Allen’s Hummingbird, Adult Male, La Jolla

I came across this gorgeous tiny male Allen's Hummingbird (Selasphorus sasin) while walking the coast trail in La Jolla. I had actually seen this specific bird on one particular shrub repeatedly over several days, and one an overcast morning decided to stop and take its portrait.  Cheers, and thanks for…
January 20, 2022
BirdsSan Diego

Western Grebes and Clark’s Grebes Rushing on Lake Hodges

Western Grebes (Aechmophorus occidentalis) and Clark's Grebes (Aechmophorus clarkii) exhibit some of the most elaborate and impressive courtship behavior found in the animal world, including various vocalizations, swimming movements, the exchange of nesting material ("weed ceremony") and, most notably, the "rushing ceremony".  When grebes rush, they rise entirely out of…
March 9, 2021
BirdsLa JollaPelicans of La JollaSeabird

La Jolla Birds

La Jolla birds as of this morning. I had until 8:45 before catching the end of Sarah's practice so I went down the coast highway. There were some waves in Encinitas but nothing special. Spectacular clearing mist at Torrey Pines at sunrise. In La Jolla the light changed much and…
February 7, 2015

Ring-Billed Gull, Larus Delawarensis, La Jolla

Once in a while I will photograph seagulls. I really should spend more time on them, since they can at times be beautiful in the right light and when in good condition. Unfortunately, gulls often they look like crap, and when I see them out on the water I invariably…
February 6, 2015

Heermann’s Gull, Larus heermanni

The Heermann's Gull (Larus heermanni), photographed when I am out and about in La Jolla and North County. Lately I have been trying to frame seabirds against blue water, or have the ocean horizon in the image to anchor the composition and help tie the animal with the ocean. Cheers,…
February 1, 2015

Ghost Cormorant

A cormorant speeds home to its nest in the La Jolla seacliffs, flying just above the waves. Shot long before sunrise, this image is blurred from the long time the shutter was open.
January 1, 2014

Northern Shoveler, Anas clypeata

I photographed this Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata) Sunday morning at Santee Lakes. The coast near my home was totally socked in with pea soup fog, but once I got inland to Santee Lakes the skies cleared. Santee Lakes has some great duck photography. I am not a bird-centric photographer, but…
October 20, 2009

Northern Cardinal Photo

Northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis). This was the other small songbird that I hoped to see in Arizona. It is very similar to the Pyrrhuloxia (see yesterday's post). In fact the female cardinal looks a lot like the male Pyrrhuloxia at first glance, although the shape of the beak (among other…
June 13, 2009

Pyrrhuloxia Photo

Pyrrhuloxia (Cardinalis sinuatus). This was one of the two birds I was hoping to see in Arizona. In general, we do not see small colorful birds like this in Southern California (except for escaped exotics like parrots). At first I thought Pyrrhuloxia was the latin (scientific) name for this bird,…
June 12, 2009

Roadrunner Photo

Greater roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus). Greater roadrunner.Image ID: 22902Species: Greater roadrunner, Geococcyx californianusLocation: Amado, Arizona, USA Shot at Bill Forbes' Pond at Elephant Head, which I visited and described recently.
June 11, 2009

Gila Woodpecker Photo

A Gila woodpecker (Melanerpes uropygialis). Gila woodpecker, female.Image ID: 22928Species: Gila woodpecker, Melanerpes uropygialisLocation: Amado, Arizona, USA Shot at Bill Forbes' Pond at Elephant Head, which I visited and described recently.
June 10, 2009

Gambel’s Quail Photo

A Gambel's quail (Callipepla gambelii). Bill told me to expect a quail family, complete with lots of chicks, to show up about 9:30. They were right on time each morning! Gambel's quail, male.Image ID: 22925Species: Gambel's quail, Callipepla gambeliiLocation: Amado, Arizona, USA Gambel's quail, chicks.Image ID: 22920Species: Gambel's quail, Callipepla…
June 9, 2009

White-winged Dove Photo

A white-winged dove (Zenaida asiatica). There were lots of these birds around Bill Forbes' pond, making their soft coo-coo sounds. I know some people hunt dove, I wonder if these white-winged doves are on their list and whether they taste any good or not? They sure are pretty but for…
June 4, 2009

Curve-Billed Thrasher Photo

Curve-billed thrasher (Toxostoma curvirostre). Wow, this guy is a THRASHER! Sounds like one serious kick-ass bird. Thrasher? If I was a bird I'd want to be called Thrasher too. Curve-billed thrasherImage ID: 22904Species: Curve-billed thrasher, Toxostoma curvirostreLocation: Amado, Arizona, USA Shot at Bill Forbes' Pond at Elephant Head, which I…
June 3, 2009

House Finch Photo

You might guess, given its name, that the house finch (Carpodacus mexicanus) is a common bird. Indeed, the plants around Bill's place were covered with these colorful, twittering, hyper little birds. The males had great coloration, deep reds and oranges, while the poor females had to settle for brown and…
June 2, 2009

House Sparrow Photo

A little house sparrow (Passer domesticus), male in breeding coloration. House sparrow, breeding male.Image ID: 22945Species: House sparrow, Passer domesticusLocation: Amado, Arizona, USA Shot at Bill Forbes' Pond at Elephant Head, which I visited and described recently.
June 1, 2009

Mexican Jay Photo

I'm posting one last photo from Upper Madera Canyon, this time a photo of a Mexican jay (Aphelocoma ultramarina). The wanna-be tough-guys were everywhere among the trees, spooking all the smaller birds. They would only shut up and settle down when the larger ravens rolled through. They are not as…
May 26, 2009

Acorn Woodpecker Photo

Another photo from Upper Madera Canyon, this time a photo of a male Acorn woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus). The females look very similar, with the exception that on females the white forehead is separated from the red cap by black. Acorn woodpecker, male.Image ID: 22961Species: Acorn woodpecker, Melanerpes formicivorusLocation: Madera Canyon…
May 25, 2009

Black-Headed Grosbeak Photo

This male Black-headed grosbeak (Pheucticus melanocephalus) is one of many that flitted among the trees in upper Madera Canyon. There were females too but their coloration was not as striking. Black-headed grosbeak, male.Image ID: 22911Species: Black-headed grosbeak, Pheucticus melanocephalusLocation: Madera Canyon Recreation Area, Green Valley, Arizona, USA Shot at Bill…
May 23, 2009

Brown-Headed Cowbird Photo

The Brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater) is rather plain, but I really liked this image of one with the golden light of sunset illuminating the bushes behind it. Brown-headed cowbird, male.Image ID: 22916Species: Brown-headed cowbird, Molothrus aterLocation: Amado, Arizona, USA Shot at Bill Forbe's Pond at Elephant Head, which I visited…
May 21, 2009
BirdsBosque del ApacheNew Mexico

Golden Crane, Bosque del Apache

Here is another sandhill crane (Grus canadensis), backlit by a reflected gold sunset, wading through one of the crane pools at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. A sandhill crane, standing in still waters with rich gold sunset light reflected around it. Image ID: 21805 Species: Sandhill crane, Grus canadensis…
December 21, 2008
BirdsBosque del ApacheNew Mexico

Blastoff, Bosque del Apache

Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge is famous for its early morning "blast off", a stunning event in which thousands of snow geese (Chen caerulescens) take to the skies. It does not happen every morning, nor does it happen at the same time on those mornings on which it takes…
December 18, 2008
BirdsBosque del ApacheNew Mexico

Sandhill Cranes, Bosque del Apache

Each evening while we were at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge we positioned ourselves at one of the two northern "crane pools", the ones located on the west side of the road as one approaches the main entrance to the refuge. For 30-40 minutes before and after sunset, sandhill…
December 15, 2008