Red-throated Loon Rescue

April 23, 2012

An oiled Red-throated Loon was swimming around a local lake on Thursday and Friday. My girlfriend and I had just finished discussing whether or not it could be rescued from the water, when it swam directly towards us and clumsily hauled itself out of the water.  That made rescuing the bird a more realistic proposition and we quickly made a call to the Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network.  Thankfully, the loon showed no signs of returning to the water, and within ten minutes a volunteer arrived and was able to easily capture the bird.  Hopefully it is now much cleaner and on its way back to the wild.

Oiled Red-throated Loon

Close-up of Red-throated Loon

Oiled Red-throated Loon on land

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Video Preview of the Discovery Channel’s “North America”

April 20, 2012

I’m excited to share the first preview of the Discovery Channel’s documentary series on North America.  Two years ago, I had the pleasure of chatting about bobcats with Nick Lyon from the Wild Horizons production company.  Because they are so elusive, bobcats are almost never filmed for major documentaries.  I want to thank Nick for putting in the work to document this incredible animal and share that with the Discovery Channel audience.

I also have to thank Trish Carney for posting the link to the preview on her blog. She’s doing some of the most original bobcat photography and I always look forward to seeing new work from her.  This preview looks incredible and I’m really looking forward to watching the series in 2013.

Via Trish Carney


Interesting Science: Mountain Lion Behavior

April 17, 2012

A recent study from the Teton Cougar Project has found multiple mountain lions sharing prey in the Gros Ventre River drainage.  According to conventional wisdom, mountain lions are solitary animals, expect when breeding and raising young.  These researchers have found multiple females and young sharing elk kills and have also noted a male lion in the same location as a female and her kitten.  My own experience with bobcats supports what these researchers have seen.  I’ve seen multiple male bobcats interacting with females and kittens outside of the breeding season, which the literature says shouldn’t happen.

Jackson Hole News via Adventure Journal


Happy Leap Day!

February 29, 2012


Spy vs. Spy

March 16, 2011

Crows are such trouble makers…  This one decided to antagonize a pair of American Kestrels by seeing how close it could land and creep up to this one.  Other than staring at the crow, the kestrel was smart and didn’t react to the crow’s antics.  Frustrated, the crow flew off and tried to land next to the female kestrel, who was perched at the very top of the dead pine.  Fortunately for her, there wasn’t room to land.  In defeat, the crow decided to land on an adjacent branch.  I’m not sure about the kestrels, but I know that I got a good laugh watching the crow try to land on the thin dead branch only to have it break and fall.  That was the last straw for the crow, and it flew away in disgust.


Carpinteria Salt Marsh – March 5, 2011

March 7, 2011

We took a quick trip to the Carpinteria Salt Marsh on Saturday.  Most of the marsh is part of the University of California Natural Reserve system, and is closed to the public; however a portion of it is owned by the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County and is open to the public.  I had heard reports of a red fox in the area, and with all the recent rains we hoped to at least find some tracks.  No luck on that front, but we were rewarded with so nice light and cooperative birds.  The highlights were seeing every kind of Teal, a couple Northern Pintails, and even a Surf Scoter preening very close to the beach.  A couple dolphins were also seen lounging and barely moving just offshore.  All in all, it was a very nice morning trip.

“Cinnamon Teal”  –  Carpinteria Salt Marsh

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Images of the Week – Feb 14-20

February 23, 2011

Birds in flight and weather seemed to be the theme of the past week.  After weeks of beautiful, but boring weather, we finally had a few storms come through.  I’ve always looked forward to stormy weather, because that usually makes for great landscape opportunities.  Now I have another good reason to cheer for the rain…  animal tracks.  Since I’m not seeing much of the bobcats anymore, I’ve come to rely on finding their tracks to know that they’re still around.  But I’m getting far off topic.

Since there are two pairs of White-tailed Kites starting to nest near me, they have been an obvious photographic target.  I already have a huge catalog of Kite photos, so I’m making an effort to photograph them more creatively, or at least photograph behaviors that I’ve missed before.  I’m also working on shooting some video, since some of their actions are difficult to photograph.

“Passing Zone”  –  Male and Female White-tailed Kites

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