Expression of Avian Love on Valentines Day

White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis);
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; FEB 2019

Please click on caption to see image at higher resolution

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Some North American Deer

White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) browsing in the Snow,
Along Rt 30 near Everett, PA; FEB 2019

Here are some images of deer I recently photographed.

The White-tailed deer were spotted in rural southwestern Pennsylvania (US) grazing through some new fallen snow.

The Black-tailed Mule Deer was taken at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center here in Sacramento. I suppose he was taking a break after the rut. He’ll soon drop his antlers and begin growing them anew.

By the way, if you are ever in the Sacramento area, you should pay a visit to the Effie Yeaw Nature Center. You are almost guaranteed to see deer, wild turkeys and many birds. I occasionally see a jack rabbit and coyotes also.

Black-tailed Mule Deer (Odocoileus hemionus) Buck In Winter,
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; JAN 2019

Please click on caption to see image at higher resolution.

These and otehr images are available to purchase on my website: www.earthwatcher.us or by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

Some Small and Pretty Birds

Yellow-rumped Warbler, Audobon Group (Dendroica Coronata)
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; NOV 2018;

Here are a few pretty, small birds we see around the Sacramento area.

Note: Please click on caption to see image at higher resolution.

American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis),
Sailor Bar, Fair Oaks, CA; JAN 2019
Lark Sparrow (Chondestes grammacus);
Sailor Bar, Fair Oaks, CA; JAN 2019
Female Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria)
Sailor Bar, Fair Oaks, CA; JAN 2019

These and other images are available for purchase on my website, www.earthwatcher.us or by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

Egrets

Great Egret (Ardea alba)
Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, NM; MAR 2017

There are about 12 members of the family Ardeidae; birds we know as Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns, that are found in North America. For the most part, if it is white, it is an Egret. But, there are exceptions. There is a Reddish Egret that has a rusty brown head and neck with a gray body; they live mostly along the Gulf Coast as well as Florida’s Atlantic Coast. There is a white morph of the Great Blue Heron and is difficult to distinguish from an Egret. What I see mostly are the Great Egret and the Snowy Egret. Occasionally I see Cattle Egrets. In this post, I also included a Little Egret. Its range is mostly, Europe, Africa and Asia but sometimes visits the east coast of the North America.

The Great Egret is a big guy. He has black legs and a yellow bill. The Snowy Egret is substantially smaller; it has a black bill with black legs and yellow-green colored feet.  The Little Egret looks a lot like the snowy but the eye mask is a bit different color. The breeding male Cattle Egret has a brown head with a  brown patch at the base of its neck and breast, and has some red on its legs. Otherwise, they are all white.

Most egrets forage along water like lakes and rivers and even irrigation ditches, looking for insects, small invertebrates, and small fish. The Cattle Egret forages in meadows and pasturelands.

By the way, I often try to give a simple explanation to help you recognize a bird. Mostly it has to do with coloration. But, coloration can vary between males and females and male coloration is often different during breeding season than at other times of the year. Juveniles are often colored differently. Color can also vary by region. My tips will get you in the ballpark but don’t get frustrated if things don’t look quite right. I get confused all the time and must search the books to be sure.

Please click on caption to see image at higher resolution.

Great Egret (Ardea alba)
Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge, DEC 2015
Snowy Egret (Egretta thula)
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, AUG 2018
Snowy Egret (Egretta thula)
Woodbridge Road, Lodi, CA; OCT 2016
Little Egret ( Egretta garzetta)
Kruger National Park, South Africa, AUG 2016
Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis)
Port St Lucie, FL APR 2017

These and other images are available to purchase at my website: www.earthwatcher.us or by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us

Ring-necked Pheasant

Common or Ring-necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus).
Colusa National Wildlife Refuge, CA; JAN 2018

Growing up in western Pennsylvania, I would see the Ring-necked Pheasant occasionally. I always considered it a special treat because they are so beautiful. But, for several decades I never saw any; though I thought about them from time to time. I’ve been fortunate, however, to have had 3 sightings in the past 2 years. I am very happy to be able to share them with you.

These birds like to live and forage in tall vegetation, so they aren’t easy to see. But, sometimes, you can see them as they cross over open spaces. They are omnivorous.

Please click on caption to see these images at higher resolution

Common or Ring-necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus),
Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge; DEC 2018

Common or Ring-necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus),
Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge; DEC 2018

Note: These and other images are available for purchase at my website: www.earthwatcher.us or by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us

Nuttal’s Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; DEC 2018

Correction: I mistakenly identified the male woodpecker as a Nuttal’s. It is actually a Downy. Sorry for the confusion.

The Nuttal’s Woodpecker is a small woodpecker who lives only in California’s Oak Woodlands. Interestingly, though they live in oak woodlands, they don’t eat acorns. Instead they eat insects from the oak and other trees.

Please click on caption to see image in higher resolution

Female Nutttal’s Woodpecker
Sailor Bar, Fair Oaks, CA; JAN 2019

These and other image are available for purchase on my website, www.earthwatcher.us or by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us

Some More Interesting Raptors

Juvenile Bald Eagle, Turkey Vultures and Herring Gull on a Kill
Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge; DEC 2018

Returning from a recent trip to the Seattle area, we stopped at the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge. The visitor center and restrooms were closed but the government shutdown didn’t affect the birds. This stop turned out to be very productive. It was a great day for raptors. The star was a juvenile Bald Eagle on a kill. But we saw Ferruginous Hawks, Northern Harriers, Rough Legged Hawks, a Cooper’s Hawk and a Red-shouldered hawk also. This is feast time for the raptors at Sacramento NWR because of the large numbers of waterfowl that spend the winter months there.

I didn’t share images of the Rough-legged haws because I only got a rear quarter shot and it didn’t show enough to make the shot interesting. I’ve shared other Cooper’s Hawks and Red-shouldered Hawks in the recent past, so I didn’t include them. But, I hope you enjoy what I shared.

Note: Please click on caption to see image in higher resolution.

Ferruginous Hawk
Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge; DEC 2018
Pair of Ferruginous Hawks
Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge; DEC 2018
Northern Harriers
Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge; DEC 2018

Note: These and other images are available for purchase at my website: www.earthwatcher.us or by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.