Female House Finch
This female House Finch was following her more colorful mate around. While he was my initial focus, I was impressed by the noble figure she struck, making it clear she was subservient to no one. I particularly like this confident pose.
I found this Spotted Towhee on the ground, but he was facing away from me. I was disappointed when he flew away without me getting a photo, but he soon returned and landed on this branch in the open with his ruby-red eye clearly visible.
Little Blue Heron
This Little Blue Heron landed in a small tree beside a narrow stream. It took him a bit to get a foothold on the tiny branches. When he turned back to check out the water I got this shot in the muted light of the larger canopy.
Male American Kestrel
Although I've seen many American Kestrels, most fly away if I get within 200 feet. But this one stayed rock-steady on the tiny perch, and I got a profile of him warmed in the soft colors of the setting sun with the reflected cool blue of the sky on his back.
During one of my bird walks in Florida, I ran across this pair of Banana Spiders, The female is the larger one and the largest spider in Florida. She can grow to 5" across including legs. You don't always see the small male because she may eat him after mating.
Blue Jay after bathing
I watched this Blue Jay bath in a creek but couldn't get a clear shot. Then he flew up in a tree facing me. He won't win any beauty contests like this, but I think he's cute anyway. I'm pretty sure he wasn't as happy to see me.
The Eastern Kingbird often has preferred perches to watch for intruders or fly out and catch insects in flight. It was almost sunset when I positioned myself near one of those perches and got this photo in the late soft light.
Red-tailed Hawk. Probably a female based on large size.
This large Red-tailed Hawk was perched on a tiny limb. It is probably a female based on her size. I caught her fine-tuning her precarious perch. She eventually abandoned this small limb for a larger branch.
Female Magnolia Warbler
I learned the hard way that migrating birds, like this female Magnolia Warbler, might not be there the next day as they disappeared into the night sky, on their way to the next waypoint of their journey. "I'll come back tomorrow" doesn't work with migrating birds.
Male Orchard Oriole
The female Orchard Oriole's mate was weaving in and out of branches as he fed on insects, but not coming into the clear for a photo. He finally popped out in bright sunlight which brought out his deep colors and fine feather detail in a way shade and shadow might not.
Female Orchard Oriole
Sometimes I see a lone female, but this Orchard Oriole was with her mate. l look around for a mate because it is interesting to see their differences and similarities, often indistinguishable, but sometimes starkly different.
This female Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, like so many other birds, completely ignored me while she was catching something to eat. I've noticed food sometimes trumps caution, often mating does as well.
This Red-headed Woodpecker was reacting to something behind him. As he started to turn back around, he paused to check me out, and I caught him in this fantastic light. It's probably a favored perch as indicated by the tiny scratches in the branch.
I was walking along a narrow ridge trail among small trees when I saw this Yellow-throated Warbler to one side on a lone branch. It may not seem so, but sometimes I struggle to explain the intense joy I feel at seeing something so beautiful, wild, and free.
Western Palm Warbler
This Western Palm Warbler was shy and preferred to hide behind foliage. I followed it along several limbs, and it was always partially obscured. I love the way it's framed between the branches and the light which reveals the warm feather detail.
I was photographing another bird when this White-breasted Nuthatch landed nearby and started foraging up and down the trees around me. He totally ignored me until I pointed the camera at him. Then he paused, gave me this look, and was gone.
I saw a family of Canadian Geese on the bank of a lake and got on the ground about 20 ft away. I inched my way towards the nearest Gosling, getting within 8 ft. When he cocked his head to one side, I was struck by his innocence and curiosity and took this shot.
This Red-tailed Hawk was facing the approaching sunset in an open field on the only post around. He was about 800 feet away when I started slowly towards him. I was mesmerized by the warm colors, his steady gaze, and the light wind rippling through the feathers on his back.
Great Horned Owl
I was coming back from a disappointing afternoon of birding when I saw this Great Horned Owl in a distant tree. I knew I would only get one shot. The light was gone so I used every trick in the photographer's book to get this shot. I was so excited because I see very few owls.
I was surprised to find this Tricolored Heron in cloudy water because there was an alligator nearby. The heron was in low light, but very still, as I photographed him. Later I noticed the surreal reflection of the surrounding vegetation.
I observed a pair of Red-bellied Woodpeckers fly between a small number of trees and positioned myself in camera-range of a favored perch. I had to wait longer than expected, but that position allowed me to capture both the red belly and red eye.
Male Eastern Bluebird
I saw this male Eastern Bluebird in dappled sunlight, but he was facing away from me, and I didn't want another butt shot. I waited hoping he would turn around and got this shot just as he turned. It wasn't until later I noticed the unusual ivory toenail on his right foot.
Immature Male Baltimore Oriole
As soon as I saw this bird, I started shooting but only got a few shots before he was gone. It is an immature male Baltimore Oriole. I love the colorful patchwork scheme as he comes into his first-year plumage.
The Red-eyed Vireo has been a challenge because he hangs out in the tops of trees. I was able to get this distant shot as he was in a shorter tree and a bit downhill. I love the way he leaned into the light when he sang.
Male Pileated Woodpecker
On July 21st I posted a photo of the male Pileated Woodpecker with two young. I thought you might like to see of a close-up of him as he just completed a call. It's a little rough because he landed in deep shade and that reduces detail.
I was looking for another bird when I decided to turn around, something I've learned to do over time. It was then I noticed the ruby-red eye of this beautiful Black-crowned Night-heron staring at me as he caught the last rays of the setting sun.
This scruffy looking, but spectacular, Prothonotary Warbler looks like a first-year bird still developing his plumage. I rarely get to see these. It's one of my favorite birds and I love the bright yellow feathers and coal-black eye.
Male House Finch
I saw red juice on the beak of this male House Finch and followed him to these berries. Females prefer the reddest male they can find, and the male's color is the result of their diet during molt. I'm not sure this is one of those foods, but he is pretty red.
Male American Goldfinch
This American Goldfinch was flying back and forth between this small tree and a field of weeds and coneflowers where he was feeding. To get him in good light I had to stand with the sun behind me for about an hour. The humidity was high and I was dripping wet at the end.
Immature Male Summer Tanager
I was walking along a creek on a hot day when I spotted this immature male Summer Tanager, but I couldn't get a clear shot. I found a place I could wade into the water without slipping on the rocks and enjoyed the cool water as much as the shot.
The Palm Warbler spends most of their foraging time on the ground. I was photographing this one to capture that behavior when he jumped up on the railing. I'm glad I took this shot though because it turned out better than any of the ground shots that day.
The Tufted Titmouse is usually very curious, bold, and expressive. This one never raised his crest, but was a little tentative and played peek-a-boo as he checked me out. I love how cute he looks in this shot.
Great Crested Flycatcher
This may be the best photo of the Great Crested Flycatcher I've captured so far. This bird is usually far away, high in the canopy, so this closer image is stunning, at least to me.
While I was photographing this Cedar Waxwing, I noticed he didn't have the usual distinctive red wing tips. Later I read that some individuals don't have them. I still love the dark mask, yellow belly, and tailed dipped in paint though.
Young Red-winged Blackbird
I was trying to photograph dragonflies along a river bank when a female Red-winged Blackbird suddenly appeared. She started calling and moving frantically. I looked to make sure I didn't step on anyone when I saw this guy. Then I carefully left the area after this shot.
Male Eastern Towhee
This male Eastern Towhee was scratching and foraging on the ground with his mate nearby. Then he hopped up on this tree snag where the warm sunlight lit him up in a unique way. This is one bird that looks amazing in the right light.
I heard the call of one of the most stunning birds in North America, the Red-headed Woodpecker. I followed clumsily as it flashed in black and white between trees. After several attempts, I got within range just as it was calling again.
Florida Scrub Jay
This Florida Scrub Jay looks stoic in the face of disappearing habitat. Listed as threatened, those multiple bands indicate just how special he is, and how important it is to track, and cherish, each one.
This warbler is the Ovenbird, named for the shape of its nest. He was foraging on the ground and wasn't too skittish as long as I remained still. I love the orange-tinge between the bold strips on his head.
Female Red-bellied Woodpecker in Nest
In the distance I saw this female Red-bellied Woodpecker disappear into a cavity. It didn't take long to get within camera range, but it was another 15 minutes until she poked her head out. I had to be ready because she flew off soon after.
I've been taunted this year by Indigo Buntings an impossible distance away, this one included. It was at the top of a pine tree and had been calling. It was scorching and I assume his feathers are fluffed out to help with cooling as the setting sunlight just added heat.
White-eyed Vireo with Lunch
This White-eyed Vireo landed above with no interest in me. He was apparently focused on lunch, and may have had his sights set on dessert. I had only a couple of very stressful seconds to get this straight overhead shot.
Black and White Warbler
I love the simple markings of the Black and White Warbler, but it is hard to photograph. It moves continuously and appears to prefer the "other side of the tree," so I was delighted when this one stopped in the sunlight.
Young Florida Red-shouldered Hawks
A park ranger noticed me photographing birds and asked me about my work, experience, approach, and birding behavior. After I answered all of his questions, he directed me to this nest of young Florida Red-shouldered Hawks at sunset.
Young Male Eastern Bluebird
Young birds are often more curious than cautious. Just as the sun was setting, this male Eastern Bluebird wanted to know what was on the other side of the fence, where the soft light gave a hint of how much more handsome he will someday be.
I saw this Brown-headed Nuthatch fly from one tree to another. As I approached the tree, I didn't see him again and was beginning to believe he had flow away. Just as I was ready to give up, he stuck his head out, saw me, and then he really was gone.