Category Archives: SHOT FROM THE FILE

Red-necked Grebes – Courtship

Courtship

Courtship

     These Red-necked Grebes [Podiceps grisegena] perform their courtship ritual calling and swimming side by side.  Although the nuptial ‘dance’ of this species is not nearly as dramatic as say the Western Grebe, it still is interesting to witness as they carry on swimming in tandem and vocalizing.

~ Anecdote and Red-necked Grebes capture, Courtship © Jerry L. Ferrara

Rufous Hummingbird – Metabolic Wonder

Metabolic Wonder

Metabolic Wonder

     Hummingbirds, like this Rufous Hummingbird [Selasphorus rufus], are a metabolic wonder.  Scientists have shown that when evening temperatures drop significantly, a hummingbird has a neat trick for conserving its energy.  Their metabolism slows down and they become what is called torpid, like being in a suspended state.  Here, this male Rufous Hummingbird fluffs his feathers and takes full advantage of the early morning sunlight to warm itself.  Sort of like giving a boost to its metabolic engine. 

~ Anecdote and Rufous Hummingbird capture, Metabolic Wonder © Jerry L. Ferrara

Burrowing Owl – Here’s Looking at You

Here's Looking at You

Here’s Looking At You

     I borrowed a phrase, in part, from the famous Bogey/Bergman film, Casablanca, which struck me as the perfect title for this burrowing owl family portrait … so Here’s Looking At You.   It was recorded in the early 1980’s at the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge.   Burrowing Owls, Athene cunicularia, are extremely interesting creatures.   They are basically a diurnal [daytime] owl species that take over and renovate the subterranean dens of rodents like ground squirrels … hence the spunky bird’s name.   Here we are looking at a family group of six young to the right and one very sleepy adult on the left.   Wonder what they were looking for? 

~ Anecdote and Burrowing Owl capture, Here’s Looking At You © Jerry L. Ferrara

Canada Geese – Just Before Sunset

Just Before Sunset

Just Before Sunset

     I was north of Hope, Idaho, near the Clark Fork driftwood site waiting for something to happen when this pair of Canada Geese, Branta canadensis, flew low on the horizon just before sunset.   I actually heard them before seeing the feathered duo as they communicated with each other in flight.   Their distinctive, plaintive, honking call along with the sun descending through the clouds just said it was day’s end. 

~ Anecdote and Canada Geese capture, Just Before Sunset © Jerry L. Ferrara

A Jurassic Park Moment

A Jurassic Park Moment

A Jurassic Park Moment

     A loud report broke over the constant din of the engine and our open-sided, open-topped vehicle came to an abrupt halt.  The back right tire was flat and the sinister silence of the enigmatic woodland matched the deep solemness of the situation.  Somewhere nearby there were tigers.

     Our guides had received information that a tigress and three cubs had been spotted.  Madly we had rushed toward the distant locale in hopes of catching a glimpse of the feline quartet.  Just a we arrived at the anticipated site, the blowout occurred.

     As the tire exchange was hastily being made, we apprehensively watched the nearby brushy thicket for any sign of movement.  Imagination soon overpowered rationality causing striped pelages and shadowy forms to flourish and flow in the close cover.  It was a Jurassic Park moment.

~ Anecdote and Bengal Tiger capture, A Jurassic Park Moment © Jerry L. Ferrara

Wild Rose – Generation Incomplete

Generation Incomplete

Generation Incomplete

     When I peered into the viewfinder I was thrilled to see various stages of wild rose flower development … but the process might be considered generation incomplete.  There were:  just above the open flower, an unopened rose bud; to the left, a flower bud that is unfurling; then nearly in the center, the open flower; and to the far right, the stamens and pistil after the flower had lost its petals.  The only thing absent was a rose hip.

~ Anecdote and Wild Rose capture, Generation Incomplete © Jerry L. Ferrara

Cordilleran/Pacific Slope Flycatcher – Prepping

Prepping

Prepping

     The process of prepping for our upcoming journey to Africa continues.  Here, at home, I caught this Flycatcher [probably a Cordilleran or Pacific Slope] in a portrait pose.  The capture was created at 400mm with a tc 1.4 applied, rendering a 560mm effective focal length.  This will be my main setup for reach.  We will be in the Mara Triangle during the total lunar eclipse, so will need to think of lens focal lengths in the other direction, too … and clear skies.

~ Anecdote and Cordilleran/Pacific Slope Flycatcher capture, Prepping © Jerry L. Ferrara

Herring Gull – Grabbing a Bite

Grabbing a Bite

Grabbing a Bite

     Grabbing a bite, this Herring Gull [Larus argentatus] had just snagged a spawned salmon and was downing it in mid-flight.   It was quite an acrobatic feat as the bird came in low over the water and plucked the unlucky fish from the surface.   What surprised me most was that while flying, the gull swallowed the fish, probably to avoid being harassed by other gulls to give up its catch.  

~ Anecdote and Herring Gull capture, Grabbing a Bite © Jerry L. Ferrara

Western Meadowlark – Like Magic

Like Magic

Like Magic

     Like magic, they simply seem to appear one day.  During spring, they grace the wind-waved grasslands with gorgeous arias of bubbly music [which are really invitations and stern warnings].  When summers are done and families are reared, like magic they simply seem to disappear.  Such are the ways of the Western Meadowlark.

~ Anecdote and Western Meadowlark capture, Like Magic © Jerry L. Ferrara

Wild Pig – A Final Look

A Final Look

A Final Look

     The Wild Pig, sometimes referred to as the Eurasian Wild Pig, is an omnivore which means it augments its diet with both plant and animal matter.  Here, confronted by humans, a Wild Pig paused briefly while traversing through a Sal Forest.  Because we remained motionless and quiet, the Wild Pig soon determined we really weren’t a threat.  Then the “porcine one” gave a final look, turned and scooted off.

~ Anecdote and Wild Pig capture, A Final Look © Jerry L. Ferrara