Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Eastern Bluebirds and Rough-Legged Hawk

NIkon D300s 300 f4 + 1.7X TC, f/8, 1/800s, ISO 500

I was able to make it to EPCAL before the sun went down late this afternoon and was happy I did.  In addition to a Turkey Vulture that spent a little time perusing the grasslands looking for a snack and a grey ghost (male Northern Harrier) that was briefly spotted, 4 Eastern Bluebirds were singing and flitting around the center grass median while a Rough-legged Hawk was busy catching a vole.  (Learn how to ID rough-legged hawks from afar by reading Jerry Liguori's Hawks at a Distance: Identification of Migrant Raptors)  It was certainly one of the more productive visits to EPCAL in recent weeks - and as I left I noticed a herd of at least 60 deer to the North of EPCAL on the adjacent grasslands piece.  Seeing all of those deer grazing on native grasses is such a rare sighting on this island you simply have to see it to appreciate it.  (Above: Male Eastern Bluebird / Below: Female Eastern Bluebird)

Nikon D300s 300 f4 + 1.7X TC, f/8, 1/320s, ISO 500, +.33 Exposure Comp.
The Rough-legged took a few minutes to rest...
NIkon D300s 30 f4 + 1.7X TC, f/8, 1/500s, ISO 500
....before resuming flight and briefly mingling with a Turkey Vulture:
Nikon D300s 300 f4 + 1.7X TC, f/8, 1/1250s, ISO 500
Here's the Rough-legged eyeing it's prey:
Nikon D300s 300 f4 + 1.7X TC, f/6.7, 1/1000s, ISO 800
And here is the bird on its prey (if you look closely there it's talons are grasping the vole):

Nikon D300s 300 f4 + 1.7X TC, f/6.7, 1800s, ISO 800
Looking for a field guide to compliment your worn copy of the Sibley Guide to Birds?

Check out the National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of Eastern North America which is what I carry exclusively in the field for its compact size and geographic contents (when I'm looking up an unknown - it helps when I'm not sorting through birds which are not found on the East Coast).  So if you need a new guide and want to try something different - click the image below:

1 comment:

  1. Hi Luke,

    I just wanted to compliment you on your outstanding shots. I love this blog for many reasons. Your eye for a good photo, your graceful compositions, and your clear identification of all birds in your pictures really make reading your blog enjoyable and educational. I always look forward to a new post from you. Thanks for the great shots!