Tag Archives: South Carolina

Portrait White-faced Scops Owl

This owl turned around and faced the complete opposite direction giving  me a chance to catch both sides. That doesn’t happen very often. Funny, it turned out to almost be a ‘mug’ shot.

Portrait White-faced Scops Owl - Click To Enlarge
Portrait White-faced Scops Owl – Click To Enlarge

It got even better soon. He just looked at me, and promptly fell asleep.

Portrait White-faced Scops Owl - Click To Enlarge
Portrait White-faced Scops Owl – Click To Enlarge

Sometimes I have that effect……

An Armadillo Can Jump, Very High

Yes, they jump. I learned quite a few things about them. All after I followed a few into the woods. Not the first time I have gotten things backwards.

First, Armadillos are reported to be not very bright. I agree. Why would a strange critter like this allow a big human to photograph them in the woods.

Second, poor eyesight. Again we agree. he looked right at me several times. Never seemed to bother him.

Nine-banded Armadillo - Click To Enlarge
Nine-banded Armadillo – Click To Enlarge

Third, and most important. When startled they jump straight up in the air. I myself would say they ‘shoot straight up’.

Nine-banded Armadillo - Click To Enlarge
Nine-banded Armadillo – Click To Enlarge

Now you see why learning this before could have been useful. I’m born and raised NYC, so when I have this…….

Nine-banded Armadillo - Click To Enlarge
Nine-banded Armadillo – Click To Enlarge

..jumps up like it’s shot out of a canon, in my view finder, I can be excused for my reaction. No details but my wife loved it.

One last note. Armadillos can run fast and growl loud. But so can photographers.

Juvenile Little Blue Still Dressed In White

“Little Blue Herons may gain a survival advantage by wearing white during their first year of life. Immature birds are likelier than their blue elders to be tolerated by Snowy Egrets—and in the egrets’ company, they catch more fish. Mingling in mixed-species flocks of white herons, immature Little Blue Herons probably also acquire extra protection against predators.” (Cornell University).

Juvenile Little Blue Still Dressed In White - Click To Enlarge
Juvenile Little Blue Still Dressed In White – Click To Enlarge

This bird must have been a late hatch since his legs are still the green color of juveniles too.

Juvenile Little Blue Still Dressed In White - Click To Enlarge
Juvenile Little Blue Still Dressed In White – Click To Enlarge

In the image above I can’t tell if the head shading is a water reflection or blue feathers starting to grow.

This image was taken about 2 miles from the rookery we photograph so I assume this was one of the late bloomers we shot last August.

Great Horned Owl

No series of Owl photographs could be complete without the Great Horned Owl. The largest owl in the US, however the Great Grey and Eurasian Eagle Owl are actually larger.

Great Horned Owl - Click To Enlarge
Great Horned Owl – Click To Enlarge
Great Horned Owl - Click To Enlarge
Great Horned Owl – Click To Enlarge

He was not bored, birds will yawn when nervous.

Great Horned Owl - Click To Enlarge
Great Horned Owl – Click To Enlarge

The feathers around his face that make up the fierce looking circle really direct sound to the ears and is one of the reasons owls can hunt at night. An owl in a completely black room can still catch a mouse.

Great Horned Owl - Click To Enlarge
Great Horned Owl – Click To Enlarge

The photograph above is a common pose. This site has numerous pages of owl portraits and you will see this position often. That’s because most owls cannot see very well closeup. At a distance, wow. If you ever see an owl bobbing their head up and down when staring at something it’s because they are trying to focus.

Fly By, Great Blue Heron

All 3 photographs are the same bird. I followed his path while he weaved by, and around me.

Fly By, Great Blue Heron - Click To Enlarge
Fly By, Great Blue Heron – Click To Enlarge

Flying over a dike trail to land in the thick cane.

Fly By, Great Blue Heron - Click To Enlarge
Fly By, Great Blue Heron – Click To Enlarge

In the image above a water gate for the marsh can be seen. The Ashley River (lowcountry South Carolina) feeds the marsh here. Probably the same dike used for the rice plantations that were part of this marsh.

Fly By, Great Blue Heron - Click To Enlarge
Fly By, Great Blue Heron – Click To Enlarge

To get these photographs I stayed still on a dike trail and followed the heron as he flew past me heading up river, and suddenly changed his mind flying over the dike I was on.

In general, turning and panning the bird as he flew by allowed me to get several different angles.