Male Summer Tanager
This male Summer Tanager let me approach him much closer than I expected. I like the way the early afternoon sunlight filtered through the low green canopy, bathing him in an interesting glow.
Female Orchard Oriole
I had a brief encounter with this bird and didn't recognize her. She turned out to be a female Orchard Oriole on migration from Mexico or South America. She flew a long way to let me take her photo. Isn't she beautiful?
Osprey inflight after a successful hunt
This Osprey is on his way back to the nest after a successful hunt. He will stop along the way to tear off the head, making sure the fish can't thrash around and knock the eggs or chicks out of the nest.
Slate-colored Dark-eyed Junco
In TN, the Slate-colored Dark-eyed Junco is a winter bird, except on Clingman's Dome (6,643 ft/2,025 m) in the Smoky Mtn NP where it is year-round. The cooler temps are similar to the summer breeding grounds further north. I took this in May.
Black-throated Blue Warbler
This Black-throated Blue Warbler came in just ahead of storm clouds. The forest canopy was darkening fast, and the light was dim. He caught and ate a yummy green caterpillar, paused for this shot, and he was just as quickly gone.
Male Rose-breasted Grosbeak
This male Rose-breasted Grosbeak kept landing nearby. I squatted down to get a better angle. Soon my back was aching. He landed again just as I was about to get up, and I almost fell over getting this shot.
Female Boat-tailed Grackle
This beautiful female Boat-tailed Grackle, all warm coffee bean and cocoa brown, was constantly chased by the males. On my last day there she stopped for just a second, all the while looking back for the males she knew would be right behind her.
Young Florida Scrub Jay
Late one afternoon I went in search of the Florida Scrub Jay. This bird is considered at risk due to loss of habitat. After a couple of hours, I found this youngster. It was a magic moment because it was a first for me.
Yellow Milkwort is a Florida native wildflower. On afternoon hikes I would often see it and was impressed by the way it glowed in the late sun. I took several photos until I got one good enough to share with you.
It was the middle of the afternoon, and I was wandering around a picnic area when this Blue Jay landed in dappled sunlight. He paused briefly but quickly left when he realized I had a camera, not a picnic.
I was bobbing along in a boat when I came upon this Cattle Egret in thier rich full mating colors. It was the first time I had ever seen one with its crown erect. I'm sure this one didn't have any trouble finding a mate.
Painted Bunting, female
I was at the edge of the Painted Bunting's winter range in Florida. It wasn't the male I had hoped for, but there was the beautiful female, backlit with golden sunlight, holding down a stem of grass and eating the seed. In 3 seconds she was gone.
Florida Red-shouldered Hawk
We don't always get to see the backs of beautiful birds like this Florida Red-shouldered Hawk. I like the way the afternoon sun lit his namesake rusty-red shoulders and illuminated his eye.
Red-bellied Hawk sunning herself
This Red-bellied Woodpecker flattened her body by spreading her wings and turning her head sideways for exactly 1 minute. I wasn't familiar with that behavior and later learned the bird was sunning itself, one of several ways birds combat ectoparasites. Here is a scientific article that explains it: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/25fc/520b3316aca1afb78a44e44abf2cc0c7e4fd.pdf
Little Blue Heron
I knew I was losing the light of the setting sun and quickly looked around. This Little Blue Heron had come in behind me and was searching for dinner at the edge of the marsh. These birds are stunning in low light.
The Swallow-tailed Kite seldom lands during the day. Instead, it soars on large wings and rotates its tail to make tight turns, catching and eating insects in midair. Fun to watch. Hard to photograph.
I was photographing crows in the Everglades when I came across this brown one. There are a few, but not many, photos on the internet. Some refer to them as caramel crows.
Young Buck looking on as a family of Sandhill Cranes settle in for the evening
I'm often blessed with the time I spend in the field with something special, like this young buck looking on as the Sandhill Cranes settle in for the day and the chicks begin to snuggle their way under their mother's wing.
Tricolorered Heron caught lunch
I saw this Tricolored Heron stalking something in the shallow water when suddenly, it struck lightning-fast and came with this little fish. It's not as sharp as my usual posts, but that's because of the intense action.
This is Marsh Pink, aka Rose Pink. It blooms at the end of a long stem. I love the colors, sharp lines, and delicate details of this flower and look for it every spring.
This Snowy Egret was perched in a tree, no doubt avoiding the alligators. It's delicate and bright-white plumage made it stand out in a way I almost couldn't quit looking at it.
Great Crested Flycatcher
I'm not sure if the Great Crested Flycatcher is camera shy, but it is difficult to get good shots of these birds since they hang out in the tops of trees. I love their bright yellow bellies and rusty tails though.
I had never seen the Brown-headed Nuthatch before this photo, and don't know why he came to see me. He seemed full of curiosity and let me get a few shots. Perhaps someone had fed him previously at that location.
Northern Cardinal, male
This male Northern Cardinal landed in a nearby tree. As he moved around the sun was invariably at his back or there several branches obscuring him. After trying several positions and 96 shots, he landed in the clear, and I got this photo.
The Eurasian Collared-Dove was introduced to the US via the Bahamas as the result of a pet store burglary. Not everyone likes this bird or appreciates its incessant cooing. I enjoy it and think it shows especially well in the right setting.
Needham's Skimmer Dragonfly
The direct afternoon sunlight is seldom flattering, so I tend to shoot in the morning and later afternoon. But in this case, I love the way it lit up this Needham's Skimmer. I was thrilled to get this golden beauty.
Great Blue Heron, white form
This is another Great Blue Heron. I can hear you saying "Hmmm?" even now. It is the white form. I never thought I would see one, but here it is. Pretty bird, but its name does make you go "Hmmm?"
Great Blue Heron
I was returning from a hike when I saw this Great Blue Heron in the distance. I could tell he was in good light, but they can be hard to approach. I slowly worked my way towards him, using trees and bushes for cover. He took off after this shot.
I heard this Red-shouldered Hawk calling in the area several times but never could find him. One day he sounded particularly close and when I looked that time I found him in a nearby tree.
Who is this mystery bird with the white mask? It is the Blue-headed Vireo. It was once lumped in with two other species as the Solitary Vireo. It spends its winter in the deep south and Florida, but breeds in the northeast states and more widely in Canada.
The male and female of the Blue-headed Vireo are aggressive in defending the nest and young.
Florida Red-Shouldered Hawk
I have so many photos of the Florida Red-shouldered Hawk. This one has no relationship to the chick I posted. I spend so much time in the field, I just run into a lot of hawks. I think they are beautiful.
Florida Red-Shouldered Hawk and chick
I think this scene is full of #cuteness. I was photographing mom, a #Florida Red-shouldered #Hawk, when the #chick raised his head and #photobombed her. I think he is saying "I'm ready for lunch."
I was excited to see my first Monarch of the year. Healthy and flying strong, I thought he would never land so I could get a shot. It's not easy being a Monarch. I hope they have a great year.
Like many of the other water birds in the Everglades, I noticed this Tricolored Heron retreated to the trees when not feeding. Considering the alligators and other predators there I don't blame him.
Brown Anole Lizard
I love lizards, even the invasive Brown Anole which is driving the native Green Anole higher in the canopy. It took 100+ shots to capture this gesturing used to attract mates and defend territory.
The male Anhinga is a ruby-eyed bird that is silky smooth and swims with only his head above water, able dive deep to catch fish. In the air, he can soar. But on the ground and in trees he's not so much, and it is there he seems ungainly big to me.
First year female Magnolia Warbler
Some birds are too pretty not to post, but can be difficult to identify. This one took hours. It has characteristics of several birds, but is not completely like any of them. I finally found a credible reference for a first year female Magnolia Warbler. That's a mouthfull.
Yellow-rumped Warbler, male Myrtle variety
While I was trying to photograph something else I noticed this Yellow-rumped Warbler up in a nearby tree. Just as I was turning to get a better look, the bird came down a few branches to get a better look at me.
Adolescent Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
I was a little puzzled when I first saw this bird. It turned out to be an adolescent Yellow-bellied Sapsucker that does not yet have the red markings that would identify it as a male or female.
I've tried to stay still so as not to startle the Ovenbird, but he moves so quickly along the ground that I have to keep repositioning and refocusing. This was the best I could do on this one, but it does highlight his faint orange crown and other feather detail.
Sunset over Hammond Lake
This was a sunset I watched recently. As the sun went down the mosquitoes got ever friskier, but I wasn't going to let them deny me the privilege of this sight and stayed until the sun was over the horizon.
Mom and babies, Sandhill Cranes
It was about an hour before sunset when these Sandhill Cranes returned to the nest for the day. Mom was adjusting the nest while the babies waited for her to settle down so they could snuggle under her wing for the night.
Northern Parula singing, male
I was mesmerized watching this Northern Parula singing his buzzy trilling call as the sun went down. When it lit up his body, I knew it was time to take the shot.
I laughed out loud when I saw this Blue-gray Gnatcatcher land right behind this leaf. I wasn't sure if it was an accident or he was just modest.