Posts Tagged: Bosque del Apache

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.



Sandhill Cranes

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The Sandhill Crane in flight is an awesome sight. These birds are large with very long legs and they fly with their legs straight out behind. I photographed this Adult Sandhill at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. The Sandhill Cranes gather in enormous flocks in winter and forage for grain on many of the open grasslands and cornfields. They regularly use this National Wildlife Refuge as their wintering grounds. The vast numbers of Cranes are an impressive sight.


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Female Bufflehead in flight, low over water with wings in downstroke (Sandra Calderbank, sandra calderbank)Female bufflehead taking off in flight from water surface with feet splashing on the water (Sandra Calderbank, sandra calderbank)Pair of Male and Female Bufflehead Ducks swimming side by side (Sandra Calderbank, sandra calderbank)Female Bufflehead in flight over water with wings in upstroke (Sandra Calderbank, sandra calderbank)

The Bufflehead is one of the fastest ducks in flight that I have ever attempted to photograph, they are like little rockets!. They are very small diving ducks and are a treat to watch. They pop up and down on the water and take off in flight from the water’s surface, looking like they are walking on the water. In flight they dart around very rapidly and unpredictably. If you have ever tried to photograph a Kingfisher in flight, the Bufflehead is just as challenging!

Maximum Performance Landing

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Male Northern Pintail, landing with feet down (Sandra Calderbank, sandra calderbank)


They do this all the time……A Male Northern Pintail Duck landing, maintaining control during rapid deceleration with a high angle of attack with feathers showing wings in a stall! The feather’s design allows the tip feathers to rotate to a lower angle of attack and avoid stall.  A ‘short pond landing’.