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.
The Brown Thrasher is one of my favorite birds. I love the warm colors and bright eyes. This one was scratching the ground but not finding much to eat. Then he hopped onto some low branches and gave me this glaring look before taking off.
I was walking along a creek and was excited to see this Louisiana Waterthrush. It was a new bird for me, and interestingly, it's actually a warbler. There he was in the middle of the stream singing his sweet song. It was a happy day.
Female Northern Cardinal
This Northern Cardinal was a surprise for a couple of reasons. They prefer dense brambles and usually have their crest raised around people. She landed and foraged in front of me and never raised her crest, sensing she was safe.
Osprey Sheltering Nest from Hot Sun
On one boating outing, I noticed this Osprey with its wings spread over its massive nest. I've seen smaller birds do that over the nest, sheltering eggs or chicks from the excessive heat of the sun. I wonder if that was occurring here.
Here is a bit more of that dappled sunlight I cherish so much, shining down on Woodland Phlox. When I'm walking in the woods and come upon a flower such as this I always wish I could share that moment with everyone I love.
I think this dragonfly is interesting, but I don't recognize it. I'm not even sure how to describe the color...brown and gray, tan, gunmetal? Suggestions would be appreciated.
I love the little yellow spectacles on this Yellow-throated Vireo! He usually hangs out in the trees, but either curiosity or insects must have tempted him down to the forest floor. He wasn't in a hurry but kept his eye on me.
Male Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
I was moving along where an open area connected to the woods when this Blue-gray Gnatcatcher showed up and appeared agitated. I'm not sure if I was near a nest or what, but I took a few shots and continued down the line.
Male Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Many of my photos are a challenge, but this Male Rose-breasted Grosbeak was easy. I had my camera with me as usual when he flew to this branch. He stayed there for 11 seconds, an eternity for a bird in one spot.
Florida Red-shouldered Hawk
I don't ordinarily follow birds as it sometimes stresses them and it always stresses me. However, I walked about 1/4 mile and waded into waist-high weeds to get close to this Florida Red-shouldered Hawk. He wasn't bothered, but I was itching for hours.
I watched this Gray Catbird for several minutes as he hoped back and forth on this burnt stump, cocking his head and flicking his tail. Occasionally he would flutter his wings. It wasn't long before he jumped down and caught the insect he was hoping to startle.
I was photographing this Red-bellied Woodpecker when he suddenly raised his crown feathers and looked back over his shoulder. I looked in the same direction and saw a Cooper's Hawk in a distant tree. When I turned back, the woodpecker was gone. Smart woodpecker.
Young Sandhill Crane Drinking Water
I was watching a family of Sandhill Cranes forage in the rain when this little one stopped for a drink. His over-developed legs, under-developed wings, and disproportionate head made him the cutest thing I saw all day.
Male Pileated Woodpecker with Older Nestlings
A kind fellow saw me with my camera and led me to this family of Pileated Woodpeckers. I spent many hours over the next few days observing and photographing this family, making me very grateful for the kindness of strangers.
I still remember the first time I saw the Prairie Warbler flitting through the tree like a little ball of sunshine. I was surprised he wasn't afraid of me and just went about his business gleaning insects from the branches. I was smiling the rest of the day.
In the distance, I saw this Tricolored Heron in the dark shade. The sun was going down, and I could tell that it would shine on him in a few minutes. I started towards him slowly. Just as I got within camera range, the sun bathed him in warm light.
Male Summer Tanager
I love the way the light exposed the eye and fell on this male Summer Tanager. He had just caught this Yellow Jacket and was sorting out how to eat it. This is my favorite photo ever of this bird.
I was so excited to see my first Common Gallinule (Moorhen)! Unfortunately, she had a dispute with three American Coots and lost, so she was leaving the area at full speed. Counting the intense red eye, I see at least six colors on this beautiful bird.
I've loved the way dappled sunlight falls on the forest floor like the spots on a new fawn since I was a young boy wandering in the woods. This beautiful Chipping Sparrow has a bit of that sunlight on him, and I think it makes him look marvelous.
The White Ibis is a wetland bird that occasionally forages inland. While their black wingtips, pink bill, and pink legs standout, it's their distinctive blue eye that always captivates me.
Sometimes it's not the pretty bird that deserves the spotlight, but the smart one. Crows have been documented making and using tools, and many people have interesting stories of encounters with intelligent crows.
Female Magnolia Warbler
The hard to get shots are birds in the open. This shot of the female Magnolia Warbler is more common, where she is moving quickly but tentatively through the bush looking for insects. I think it's important to document these behaviors in addition to clear profile shots.
Wasp with Caterpillar
I was preparing to do some birding when I heard a plop on the car. This wasp was trying to fly away with a huge caterpillar, but just couldn't manage it. He tried several times before giving up. Hope someone can help id these creepy crawlies.
Sometimes the Red-bellied Woodpecker works his way up the tree and on occasion he works his way down. I was sitting nearby looking for birds when he landed high. I just watched and waited as he circled his way down near eye level.
Male Orchard Oriole
The 1st day I saw this male Orchard Oriole he was gleaning insects in the tops of trees, too far away for a shot. I swung back by the area the next day and accidentally spooked him from some bushes. On the 3rd day, I approached much more slowly and got this shot.
Red-spotted Purple Butterfly
I saw this Red-spotted Purple Butterfly and rushed over to take its photo. As I got closer, I could see it was beaten up, including a broken antenna. It didn't fly away. I was sad that something had tried to get it even though that is nature's way.
Florida Red-shouldered Hawk with Redbelly Snake
I was on a hill above a lake when I saw this Florida Red-Shouldered Hawk in a distant tree. I watched and waited. Suddenly he swooped down to the edge of the water and quickly climbed back out with a Florida redbelly Snake.
We had started on an evening hike when we heard the booming of the Common Nighthawk. It got louder as we got closer. Out of 100+ attempts, I managed this uncommon dorsal view as he banked sharply and incredibly fast in the fading sunlight.
Northern Parula with Green Caterpillar
I watched this beautiful Northern Parula soften up the brilliant green caterpillar. This look let me know he wasn't going to share and then he was on his way. Does anyone have a name for this caterpillar?
Male Scarlet Tanager
This Scarlet Tanager was high in the canopy, obscured by leaves and branches, impossible to capture. Then he descended to a lower limb in pursuit of a bug. He got the bug, and I got the shot, so we were both happy.
American Redstart, male
I was sitting very still at the edge of some woods when this American Redstart came flitting quickly through the branches looking for insects. When I raised the camera to take his photo, he seemed surprised and took off after one shot.
Northern Flicker, yellow-shafted, male
This White-eyed Vireo was calling in shadow where little sunlight penetrated the canopy. I waited until the sun went down a little more and shined through a side opening to get this shot.
Female Purple Martin Saluting the Flag
This is my perennial 4th of July photo. I'll never forget spending hours in the hot sun that day trying to get photos of the Purple Martin in flight. I love this shot as it looks like she is saluting the flag.