11/23/14 Website Update: Various added content
It has been nearly a year since I updated this website. We moved across town, largely influenced by my desire to be out on the plains where my favorite birds reside. Winter raptors are now right at our back door!
A couple of notes that have been on my mind lately...
Responsible Birding: Over the course of this past year, I have seen several cases of birdwatchers approaching birds to the point that they fly off, and then the people continue to chase the bird from pole to pole. In another case, groups of people watched a pair of nesting Bald Eagles with a single baby nearly around the clock. The nervous parents lost their baby as a young fledgling. To me, responsible birding is when the birder does not disturb the birds being watched. I like to accomplish this by finding good habitat and using the park/sit and wait strategy. It takes patience and a willingness to leave empty-handed (i.e., without decent photos), but every now and then, the action will come to you and you will have a front-row seat to witness something amazing. Birds are often very tolerant of your presence if you are already part of the landscape before they arrive. Sometimes, they will even approach you to check you out, which is what the beautiful Red-tailed Hawk below did for me recently. She veered toward me and circled in front of me twice.
As always, please feel free to email photos to me and I am very happy to help identify your birds and tell you more about them - especially the raptors. I have received many great photos over the past few years and always respond to them. My email address is in the "Contact Me" tab, written in a way to avoid spam, but requiring a little cut, paste, and editing to reach me.
How I became addicted to birding
On an August day after a few months of casual birdwatching, I strolled through a tree stand, not looking for anything in particular, and as I turned my gaze to eye level, saw a Great Horned Owl 15 feet in front of me on a thin wooden post. My first thought was that it was an odd place to put a plastic owl, but then it blinked. It was that moment that turned a casual activity into an obsession, with a particular fascination with raptors, the hunters of the bird world. The beauty and variety of these birds continues to astound me, and watching their behavior in the wild is pure enjoyment for me.
Now a full-fledged birder, I find myself looking to the sky, often with camera in hand, and choose to share my photos with those who take an interest in our feathered friends. That is what this website is all about. I hope you enjoy this site.
The owl heads at the top of the page are all Burrowing Owls that I photographed. These little owls are fun to watch, and as their name implies, burrow underground for shelter and nesting. In Colorado, they choose prairie dog burrows and live amongst the dogs where both species watch for predators. The Great Horned Owl below is the mother of the first-year bird, Bernie, that got me into this. I watched this mother raise another owlet the following spring, from sitting on eggs on January 31st through fledging in April. This youngster is named Rocky, pictured below Veronica (his mother who has remarkably big feet).