Sunday, March 29, 2009

Awesome Pics

I dont have any new pictures to post right now, so i thought i would post some of my friends pictures. he just made a website check it out, jamesvellozzinaturephotography.com


He awesome pictures of a crap load, of species. He hasnt even finished his webiste because of all the material he has to upload. I thank him very much because he is one of my photography mentors and drives me around :) Here is just a few of his great pictures










Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Spring migration

Hawks are continuing to move northward to their breeding grounds. Sunday at Hook mountain Hawk watch we got a fair number of hawks. We had a merlin, but probably a mile over head.....you can tell by the horrible shot. At Croton Point park there are kestrels on the landfill. I chased one male around. They are such annoying birds to photograph. You can never get close to them. Hope you like the pics :)
Below are the kestrel pictures, Yep all of them is him flying away from me
















Below is a immature red shouldered hawk migrating over hawk, They have windows on their wings which seperates them from red tails.









And here is that horrible merlin shot i was talking about.









Monday, March 23, 2009

Peregrine with Prey

You are lucky when you can get to see peregrines hunt. They are so fast and very successful hunters. It is always fun to see what the peregrines hunt, Here is a picture i took a of peregrine with a bird in its talons. Its a pretty bad picture but you can see red on it.
Photographer Steve sachs has some cool pictures of peregrines with birds in its talons. Below is a picture he took with a oriole in its talons. his website with tons of raptor photos here

Saturday, March 21, 2009

On the quest for a saw-whet

Being a birder, one of the best feelings is finding a rare bird. In the fall i help band Saw-whet owls at a local banding location. Some also stay and winter in Hudson river valley. Here is a website showing information on Saw-whets in Hudson river valley. Last winter was a very good year for them down here. We found a lot, over 15! Well this year we went back to all those places and saw nothing not even a pellet. Then about two weeks ago i went hiking through a very urban local park. I saw some small conifers and decided to check them. Unbelievably i found a good amount of pellets and whitewash. Its in a perfect area, a hill going down to a stream. There were several patches of conifers with whitewash and pellets. But ofcourse they werent fresh. It looked as if i missed the Owl by 2-3 weeks. I am checking now as it might come back to migrate.


Below are pictures of the habitat in which Saw-whets roost
they like small conifers during the winter time



Look for white wash and pellets, for evidence of an owl



Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Red tails mating

I had a very unusual encounter at a local park this weekend. A Red tail was sitting right above me in a tree. I started taking pictures when through my view screen another red tail landed on her. I didnt know what was going on at first until i realized they were mating. As awkward as it was i stood there and took pictures. I thought someone would think they were cool. The female Hawk has only one eye and has survived like that for three years.











Sunday, March 15, 2009

How not to get birds at your feeder

I built a platform feeder the other day. Its not the best but it seems like it can work. I was hoping to get some orioles this spring to come. Well there was one problem with the feeder. The cat was on patrol...

She sits under it for shade, but it gets worse.

She thinks it would be fun to get on it..


And then she laughs when she knocks it over.



Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Peregrine

Before the red shoulders on sunday, it was dark and gloomy. We made a trip to the local peregrines. Luckily they are very close to the hawk watch. Above the cliffs thousands of red winged black birds were migrating north. The Peregrines kept flying back and chasing them. They chased crows, and almost caught a bird in my camera view. Well these are the shots i got, I will hopefully get a lot of better oppurtunities. If you know about cameras, i had to shoot at iso 1600 :(









Sunday, March 8, 2009

A red shoulder day

Today was most defenitely a red shoulder day. It is that time of the year, that Red shoulders are moving back to nesting grounds. So with the warm weathers i went up to Hook mountain Hawk watch. We stayed from 10-11. And we got 7 adult red shoulders migrating. It was the most i have ever seen. But that wasnt the last of the shoulders. We traveled an hour to a red shoulder nest site in Connecticutt. The Hawks were all around and screaming. Their song is awesome! I missed some great oppurtunities, but got decent shots. In all a great day.
Below is one of the nesting hawks




Below were taken at Hook Mountain










Thursday, March 5, 2009

So close but yet so far!!

Inn my few months of photography i have noticed luck is'nt always with you. I have many shots, where the bird has a few mistakes that stop it from being awesome, Full frame birds that are out of focus, or birds where the heads are being covered. Here is a picture of a rough leg taking off. I think the focus is pretty sharp. he was right on the side of the road. But ofcoure when i took the picture his wing was covering his head........



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Monday, March 2, 2009

Before I had my canon dslr, i used a video camera to record things i saw. here is a video i took last march. These peregrines nest on the palisades cliffs. It was very hard to follow them with the video camera. They went very fast. Hopefully this year i will get some good pictures of them. On my sidebar are more videos i took. Hope you like it

video