Northern Spotted Owlet
Finally after few years of trying, I found a very cooperative, endangered, California Northern Spotted Owl juvenile. It was a bit of hiking in difficult terrain and hours of careful listening that let us to the owlet that was sitting on the stump just by the side of the trail. We could not have asked for more as it was extremely cooperative and gave us 30 minutes of pure bliss. An unforgettable experience for sure.
Western Screech Owl
For years I have been searching for a Western Screech Owl and finally the efforts paid off. I made three consecutive attempts to find it outside the roost hole. In the third attempt it was seating at the entrance of the hole for a long time and calling. So I took few videos to document the behavior. It is very difficult to find them in the open in day time, let alone calling. Perhaps the dark forest and cloudy sky helped in this occasion. I hope she/he finds a partner so that I can get both of them.
Great Horned Owl (Adult)
The adult pair of Great Horned Owl I was following closely has let their territory. Beginning of October, I saw the female and then they were gone for two weeks. Again, at the middle of October I saw the female, alone, and calling for the male. After that, I could no longer locate either one of them. Although GHOs are very territorial, simply because their food source is diverse and does not require to move around, I suspect the male moved on for some reason. So, the female also left. I will be happy if I am wrong and they show up again.
Western Bluebird (male)
I was observing this Western Bluebird male using a twig to perch and look for insects in the dried grass below. At times, it will fly out to catch anything that caught its eye and then flew back again to perched on the twig. Few days ago, I saw it preferred to perch at the top of the twig, today it perched at the middle. Because of high wind, middle of the twig was relatively more stable. Luckily, it flew out and flew back in the same spot. You can hear the wind blowing in the background. Video taken at a Santa Clara County Park.
Great Horned Owl (first year)
I have been following a pair of first year Great Horned Owls over the summer. Since I found them due to a tip from a fisherman, I have taken thousands of pictures and many videos of them in different background and time of the evening. They have mesmerized me, or better, hypnotized me to go look for them every now and then. And, I have become very protective about them. They are not easy to be found, but their calls are dead giveaway. I think this particular day, I found one of them out in the open for the first time.
Black-crowned night heron fishing
I was trying to photograph Black-crowned night heron fishing and spent many evenings over two weeks in a local Santa Clara County Park. I observed over many days, this particular heron flying in a fix spot and wait for a fish to come by. It used the unique technique as seen in the video. It will do this behavior of stirring the water in a repeated manner with a small break to look around. Most of the time, it would result in a failure. But once in a while, the heron will be successful. Fortunately, when I took this video, it was a successful event.
American badger with kits
In my first ever visit to Yellowstone National Park, one day when we were driving along Lamar Valley, I saw one lonely photographer trying to photograph something on the other side of the road. We thought he might be trying to photograph bears. Next day, there were 20-25 photographers in the same spot. We joined in and this is what everyone was trying to photograph. An American badger mom and kits. In the four days we were there, nearly 12 hours over two days were spent to find all the kits out in the open. A memorable time indeed.
Great Horned Owl (Adult)
I was also following a pair of adult Great Horned Owls over the summer. Since I first found them accidentally, I have taken hundreds of pictures and many videos of them in different background and time of the evening. One time I found them out in the open at broad daylight. Like the young owls, they also allowed me to come close, such that at times I had to go from 700mm to 500mm, or horizontal to vertical framing to fit their whole body. Unfortunately, now they have moved out off the place where i used to see them.
Halema’uma’u crater, Big Island
We traveled to the three islands of Hawaiian archipelago (Oahu, Maui, and Big Island or Hawai’i) last year on July. The last of the island we visited was the Big Island. Although we took rest for two days, one day we spent sightseeing the Volcanic National Park. On the evening, we started from the Kalapana lava viewing area and ended up in Jagger museum, Halema’ema’u crater viewing overlook at night. After taking few pictures of the near-full moon night and the crater, I took this video. Unfortunately, things have turned for the worse now.
When Lava meets Ocean, Big Island
We traveled to the three islands of Hawaiian archipelago (Oahu, Maui, and Big Island or Hawai’i) on July 2017. The last of the island we visited was the Big Island. The last evening we went to view the Kalapana Lava viewing area where 61g lava flow ends and meet the ocean. At that time the viewing area was located nearly 1 kilometer away, and therefore not as dramatic as it was before. However, I still managed to take a video just to show the reaction when lava meets the ocean.
Three Great Horned Owls
This is the story of two juvenile great horned owls and their mother. As you can see one juvenile is eating something that was caught earlier by the mother. The other juvenile is patiently waiting weather its sibling would share the meal. Unfortunately, in predators, the first born and bigger baby gets the first meal. As in this case, the slightly bigger juvenile did not share any with the sibling. This is actually the very first video I took of great horned owls together.
Great Horned Owl (Juvenile)
This is a first year great horned owl that I had the fortune to follow over few summers back. It is always a joy to find an owl and observe their behavior. But when they are young and still learning, they are fearless to the human presence. I could follow this one and its sibling without any problem. I took my time to make sure they knew me before I made my approach. It took me few weeks to get this close such that I could take vertical videos to fit their whole body.
Barred Owlet (close up)
In one of my Florida trip, I specifically targeted the Barred Owl species. There were few promising locations and in one of them I found a family of owls. Here is a close up of one of the owlets. It was completely relaxed in my presence in the forest. I would have liked to take a full body video, but there was not much space for me to back off. There was a stream flowing just behind me.
Great Blue Heron
I am always fascinated by the Great Blue Heron. Their ability to hunt and eat prey off any size is sure to amaze any one. I am seen them eating Dragonfly to Ground Squirrels at ease. Although they will prefer to catch fish if they can, but anything is in the menu if they can catch it. This foggy morning the heron was hunting in shallow water.
In one of my Florida trip, I specifically targeted the Barred Owl species. There were few promising locations and this location is already famous for their sightings. However, it took me since the early morning to late evening to find one finally. And I located it by the sound instead of sight.
An American Badger searching for food along the hills of Point Reyes National Seashore. We often see them along the road but never close to photograph one. In rare occasions they are found close to the road less travelled and one afternoon I had the pleasure to find one. I spent an hour slowly following him keeping a safe distance. He was actively searching for food and digging everywhere to find mice and voles.
Northern Spotted Owl
Northern Spotted Owl is a threatened species in California. Already they are found in few specific areas, and now the arrival of Barred Owls have complicated the problem. Habitat loss is the primary reason to blame. I am fortunate enough to know few places where these beautiful owls can be found.