      You are very welcome.

      Turkey and Black Vultures hold a convention every morning near the boat launch at Fellsmere Grade Road. Usually, there are 75-100 Turkey Vultures and 50-75 Black Vultures just hanging around socializing (?) when I arrive around 1 hour after dawn. It is really quite a remarkable gathering. They are often joined by 1 or 2 Crested Caracaras (late fall to mid spring) and 2 or 3 Red-shouldered Hawks.

      Thanks kindly,

      Paul

  10. Mark R.
    Posted October 20, 2019 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    Terrific bird shots Paul. I once visited Canaveral National Seashore and witnessed a flock of black vultures feeding on the remains of a wild pig. They didn’t pay any attention to me and I was able to get quite close.

    I didn’t realize Florida has the same owls as we have here in Washington state. Those birds can adapt pretty much anywhere it seems.

  11. Posted October 20, 2019 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Wonderful and interesting pictures! I wish I could see owls. It has been a very long time.

  12. Barbara Radcliffe
    Posted October 21, 2019 at 1:27 am | Permalink

    Thank you for your great photographs! I greatly admire those who do wild-life photography. So far I’m only trying to take pictures of wild flowers that tend to stay still, except where there is a wind!

    • Paul Techsupport
      Posted October 22, 2019 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      Barbara,

      Thanks for your kind comment. My first digital photography was wildflowers. Very challenging to capture the beauty of a field of wildflowers. Much harder than bird photography and requiring an artistic mindset that I lack.

      Thanks kindly,

      Paul

  13. Posted October 21, 2019 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    I really enjoyed these wonderful photos, Paul. Thanks.

  14. Paul Techsupport
    Posted October 22, 2019 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Thanks for all the kind comments. Very much appreciated.

    Paul


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