Posts Tagged: bird

The Florida Scrub-Jay Sentinel

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Florida Scrub-Jay perched as sentinel (sandra calderbank/

Decreasing scrub oak habitat has caused this stunning blue Florida Scrub-Jay to be uncommon and listed as endangered. The only place this bird calls home is Florida. The entire group will change location if the low-growing scrub oaks reach a certain height. They form permanent monogamous bonds, and live in family groups. Until they find a territory of their own, the young remain and assist with feeding their siblings for several years. It’s typical for them to establish their own family territory near their hatching area. Each group has a sentinel bird appointed to guard against predators. This Scrub-Jay was acting as the sentinel perched on this small branch. The sentinel emits a distinct call when they perceive danger, signaling the rest of the family group to take cover.

Pair of Northern Gannets in flight

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Pair of Northern Gannets in flight (sandra calderbank/

A pair of Northern Gannets caught my attention as they were flying over the ocean near Machias Seal Island, which is 12 miles away from Grand Manan, New Brunswick. Colonies of these large and graceful seabirds breed on steep slopes or rocky cliffs of oceanic islands. They spend their remaining time on the sea. Northern Gannets are lifelong monogamous mates. I captured this image in mid June during breeding season, so I assume this pair is a couple.   




Pied-Billed Grebe with beak open, calling

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Pied-Billed Grebe in breeding colors swimming with beak open calling (sandra calderbank/

The Pied-Billed Grebe in breeding colors has a black stripe on its beak and a black throat patch which makes them unique. This Pied-Billed Grebe’s call alerted me to its presence long before I saw it. I noticed the Pied-Billed Grebe in the middle of the pond with its beak open, revealing the source of the sound. They are small and chunky and have almost no tail. Pied-Billed Grebes typically dive for food, but they may also chase other birds during breeding season while keeping just their eyes and nostrils above water.


Black-Crested Titmouse

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Black=Crested Titmouse jumping mid air (sandra calderbank/

The Black-Crested Titmouse is a variety of Titmouse that hails from Mexico and South Texas. Their appearance is very similar to the Tufted Titmouse, which is common in the Eastern half of North America. Smaller in size, the Black-Crested has a distinct black crest and a one-of-a-kind song. I captured a photo of a Black-Crested Titmouse mid air as it jumped off a dead tree and onto the sand in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of South Texas.


Adult Western Dark Morph Red-Tailed Hawk

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Western Dark Morph Red -Tailed Hawk perched in tree in winter in Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico (sandra calderbank/

Some years ago in December, I took a photo of an Adult Western, Dark Morph, Red-Tailed Hawk at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. I really enjoy discovering older photos that I missed in previous processing sessions. The unique details of this Hawk escape my memory. It’s breast feathers and leg details would provide a more specific identification. In my December collection, only two pictures exist, both showing only the hawk’s back with its head turned 180 degrees towards the camera. I’m seeking assistance from my readers to correctly identify this gorgeous hawk.