Archive for 'Birds'

Gadwall at bath time

Gadwall at bath time

A Gadwall drake takes a bath in the sun, which is becoming a rather scarce as winter approaches. These are currently good numbers of Gadwalls at the Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge near Stevensville, Montana.

The Foggy Takeoff

Canada Geese take flight into the fog

Slowly the Canada Geese began to stir, and then with a sudden of synchronized thought, they burst into the foggy gloom.

Ruffed Grouse on the drumming log

Ruffed Grouse drumming – Thoughts of Spring

As winter creeps down the mountainsides into the Bitterroot Valley, my thoughts often turn toward the warmer days of spring, when all existence explodes into flourishes of color, abundance, and sound. My favorite sound among the cacophony is that deep thumping, drum roll of male Ruffed Grouse as he courts from a particular fallen log. […]

Great Blue Heron perched over the Bitterroot River

Great Blue Heron – Cool Blue on a Cool Day

Came across this Great Blue Heron perched over the Bitterroot River on a cool November afternoon. The piercing yellow eye never left my subtle movements, so alert.

Northern Pintail - Waterfowl Elegance

Northern Pintail – Waterfowl Elegance

Northern Pintail, nothing oozes elegance like a pintail drake. This one is feeding upon the ponds of the Lee Metcalf NWR in the Bitterroot Valley of Montana

Tundra Swans in flight

Tundra Swans flying over the Bitterroot Valley

With fall fading into winter, the skies over the Bitterroot Valley have flocks of Tundra Swans flying southward. The birds the color of winter do their best to avoid that cold season.

American Dipper braves cold temperatures and water

Early Morning Dipper

A lone American Dipper was moving slowly along the cold banks of the fog-covered Bitterroot River. Autumn is quickly drawing to a close as the first measurable snow lays on the fallen leaves.

European Starling - Winter Plumage

European Starling – Unappreciated Beauty

The European Starling, it is difficult to even utter that name, and not feel a shutter of uncomfortable disdain. But, after shooting this image with my new Nikon D7100, I have a renewed, no brand new, appreciation for this introduced species.

Great Blue Heron and Morning Mist

Great Blue Heron and Morning Mist

Both the heron and morning mist rise up silently as the welcomed, warm sun of autumn peers above the Sapphires. This is what morning in the Bitterroot Valley is all about.

Spotted Sandpiper on a branch

Spotted Sandpiper on guard duty

Along the edges of the Bitterroot River, there are a multitude of Spotted Sandpipers. Their calls seems to come from every sandbar, and they are often seen flying low across the riffles and smooth water of this gentle river. This one was particularly set on its perch.

American Three-toed Woodpecker from Lolo Pass

American Three-toed Woodpecker from Lolo Pass

Mosquitoes were swarming and my time as a blood donor was drawing to an end. Then came a familiar tapping from a snag. Clinging to the snag was this American Three-toed Woodpecker.

Singing Western Tanager

Western Tanager – A splash of sunshine in the understory

I have always dug Western Tanagers (even though they are not true tanagers). Their vibrant colors radiate through the shadows and boughs of the forest. This particular male was seen as I descended Mount Sentinel on the M side, high above Missoula, Montana.

Pacific Wren feeding its young

Pacific Wren feeding its young

While along Bass Creek in the Bitterroot Mountains, I stumbled across the quite aggressive Pacific Wren. The little bird was continuously scowling and coming within a couple of feet. Then, the first little dark fuzzball stumbled along a nearby bare branch. Within 2 minutes, 3 additional small, fuzzy wrens appeared, and the two adults were […]

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