I received a call today from good friends who sounded excited as they had found a hummingbird nest and saw movement from observing inside the house. I rushed over and my 2-1/2 hours (seems about standard) waiting for Mom to feed the kids was rewarded.!
The images above are my fav stills shot from over 150 this morning.
Below the slide show are 13 images which are screen prints taken from 2 videos ...
So exciting ... My first ever Rufous nest find! Thank you Vincent, Joan and Robert!!!
Squelching Robins let me to this fellow... Around 8PM way way up in a tree ... I would have never seen him if it wasn't for the noisy Robins.
A long ways off in a neighbouring property I heard that distinctive raspy call of the baby owls. I scanned the trees and saw movement, set up my camera, hit ISO 8000 and took some photos of Mom serving dinner. (Can't tell if its rabbit of squirrel, but an invasive species went to a good cause) Bon apetite, TerryV
Just before 5PM yesterday I got the call of an owl sighting ... Was on site within 15 minutes and the pictures above are some of the first I took ...
These are the same baby Great Horned Owls I photographed on Mothers Day.
I then spent the next 2 hours in the woods straining my neck upwards to see what these little characters were up to.
Seems that not everyone likes owls .. especially songbirds!
Thanks for looking and likes if you did! Have a great week ... TerryV
The 3 image set above was a reaction from a Varied Thrush (angry) zooming past!
today's lesson "I'm a Hummingbird.. you're an owl"
Angry songbird flypasts ... Look closely and in each of the 7 slides above there is a bird or part of a bird seen zipping past .. All were to quick to get clear shots ... There were Nuthatches, Towhee's, Varied Thrush's and even the hummingbird above giving this Owl a scolding!
What a great day! After wanting to build a Hummingbird water feature for a few years, I finally made up this one using a kit obtained by Dig This Gardening in Sidney! I'm working on a "how to build it" for anyone who wants to make their own.
The youngsters are out of their nests today in large numbers last couple days and the deck is buzzing. These hard working female hummingbirds who have been diligently raising their babies deserve a few minutes in a fresh water spa... And they seem to love it! As always, I hope you enjoy these 2 slide shows and tomorrow I'll post a short video!
It's always difficult to see these tiny birds fly away especially after carefully observing them for several weeks. The photo above was taken on Friday (my last trip to the nest) and I could tell they were nearing the last nest days. I'm sure everyone wishes these youngsters well and Holly too! Thank you for taking the time to click on my blog & videos ... More adventures with nature coming soon! TerryV
This one is from my yard yesterday ... It seems that the Anna's hummingbirds continue to rebuild their nests and start new ones. The population of Hummingbirds seems to be thriving thanks to these industrious Moms!
May 15th and the kids are getting close to leaving their nest.... Turn the audio off or down on the above video.. lots of unpleasant background noise here...
Baby G H Owl sitting on a fence post ... This little fella hopped up here to get a look at me (or to have a better vantage point in locating a parent) just after I spotted him! If you turn up the volume, you'll hear the scratchy baby owl call that keeps baby and parent in communication! (traffic noise again, but the road is nearby) Thanks 4 looking TerryV
I'll call this baby owl the sister... She is the one I was told about. Finding her brother was quite a surprise and a delight... Hope you enjoy these... TerryV
1minute 41 seconds .. close to a highway so my apologies for the auto noise ...
Owl baby number 2 .. This guy surprised me as I was stepping lightly through the woods to get another view of his sister and I heard this sharp clacking sound. This fellow was snapping his beak and perhaps warning me I was getting too close? I was transfixed with having 2 baby owls (1 on each side) and shot far too many images until I lost the light. What a terrific experience. 1 of the parents can be seen from a post made a few days ago if you scroll down, Thanks for looking.... TerryV
screen prints from todays video ... Happy Mother's Day!
Oh my gosh... Its been a week since I was at Holly's nest.
Her kids are sure growing and now with open eyes and covered with emerging pin feathers.
If it weren't for the distance to get here, I would check every day, but Hope to get 2 more visits in before these youngsters fledge (which might happen next weekend)
The video below is just under 5 minutes but Holly pops in and feeds them right at the beginning. The balance of the video shows the pair resettling after dinner... Pretty darn cute if you have 5 minutes to spare.
Thank you to all for the looks and likes ... Hope all Moms have a lovely Weekend
The Great Horned Owl above was seen this evening just before dark... The almost full May moon was rising up in the sky and perhaps added a hint of glow, but the images were shot at high ISO and super slow shutter speeds. None the less, I'll take what I can get when an Owl shows up (This one has at least 1 baby which made sharp rasping calls to let the parent know where it was and that it was hungry.) I observed this beautiful bird silently flying through the trees in search of prey, but other than these 2 locations for a brief time, only fleeting glimpses.
* Thank you very much to the people who have the acreage where these birds live and for the invitation! ***
Vancouver Island Blacktail Deer and yearling fawn above as seen just after 8 PM while searching for the Owl.
Violet Green Swallow resting on a branch after hours of swooping for bugs.
Swooping swallows ( Violet Green Swallow above ) Like a symphony of wings. (12 slides)
Barn Swallow at the pond .. Their erratic flight makes them quite tricky to photograph
Common Yellowthroat ... A marvellous maker of bird melodies, but I always find these tiny gems difficult to approach. Both these images heavily cropped... * click to enlarge*
Today was my second visit to this amazing little nest in the city! I spent 2-1/2 hours to take a handful of photos and this 5 minute video.
Mom was sitting on the nest when I arrived and 1.5 hours later she was still there... wow.. Then suddenly she decided to forage for food (which is generally a combination of tiny insects and nectar) She spent about 40 minutes foraging and at least 3 times during that period, I heard her wings, thought she was returning and clicked on the record button, but turned out she was just checking the nest. I shot about 25 minutes of just the nest on video before deciding to head home. Then as I was taking down my camera gear I heard her in the next yard. I quickly got the video going and just like that she arrived... but I was in plain view and she literally froze. She and I were both like the preverbal Deer in the Headlights... After several seconds I slipped away and out of her sight, but you won't see her feed the 2 youngsters until the 4-1/2 minute mark.
There are many sweet birds singing in the background and on this clip, I turned off the internal camera stabilizers and auto focus so the sound quality is better than the last one.
You can view this directly on youtube if you want a larger image by clicking on the youtube link on the bottom right of the video frame one you load it. Thank you for all of your comments and likes ... Its a real pleasure to be able to peek into these tiny lives and share these moments with you! I will try to bring you updates every 4 days or so ..
All the very best... TerryV
Can you spot the nest???
Momma Anna's feeds her newly hatched babies (2)
One hatched on April 24th the other April 25th ...
* sorry about the audio clicks.
I set up the camera on auto focus,(and the internal mic amplifies the sound) turned it on and walked away.
Set-up was about 20+ feet away using a 600 mm optics* and tripod... Thanks for looking.. watch this page for updates... TerryV
This is a dedicated Anna's female from my yard (not the Mom above) but just look at the wear on her breast feathers... She has no doubt done a lot of sitting on her brood and it does take a toll on the feathers! Cheers from Hummingbird Haven! TerryV
So this little guy is my magical visitor from around 6PM yesterday. I was out looking for birds to photograph , had stopped to watch a pair of Norther Harriers (one had found dinner and was sitting in a hay field) The other was gliding over the field searching. I stopped my vehicle and laid my camera gear across the roof to get a nice angled shot and from the corner of my eye I saw movement coming towards me from straight down the old road. I recognize the silently gliding form moving effortlessly about 8 inches above the road as a Coopers Hawk. It headed straight towards me and then tipped up his wings, flew across the vehicle hood and landed PLUNK right on my camera lens ... only inches away from my nose! I think he was as surprised as I was as we looked at one another for 3 seconds, then off he went and landed on this rock a short distance away! That incident felt like a pure gift from Nature telling me all was well!
Northern Harriers (with prey) also known as Marsh Hawks ... North Saanich beauties!
March 2018 .. I just received notice that my blog has been awarded a distinction of being one of the top 100 photography blogs in Canada.
* All images and content copyright Terry Venables and NaturalImagesCanada *