Lady Kingfisher

The belted kingfisher is just about everyone’s nemesis bird … I don’t think that I’m alone on that one.  As a rule, I think that I’ve seen them along the side of the highway quite often, however, as soon as I would apply the brakes … of it would fly.  Sure, I could sometimes sneak an image of them when they were busy hovering over the water, as they carefully timed their lunge for a fish.  But I wanted some portrait shots of them as well.

Towards the end of 2016, I got my chance.  By using the benefit of photographing from a blind, I was able to spend some time with this beautiful female belted kingfisher.DSC_6465-EditAt first, I was quite thrilled just to see her … closer than I had ever been.  The female possesses that lovely rust colored “necklace” across its chest.  I never realized just how beautiful they were with their markings in their feathers.DSC_6927-EditI marveled at her long pointy beak, which allows her to pluck small fish out of the waters surface.DSC_6842-EditThis gal was quit skilled too.  She used the entire pond area to fish from.  I found it difficult to follow her darting flight to and from her chosen perch.  I often settled for the shot of when she would return … fish hanging from her beak … as she would seem work it a bit to make the consumption task easier.  Such a feisty little gal she was.DSC_6856-EditDSC_6904-EditSometimes she would find other places to rest in between her fishing runs.  I was thankful it was winter, for the bare trees.  Of course, belted kingfishers migrate during the winter, so I guess it would be no other way.DSC_6735-EditBut mostly she had a favorite perch.  I just love the chestnut marking on her.  I never realized that it was so vast.DSC_6654-EditWe observed her hunt quite a bit, but by far my favorite activity of hers was when she would preen … it was all I could do to keep the squealing to myself.  LOLDSC_6587-EditDSC_6987-EditDSC_7096-EditWhat a great time we had spending a few hours with the elusive belted kingfisher.  It was an experience that I won’t soon forget.DSC_7469-EditDSC_7614-Edit

Next up:  More birding from Florida

© 2016  Debbie Tubridy / TNWA Photography

http://www.tnwaphotography.com

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Florida Birding

Florida is known for many things … the sandy beaches, beautiful weather, tropical winds, palm trees … perhaps crowds and traffic too … but also for its birds.  During the winter, there are many birds which migrate through Florida, though there are many year-round residents as well.  Such is the case of the bald eagles.dsc_9526It’s a favorite sighting for me to see the bald eagles (coincidentally the only eagles we have) soaring overhead, building their nests, courting, mating, and raising their young.  Such a symbol instilled into all Americans … representing freedom, power, and respect.dsc_9556dsc_9777Then there’s the substantially smaller American kestrel, which in my opinion, has the personal goal of flying away as soon as you see them or even just slow down the car.  🙂dsc_9754The calling out of the limpkin is loud and pretty much unmistakable.  They are beautiful birds which, like the snail kite, feed on snails, but also on frogs and insects as well.  They are year-round residents of Florida as well.dsc_9789dsc_9992The belted kingfisher is a fabulous, fast, and flighty little bird … who I generally can only capture in the hovering mode.  🙂  Generally speaking, in most of Florida, it migrates here in the winter, so it’s a treat when it’s vacationing.dsc_9820But for me, the story is usually revolving around the eagles.  Here a pair of bald eagles perch near each other and begin calling out together … also an unmistakable sound.dsc_0078dsc_0220As much as I believe that she was asking for it and I was channeling some Barry White music their way, they did not mate while I was cheering them on.  I guess maybe they didn’t want an audience.  🙂dsc_0948It’s not just the mature eagles that pass by, but rather juvenile ones as well.  They have totally a different appearance than the mature ones, most notably the lack of the telltale white head and tail feathers, which they generally don’t possess until 4-5 years old.  There’s something special about them though that intrigues me.  I love their mottled look.dsc_0536dsc_0550One bird that is generally found across the US is the great blue heron.  These birds are large, extremely patient hunters, and very beautiful in flight, courtship, and nest building.  They are year-round residents as well.dsc_0731As the sun goes down, the eagles perched on a sign with the sunset colors in the background, makes a nice photo op.We also have our share of owls.  Here is the great horned owl, which is one of the largest and powerful owls here, but we also have barred, burrowing, and barn as well.  I’m quite an owl fanatic so all owls get photographed.  Have I told you before how obsessed I am with talons?dsc_1155

As the sun begins to set in the distance, it becomes the perfect setting for a silhouette shot of the bald eagle._dsc7988Speaking of colors, this particular night was an explosion of colors … which kept changing as the sun went down.  img_2261As hard as it was to say goodnight on this fabulous shooting location, of course, it was a must eventually.  So yes, Florida is an incredible location, especially in the winter to find birds galore.  Winter is also, my favorite time in Florida.img_2255Next Up:  More Colorado touring

© 2017  TNWA Photography / Debbie Tubridy

http://www.tnwaphotography.com