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Bald Eagles of Petenwell Dam-Necedah, Wisconsin

January 8, 2017

I made the trip up to Petenwell Dam near Necedah to photograph the wintering Bald Eagles. Although the dam was not ope, which resulted in a very limited supply of fish, there were around 50 eagles present. They did limited feeding and most of that was not anywhere near the shore. Despite that, I was able to get a few decent pictures.

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petenwell-dam-1-8-17-20

petenwell-dam-1-8-17-21

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petenwell-dam-1-8-17-24petenwell-dam-1-8-17-25

petenwell-dam-1-8-17-27petenwell-dam-1-8-17-29

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The Best of 2016

I was fortunate enough to get to some great places during 2016, including Nicaragua and the Southwestern United States; both first-time trips .

I have finally gone through all of my pictures and picked out some of my favorites. Enjoy!

acorn-woodpecker
Acorn Woodpecker
american-avocet-kiwanis-park-gilbert-water-ranch-7-13-16-11-1
American Avocet
american-bittern
American Bittern
american-pelican
American White Pelican
american-redstart-pheasant-branch-5-17-16-jeff-galligan-27-6
American Redstart
american-tree-sparrow
American Tree Sparrow
amnnas-hummingbird
Anna’s Hummingbird
arizona-woodpecker-mt-lemmon-madera-canyon-7-14-16-34
Arizona Woodpecker
bald-eagle-petenwell-1-24-16-28
Bald Eagle
bare-throated-tiger-heron
Bare-throated Tiger Heron
barred-antshrike
Barred Antshrike
bells-vireo
Bell’s Vireo
berryline-miller-canyon-7-15-16
Berryline Hummingbird
bewicks-wren-el-aribabi-7-16-16-20-1
Bewick’s Wren
black-and-white-warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
black-phoebe
Black Phoebe
black-vulture
Black Vulture
black-capped-chickadee
Black-capped Chickadee
black-capped-gnatcatcher-el-aribabi-7-17-16-40-3
Black-capped Gnatcatcher
black-crowned-night-heron-pheasant-branch-5-17-16-jeff-galligan-30
Black-crowned Night-Heron
black-headed-grosbeak-madera-canyon-7-15-16-4-1
Black-headed Grosbeak
black-headed-saltator
Black-headed Saltator
black-headed-trogan
Black-headed Trogan
black-legged-kittiwake-geeen-bay-12-12-16-19
Black-legged Kittiwake
black-necked-stilt
Black-necked Stilt
black-tailed-gnatcatcher-jpg
Black-tailed Gnatcatcher
black-throated-gray-warbler
Black-throated Gray Warbler
black-throated-sparrow
Black-throated Sparrow
blue-grosbeak-el-aribabi-7-16-16-42-3
Blue Grosbeak
blue-jay
Blue Jay
blue-crowned-motmot
Blue-crowned Motmot
blue-gray-gnatcatcher-mt-ord
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
blue-gray-tanager
Blue-gray Tanager
blue-throated-hummingbird-6
Blue-throated Hummingbird
bonapartes-gull
Bonaparte’s Gull
botteris-sparrow-madera-canyon-7-15-16-12
Botteri’s Sparrow
bridled-titmouse-mt-lemmon-madera-canyon-7-14-16-10-1
Bridled Titmouse
broad-billed-hummingbird-el-aribabi-7-17-16
Broad-billed Hummingbird
bronzed-cowbird-mt-lemmon-madera-canyon-7-14-16-35
Bronzed Cowbird
buff-throated-saltator
Buff-throated Saltator
burrowing-ps-edit
Burrowing Owl
bushy-crested-jay
Bushy-crested Jay
california-condor-7-20-16-1
California Condor
canada-goose
Canada Goose
canyon-towhee
Canyon Towhee
canyon-wren-7-29-16
Cactus Wren
canyon-wren-wren-el-aribabi-7-17-16-8-1
Canyon Wren
caspian-tern
Caspian Tern
cassins-sparrow-madera-canyon-7-15-16-9-2
Cassin’s Sparrow
chestnut-sided-warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
cinnamon-bellied-flowerpiercer
Cinnamon-bellied Flowerpiercer
clay-colored-thrush
Clay-colored Thrush
collared-aricari
Collared Aricari
common-bush-tanager
Common Bush Tanager
common-ground-dove
Common Ground Dove
common-loon
Common Loon
common-night-hawk-pheasant-branch-5-24-16-jeff-galligan-5
Common Nighthawk
common-potoo
Common Potoo
common-raven
Common Raven
common-tern
Common Tern
common-tody-flycatcher-granada-day-3-6
Common Tody Flycatcher
common-yellowthroat
Common Yellowthroat
curve-billed-thrasher
Curve-billed Thrasher
dickcissel
Dickcissel
downy-woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
dunlin-horicon-5-22-16-jeff-galligan-9-1
Dunlin
dusky-capped-flycatcher
Dusky-capped Flycatcher
eastern-meadowlark
Eastern Meadowlark
eastern-phoebe
Eastern Phoebe
eastern-screech-owl
Eastern Screech Owl
elegant-trogan
Elegant Trogan
emerald-toucanette
Emerald Toucanette
emerald-chinned-hummingbird
Emerald-chinned Hummingbird
five-striped-sparrow-el-aribabi-7-17-16-12-1
Five-striped Sparrow
gambels-quail
Gambel’s Quail
gilded-flicker
Gilded Flicker
golden-eagle
Golden Eagle
golden-crowned-kinglet
Golden-crowned Kinglet
golden-fronted-woodpecker
Golden-fronted Woodpecker
golden-hooded-tanager
Golden-hooded Tanager
grasshopper-sparrow
Grasshopper Sparrow
gray-hawk
Gray Hawk
gray-necked-wood-rail
Gray-necked Wood Rail
great-black-backed-gull
Great Black-backed Gull
greater-pewee
Greater Pewee
greater-prairie-chicken
Greater Prairie Chicken
greater-roadrunner
Greater Roadrunner
greater-scaup
Greater Scaup
great-horned-owl
Great-horned Owl
grovve-billed-ani
Groove-billed Ani
hepatic-tanager
Hepatic Tanager
hoffmans-woodpecker
Hoffman’s Woodpecker
hooded-oriole
Hooded Oriole
hooded-warbler
Hooded Warbler
house-wren
House Wren
inca-dove
Inca Dove
indigo-bunting
Indigo Bunting
ivory-gull
Ivory Gull
ladder-backed-woodpecker
Ladder-backed Woodpecker
least-grebe
Least Grebe
lesser-goldfinch
Lesser Goldfinch
limpkin
Limpkin
little-blue-heron
Little Blue Heron
long-tailed-manakin
Long-tailed Manakin
magnificent-hummingbird
Magnificent Hummingbird
magnolia-warbler-pheasant-branch-5-17-16-jeff-galligan-4
Magnolia Warbler
melodious-blackbird
Melodious Blackbird
mexican-jay-madera-canyon-7-15-16-49
Mexican Jay
montezuma-oropendola
Montezuma Oropendola
mottled-owl
Mottled Owl
mountain-chickadee
Mountain Chickadee
mourning-warbler
Mourning Warbler
nelsons-sparrow-barney-lake-7
Nelson’s Sparrow
northern-cardinal
Northern Cardinal
northern-flicker
Northern Flicker
northern-jacana
Northern Jacana
northern-mockingbird
Northern Mockingbird
northern-parula
Northern Parula
northern-waterthrush-pheasant-branch-5-17-16-jeff-galligan-26-9
Northern Waterthrush
olive-warbler-mt-lemmon-madera-canyon-7-14-16-28-4
Olive Warbler
orange-billed-solitary-thrush
Orange-billed Solitary Thrush
orchard-oriole-pheasant-branch-5-21-16-jeff-galligan
Orchard Oriole
pacific-parakeet-3-4
Pacific Parakeet
painted-bunting
Painted Bunting
painted-redstart
Painted Redstart
pale-billed-woodpecker
Pale-billed Woodpecker
palm-warbler
Palm Warbler
phainopepla-ash-canyon-7-15-16
Phainopepla
pine-warbler
Pine Warbler
purple-gallinule
Purple Gallinule
pygmy-nuthatch-flagstaff-mesa-sedona-7-26-16-17-3
Pygmy Nuthatch
pyrrhuloxia
Pyrrhuloxia
red-bellied-woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
red-breasted-nuthatch-9-25-16
Red-breasted Nuthatch
red-crowned-ant-tanager
Red-crowned Ant Tanager
red-eyed-vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
red-faced-warblermt-lemmon-madera-canyon-7-14-16-16
Red-faced Warbler
red-headed-woodpecker
Red-headed Woodpecker
ring-billed-gull
Ring-billed Gull with a Caspian Tern
rose-breasted-grosbeak
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
rosy-faced-lovebird
Rosy-faced Lovebirds
ruby-crowned-kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
ruby-throated-hummingbird
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
ruddy-ground-dove-kiwanis-park-gilbert-water-ranch-7-13-16-7
Ruddy Ground-Dove
rufous-browed-peppershrike
Rufous-browed Peppershrike
rufous-crowned-sparrow-el-aribabi-5
Rufous-crowned Sparrow
rufous-naped-wren
Rufous-naped Wren
rufous-tailed-hummingbird
Rufous-tailed Hummingbird
rusty-sparrow
Rusty Sparrow
savannah-sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
scarlet-tanager
Scarlet Tanager
scarlet-collared-tanager
Scarlet-collared Tanager
scrub-euphonia
Scrub Euphonia
sedge-wren
Sedge Wren
short-billed-dowitcher
Short-billed Dowitcher
slate-colored-junco
Slate-colored Junco
snail-kite
Snail Kite
song-sparrow
Song Sparrow
spotted-sandpiper
Spotted Sandpiper
spotted-towhee
Spotted Towhee
squirrel-cuckoo
Squirrel Cuckoo
stellars-jay-mt-lemmon-madera-canyon-7-14-16-17-3
Stellar’s Jay
streak-backed-oriole
Streak-backed Oriole
stripe-headed-sparrow
Stripe-headed Sparrow
summer-tanager-1-of-1-1
Summer Tanager
swamp-sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
tennessee-warler-selva-negra-managua-44
Tennessee Warbler
thayers-gull-gyrfalcon-1-3-16-16
Thayer’s Gull
tree-swalow
Tree Swallows
tufted-titmouse
Tufted Titmouse
tundra-swan
Tundra Swans
turquoise-browed-motmot-2-27
Turquoise-browed Motmot
verdin-madera-canyon-7-15-16-62-2
Verdin
vermillion-flycatcher-el-aribabi-7-16-16-33-4-1
Vermillion Flycatcher
vermillion-flycatcher-el-aribabi-7-16-16-33-5
Vermillion Flycatcher
violet-sabrewing
Violet Sabrewing
violet-crowned-hummingbird-el-aribabi-7-17-16-33
Violet-crowned Hummingbird
western-red-tailed-hawk
Red-tailed Hawk (Western)
western-wood-pewee-flagstaff-7-26-16-20-3
Western Wood Pewee
whitebreasted-nuthatch-mt-lemmon-madera-canyon-7-14-16-47
White-breasted Nuthatch
white-eyed-vireo-5-4-16-21
White-eyed Vireo
white-throated-magpie-jay
White-throated Magpie-Jay
white-winged-dove-mt-lemmon-madera-canyon-7-14-16-43
White-winged Dove being chased by a Bonaparte’s Gull
whooping-crane
Whooping Crane
willow-flycatcher
Willow Flycatcher
wilsons-snipe
Wilson’s Snipe
wilsons-warbler-pheasant-branch-5-17-16-jeff-galligan-7-2
Wilson’s Warbler
winter-wren12-30-16-17
Winter Warbler
wood-duck
Wood Duck
wood-thrush
Wood Thrush
woodhouse-jay-g-c-7-26-16-10
Woodhouse’s Jay
yellow-warbler
Yellow Warbler
yellow-billed-cuckoo-5-30-16-indian-lake-jeff-galligan
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
yellow-eyed-junco-mt-lemmon-madera-canyon-7-14-16-2
Yellow-eyed Junco
yellow-rumped-warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
yellow-throated-vireo
Yellow-throated Vireo

Black-legged Kittiwake

kittiwake-geeen-bay-12-12-16-24

I made the trip to Green Bay, Wisconsin during a snow storm on Sunday December 11th to see the Green Bay Packers play the Seattle Seahawks. In a nice case of perfect timing, a first-year Black-legged Kittiwake was reported at the mouth of the Fox River (only five miles from Lambeau field!) the day before. Needless to say, I left an hour earlier than I had planned to so that I could try for this rare visitor from the arctic north.

It took me about five minutes to locate this beauty once I arrived as it was very close to the shore and would fly right over my head as it searched for fish. Despite dozens of ring-billed gulls in the area as well, the kittiwake really stood out with its distinctive “M” pattern on the back of its wings.

Following are some of the images I was able to capture of the Black-legged Kittiwake, a Common Merganser and a Ring-billed Gull in the snow storm.

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kittiwake-geeen-bay-12-12-16-11

kittiwake-geeen-bay-12-12-16-10kittiwake-geeen-bay-12-12-16-7

kittiwake-geeen-bay-12-12-16-6

kittiwake-geeen-bay-12-12-16-5

kittiwake-geeen-bay-12-12-16-4

kittiwake-geeen-bay-12-12-16-3

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A Common Merganser takes flight over Lake Michigan
kittiwake-geeen-bay-12-12-16
A Ring-billed Gull with a fish

 

Loons of Lake Monona

loons-lake-monona11-6-16-8-copy-copy

I have been absent from birding and photography for the last couple of months as I was in the process of purchasing a house, moving and getting settled. I was finally able to get over to the convention center and photograph several migrating Common Loons as they hunted right at the steep drop-off that is just offshore.   I seem to always get much better pictures when they are in their rather drab non-breeding plumage but they are still great birds to interact with. Below are several of the images I took.

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loons-lake-monona11-6-16-23

loons-lake-monona11-6-16-20

loons-lake-monona11-6-16-19

loons-lake-monona11-6-16-16

loons-lake-monona11-6-16-15

loons-lake-monona11-6-16-14

loons-lake-monona11-6-16-13

loons-lake-monona11-6-16-12

loons-lake-monona11-6-16-9

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loons-lake-monona11-6-16-copy

 

 

 

The Southwest: Arizona, Mexico, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado

Horseshoe Bend
Horseshoe Bend near Paige, Arizona

I was able to go out to the Southwest (and Northern Mexico) for 17 days during the latter half of July to do some birding and landscape photography. I began the trip spending six days with Gordon Karre seeing a lot of Southwestern Arizona and at Rancho el Aribabi in Northern Mexico. We spent two days in Madera Canyon, during which we also saw Miller Canyon, Ash Canyon and spent time on Mt. Lemmon with Chris Rohrer. During the trip from Madera Canyon to Miller Canyon we saw a Bobcat (my first ever) cross the road in front of the car. Then, while walking up Miller Canyon in pursuit of a Mexican Spotted Owl, I saw a Mountain Lion walking parallel to us just above us in the canyon and about 70 feet away! When it realized I had spotted it, it nonchalantly loped away. I was definitely very excited to see my first Mountain Lion but would be lying if I did not say I did look behind myself much more frequently during the remainder of the hike.

Gordon and I then sent over to the Chiricahua Mountains to look for some specialty birds, including the Mexican Chickadee which, in the United States, can only be found at high altitude in the Chiracahua Mountains in Arizona and the Animas Mountains in New Mexico. After a very difficult ascension to the very top of the Chiracahua’s, we were able to briefly spot two of these birds, which, becasue of the difficulty of accessing their territory, made them one of the absolute highlights of this trip for me.

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Chris, myself, and Gordon at the top of Mt. Lemmon after seeing Olive Warblers

 

Days 1-6:  The Phoenix Valley area and Southwestern Arizona

Yellow-eyed Junco

Juvenile Yellow-eyed Junco (note the dark iris)

Sonora Mountain Kingsnae
Sonoran Mountain Kingsnake
Painted
Painted Redstart
Curve-billed
Curve-billed Thrasher

Yarrow's Spiny Lizard-2

Yarrow’s Spiny Lizard

Yarrow's Spiny Lizard
Yarrow’s Spiny Lizard

Western Kingbird-2

Western Kingbird

Western Kingbird
Western Kingbird
Verdin
Juvenile Verdin
Toad
Woodhouse’s TodToad
Stellar's Jay
Stellar’s Jay… bird that I have never been able to photograph adequately until this trip!
Southwestern Fence Lizard
Southwestern Fence Lizard
Saguaro
A Saguaro Cactus with Four Peaks in the background
Rosy-faced Lovebirds-2
Rosy-faced Lovebirds at Kiwanis Park in Tempe, Arizona. This bird can only be counted per the American Birding Association in the Phoenix area where they have established a thriving community of approximately 6,000 birds in a hot, dry, arid  environment that resembles their native African habitat
Rosy-faced Lovebirds
More Rosy-faced Lovebirds
Red-faced Warbler
Red-faced Warbler…my new favorite!
Olive Warbler
A juvenile Olive Warbler. Another bird we had to get above 9,000 feet to see.
Mourning Dove
A Mourning warbler nesting in a Saguaro Cactus
Magnificent Hummingbird
Magnificent Hummingbird
Juvenile Western Red-tailed Hawk
Juvenile Western Red-tailed Hawk. These are so different then those found in the Midwest that it really seemed I was seeing a whole different species. One of my favorite captures of the trip
Great-tailed Grackle-2
Great-tailed Grackle in 110 degree heat
House Finch
House Finch
Great-tailed Grackle
Northern Mockingbird trying to cool off
Horseshoe Bend 16x20-7
Elf Owlet. These are the worlds smallest owl and are only sparrow sized.
Horseshoe Bend 16x20-6
Female Hepatic Tanager
Horseshoe Bend 16x20-5
Red-faced Warbler
Golden Eagle
Second-year Golden Eagle. We had stopped the car to get a better look at what turned out to be Swainson’s Hawk and this eagle flew right by. Sometimes it’s all about the timing.
Horseshoe Bend 16x20-4
Adult Yellow-eyed Junco (note the yellow iris)

Adult

Gint Mesquite Bug
Giant Mesquite Bug. Man, was this thin huge, almost two inches long  and needing to file a flight plan when it flew!
Horseshoe Bend 16x20-3
Wild Horse
Gilded Flicker-2
Gilded Flicker
Horseshoe Bend 16x20-2
Mexican Amberwing
Gilded Flicker
Gilded Flicker
Male Widow Skimmer
Male Widow Skimmer
DSC_7342
Phainopepla
Dusky Roadside Skipper
Dusky Roadside Skipper
DSC_6932
Pronghorn. The second fastest land animal in the world after the Cheetah, the Pronghorn is able to run 55 miles per hour for short bursts or half that speed for miles.

 

Roadrunner
Greater Roadrunner drying in the 110 degree weather after a bath
Roadrunner-2
Greater Roadrunner

 

Cordilleran Flycatcher
Cordilleran Flycatcher
Clark's Spiny Lizard-3
Clark’s Spiny Lizard
Clark's Spiny Lizard-2
Clark’s Spiny Lizard
Clark's Spiny Lizard
Clark’s Spiny Lizard
Checkered White
Checkered White
Burrowing Owl-2
Burrowing Owl
Burrowing Owl
Burrowing Owl
Cactus Wren
Cactus Wren
Broad-billed Hummingbird 2
Broad-billed Hummingbird
Botteri's Sparrow
Botteri’s Sparrow
Cassin's Sparrow.jpg
The elusive Cassin’s Sparrow
Black-throated Gray Warbler-2
Black-throated Gray Warbler
Black-headed Grosbeak-2
Black-headed Grosbeak
Canyon Towhee-2
Cactus Wren
Arizona Woodpecker
Arizona Woodpecker
Black-headed Grosbeak
Female Black-headed Grosbeak feeding her fledgling
Black-chinned Hummingbird_
Magnificent Hummingbird
Anna's Hummingbird-2
Female Anna’s Hummingbird
Anna's Hummingbird
Anna’s Hummingbird
Anna's Hummingbird
Anna’s Hummingbird
American Avocet
American Avocet
Beyer's Scarab
Beyer’s Scarab

Rancho el Aribabi, Mexico

Violet-crowned Hummingbird
Violet-crowned Hummingbird. The plainness of its white breast serves to make it a very striking hummingbird indeed.
Vermilion Flycatcher
The striking Vermillion Flycatcher
Sonoran Desert Toad
Sonoran Desert Toad
Scarab Beetle
Unidentified large scarab beetle of some sort
Robberfly
Robber fly
Rufous-winged Sparrow
Rufous-winged Sparrow
Monsoon at El Aribabi
Monsoon storm
Monsoon at El Aribabi-2
Monsoon Storm
Indigo Bunting
Blue Grosbeak
Five-striped Sparrow
Five-striped Sparrow
Female Vermilion Flycatcher
First-year female Vermillion Flycatcher
Empress Leilia
Empress Leilia
Canyon Wren
Canyon Wren
Broad-billed Hummingbird-2
Broad-billed Hummingbird
Black-capped Gnatcatcher
Black-capped Gnatcatcher
Bewick's Wren
Bewick’s Wren
Bat
Unidentified bat species
American Snout
American Snout

Mesa Verde and Canyon de Chelley

I have always dreamed of seeing Anasazi ruins and thought it would be at Chaco Canyon in New Mexico if I ever did get the chance.  I was fortunate enough to get the chance to see and visit several ruins at Mesa Verde and Canyon de Chelley (pronounced Canyon Day Shay). The only way to get into any of the ruins at mesa Verde is via ranger led tours so I did two of them. The following are some of the images of the these fascinating pueblo dwellers.

Mesa Verde Anasazi-8

Mesa Verde Anasazi-7

Mesa Verde Anasazi-6

Mesa Verde Anasazi-4

Mesa Verde Anasazi-3

Mesa Verde Anasazi-2

Mesa Verde Anasazi

Canyon de Chelley-10

Canyon de Chelley-8

Anasazi-10

Anasazi-9

Anasazi-8

Anasazi-2Anasazi-4

Canyon de Chelley-5
Massacre Cave in Del  Muert0 Canyon where over 115 women, children and elderly Navajo were killed by Spanish infantry in 1805 after taking shelter in this cave high up the 1,000 foot canyon wall and were easily picked off from the canyon rim.

 

One of the things I really tried to prepare myself for (both knowledge and equipment-wise) was landscape photography. I really wanted to learn how to create panoramic photos and how to do quality sunrise and sunset photos. I was pretty much up and somewhere every morning for the sunrise and in place for sunsets as well, providing there were no monsoon storms going on. In some of the following images, I have captured some sunrises and sunsets. For being completely self-taught and new at this type of photography, I was pretty pleased with the results and feel iI did a good job of filtering some of the light while enhancing the land features. The picture of Horseshoe Bend at the top of this blog was also shot at dawn while using ND filters.

Other images of Mesa Verde and Canyon de Chelley.

Coyote!-3
Coyote
Coyote!-2
Coyote
Coyote!
Coyote

Mesa Verde

Canyon de Chelley-11

Spider Rock

Canyon de Chelley-2

Canyon de Chelley

Canyon De Chelley PS Edit

Monument Valley, Utah

Monument Valley

Monument Valley and 4 corners-4

Monument Valley and 4 corners-3

Monument Valley and 4 corners-2

Monument Valley and 4 corners-6
That is me at the four corners monument; standing in New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Colorado simultaneously.

The Grand Canyon

California Condor
California Condor, my number one North American bird! his was actually seen at Marble Canyon, between the north and south rims of the Grand Canyon.
Woodhouse Jay
Woodhouse Jay. This bird was split from the California Scrub Jay this year
G C-5
Cow Rocky Mountain Elk
Elk Family
Two Rocky Mountain Elk calves and a cow
G C-26
Desert Cottontail
Bison
Bison bull

G C-3

Grand Canyon-4

Yavapai Point PS Edit

Grand Canyon-3

Grand Canyon-2

G C-29

G C-25

G C-28

G C-27

G C-21

G C-20

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Sedona, Arizona

Snail
Snail
Scarab
Another unidentified but very large beetle.
Pygmy Nuthatch
Pygmy Nuthatch with a spider snack
Mountain Chickadee
Mountain Chickadee
Mexican Blonde Tarantula
Female Mexican Blonde Tarantula
Mexican Blonde
Male Mexican Blonde Tarantula. This was a very large spider!
Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel
Golden-mantled Squirrel
Cathedral Rock
The famous Cathedral Rock of Sedona
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Cathedral Rock

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I am adding some more pictures out of two sets I accidentally misplaced. They are both from  my time in Southeastern Arizona; Miller and Ash Canyon and the Chiricahuas.

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Pyrrhuloxia
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Female Montezuma Quail as she runs away from us near Portal
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Coues Whitetail Deer, an exceptionally small subspecies that primarily inhabit the southeastern Arizona Mountains .Bucks average 100 pounds and does rarely get over 90 pounds.
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Mexican Tarantula Hawk. Yes, this very large wasp prays on tarantulas, paralyzing them with a sting, dragging the still living spider back in its burrow or burying it and then laying an egg on the spider which, when it hatches, will provide the larvae with plenty to eat. While the Tarantula Hawk is a rather docile and peaceful wasp, its sting is rated as one of the most painful in the world.
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Flame Skimmer
New Scott's Oriole
Female Hooded Oriole
New Red Satyr
Red Satyr
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Male Gambel’s Quail
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Female Gambel’s Quail
New Curve
Curve-billed Thrasher
New Cardinal
Northern Cardinal
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Canyon Towhee
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Blue-throated Hummingbird
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Blue-throated Hummingbird
new Black-throated Sparrow
Black-throated Sparrow
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Black-throated Sparrow
New Acorn
Acorn Woodpecker
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Berryline Hummingbird. This was definitely  a case of being in the right place at the right time. We went to Miller Canyon to find a Spotted Owl family (which we dipped on) and found this rare Mexican visitor which had people pretty excited. Another highlight of Miller Canyon was finding that an adult Mountain Lion was walking parallel to me  up the canyon around 70 feet away!

 

Sheboygan North Point Beach

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A Caspian Tern has spotted an Alewife and begins its dive to the lake surface in pursuit

On June 25th, I made the trip up to Sheboygan to look for the reported Laughing Gulls which I do not have in the state of Wisconsin. I did not see any Laughing Gulls but did stumble upon a Alewife (a small herring-like fish) die-off that had American White Pelicans, Caspian and Common Terns, Great and Lesser Black-backed Gulls, Bonaparte’s Gulls  and Ring-billed Gulls in a feeding frenzy.

I found myself in a perfect situation for some great high speed photography with the Caspian Terns as they dove into Lake Michigan to feed on the Alewives. They were close, the lighting was fantastic and they continued to dive for at least three hours. I decided that I wanted to get a picture of a tern right as its bill first broke the surface of the water. I took over 1,400 pictures that afternoon and I had many pictures right before and right after but had to really work to get the EXACT moment I wanted.

I begin with the huge but graceful American White Pelicans which were doing quite well fishing in their own right! They have a nine foot wingspan and weigh sixteen and-a -half pounds! One of the largest birds in North America.

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I did see quite a few gulls, including Ring-billed Gulls.

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A Caspian Tern and a Ring-billed Gull fight over an Alewife
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The gulls are way more aggressive s the tern will lose this skirmish. Luckily there were enough Alewives to go around.

There were a few of the very large Great Black-backed Gulls as well.

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There wee many Bonaparte’s Gulls all over the place.

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I saw a few of the small Common Terns as well.

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But the star of the afternoon were the Caspian Terns. Because the lighting was so great, I was able to shoot with a shutter speed of 1/3200th of a second and that, combined with my 11 frames per second shutter speed, allowed me to freeze the motion during their dives.

Caspian Terns are the largest of all the worlds terns.

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It appears that the tern is diving to steal the Alewife from the gull but it is actually behind the gull diving after its own fish

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And finally the ultimate shot! This Caspian Tern has just broken the surface of Lake Michigan with its bill. Ever since I began photographing birds, I have hoped to be able to take this very picture.

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Baxter’s Hollow & Spring Green Preserve

June 18, 2016

My daughter Dominique and I took a trip to Baxter’s Hollow to look for a reported Black-throated Blue Warbler and then to the Spring Green Preserve to find Lark Sparrows. While we did not find the warbler, we did see a few butterflies, dragonflies and a grasshopper species I am not able to identify.

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A weathered Tiger Swallowtail
Male Widow Skimmer Parfrey's Glen 6-18-16 Jeff Galligan
Male Widow Skimmer
Female Widow Skimmer Parfrey's Glen 6-18-16 Jeff Galligan
Female Widow Skimmer
Juvenile Common Whitetail Parfrey's Glen 6-18-16 Jeff Galligan-4
Juvenile Common Whitetail
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Unknown grasshopper species 

At the Spring Green Preserve we found two male Dickcissels engaged in a war of words even before we got in the preserve.

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Dickcissel

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Lark Sparrow
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Eastern Meadowlark

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Grasshopper Sparrow

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Eastern Kingbird
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Six-lined Prairie Racerunner

This Yellow-bellied Racer suddenly darted out of the grass chasing a Six-lined Prairie Racerunner. They both ran right over my feet. The Prairie Racer then froze in the middle of the trail and the Yellow-bellied Racer could not find him. The snake was so intent on looking for the lizard that it was not even aware of my presence for several seconds. The fastest snake i have ever seen.

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Yellow-bellied Racer

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Male Robber Fly sp. Efferia Albibarbis
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Edward’s Hairstreak
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Citronella Ant with Edward’s Hairstreak
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Flowering Prickly Pear Cactus

 

Emmons Creek SFA & Marsh Road with Chuck Petters

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On June 5th, 2016 I made the two hour trek northeast to do some birding at the Emmons Creek SFA in Portage County and on Marsh Road in Waupaca County with my good friend Chuck Petters who graciously guided me around the area. I actually met Chuck two years ago while up in Freedom, Wisconsin photographing Snowy Owls and we have had several birding adventures since.

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Chuck Petters and myself in Freedom Wisconsin December 14, 2014 photographing Snowy Owls. Photograph taken by our friend and fellow photographer Thomas Young.

My target bird was the elusive Mourning Warbler, which has always been a warbler I have heard but only had a brief glimpse at. As I drove up to meet Chuck in Waupaca, I remember thinking how satisfied I would have been to just get one decent picture of this warbler. Little did i know I would be in for so much more.

The first bird we got fairly good looks at was a tail-less Blue Winged Warbler. Lighting was not very good but that is the way it is for wildlife photographers, you make do with what you get.

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Next came the Mourning Warblers. We just drove along Emmons Creek Road with the windows down and listened for this birds distinctive call.