Bird Photos

Gold Coast
Monday, November 24, 2014
Gold Coast

Everyone enjoys the beautiful sunsets here in Santa Barbara. There are always Sandpipers and Seagulls on the beach seeming to watch the sunset with us. But this particular evening there was a comical crow playing chicken with the waves. Sometimes they seem to forget they can fly, and their comical gait makes for quite a show when they're enjoying the beach.


Andree Clark Sunset Reflections
Sunday, October 26, 2014
Andree Clark Sunset Reflections

The drought has been hard on all of the natives and visitors of California, the Andree Clark Bird Refuge and its visitors have been no exception. But standing there on a beautiful peaceful evening like this enjoying the sunset with the ducks offers a wonderful break from all the cares of the day.


Young Anna
Saturday, September 13, 2014
Young Anna

This is a juvinile Anna's hummingbird who was quite friendly last weekend. You can't tell it from this thoughtful pose, but he was quite active and playful. He would buzz me and move between about five favorite perches. At first I was following him, but before too long it was hard to tell who was in the lead, as I started to walk away to let him get back to enjoying his beautiful purple flowers he landed right in front of me. I think he enjoyed our encouter as much as I did.


Santa Barbara City Lights
Sunday, June 29, 2014
Santa Barbara City Lights

A nice long exposure just after sunset from the end of the breakwater. The tide was pretty high when I took this last week, so I came back from a nice evening walk on the breakwater a little soggy. But it was well worth it. I was not the only one crazy enough to brave the beautiful waves either. There were more than a few people trying to enjoy the view while running from dry spot to dry spot on the breakwater. I actually had fun trying to capture the breaking waves, but they seemed to take on a life of their own. Taunting me only when I turned my back. When I came close to the wall ready to snap my shot quickly then duck, they seemed to know I was stalking them. I actually got all the way out and most of the way back before they caught me off totally off guard. I guess the score is waves 1 - photographer 0, but there will be plenty of warm evenings this summer to give me the opportunity to even up the score.


Athena the Barn Owl
Sunday, June 22, 2014
Athena the Barn Owl

This week I made it over to the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. Although I was especially looking forward to the Butterflies Alive exhibit, on the way to the pavillion we bumped into this beautiful creature. (You may have noticed, she's not a butterfly!) This is Athena, a beautiful barn owl who was rescued after being hit by a car left her with limited eyesight. With limited depth perception she has trouble landing on perches and would not be able to catch food in the wild. Athena and her friends (a group of seven raptors, including Max a great horned owl and several falcons) were adopted by the Santa Barbara Autobon Society when it was determined for various reasons they could not be released back to the wild. You can learn more about them at their website http://www.eyesinthesky.org/ And you can meet them at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History most afternoons (check their online calendar for times... http://www.sbnature.org/ ).


Wing Span
Saturday, December 28, 2013
Wing Span

I once saw a cat with a lens this big. He thought he could fool me by walking on two feet.


Bewicks Wren
Sunday, November 17, 2013
Bewicks Wren

This weekend I took a drive to Santa Ynez for, among other things, a walk around the Santa Ynez Mission. The timing wasn't quite right to get the sun on the building, but there are always beatiful things to see. I know there are hummingbirds that hang out in the gardens, so I went in search of them. Instead I found this beautiful little bird, a Bewick's Wren. He was quite nervous, but he really liked this bush. He was able to dive into it any time I got too close. But then he was curious enough to come back out pretty quickly. Apparently, they Bewick's Wren is moving westward. There are less of them in the east than there used to be. But the numbers have been increasing here, and I'm glad to have them. He was very entertaining and beautiful.


Shoreline Bluff
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Shoreline Bluff

Just after sunset the colors are beautiful this time of year. This is looking east from Shoreline Park, one of the best places in town for a nice evening walk.


Stretch
Sunday, September 8, 2013
Stretch

After a big meal it's nice to go back to your favorite perch, stretch your wings and relax!


Annas
Saturday, August 31, 2013
Annas

This beautiful little creature was watching me quite intently. He seemed as interested in me as I was in him. He was probably just trying to figure out what the beast with the 300mm nose was doing to decide if it was a threat. But over the years I've found a patent slow approach usually puts them at ease. After a few minutes I was able to get close enough to get the shot I was looking for.


Skimming Pelican
Saturday, March 16, 2013
Skimming Pelican

Have you ever seen a Pelican surf? On the land they seem a little comical, but in the air they are amazing. They often fly right along the surface of the water taking advantage of "Ground Effect" an aerodynamic effect giving more lift in close proximity to the surface. It makes sense that they would do this to save energy, but at times they move closer to the breakers, riding the front of the wave just like a surfer. They wait until the last moment to slip gracefully over the top of the wave as it crashes below all gliding without a flap. This evening I caught this guy skimming the surface, but as he slowly flapped he actually ran the tip of his wing through the surface of the water just like a surfer playing in the front of the wave with his or her hand. He wasn't being as playful as some in the breakers but he was very graceful and relaxed. It was a pleasure to watch him and his friends fly off into the sunset.


Shoreline Snowy Egret
Saturday, March 2, 2013
Shoreline Snowy Egret

Time for another local resident! I love all the birds that frequent our shores, but the Egrets have to be some of my favorites. This is a Snowy Egret, fishing at the beach at Shoreline Park. If you ever get the chance to watch them fish it\'s definitely worth the patience to stay still and let them get comfortable with your presence. They like to slowly walk through the shallow water, reaching out with their free leg and large foot to agitate the water, trying to scare any tasty treats out of their hiding places. Their large feet, combined with the fact that they actually walk on their toes giving the impression that their knees bend backward (when in fact it\'s their ankle) makes them look like they are reaching out with a hand just like a person would. This guy does not normally have an upright crest, but those beautiful wispy neck feathers were getting quite blown by the wind. So they have another human-like trait, they can have bad feather days!


Gone Fishin'
Saturday, January 12, 2013
Gone Fishin'

This week was great for fishing, at least if you're a Brown Pelican in the Santa Barbara area. There are almost always pelicans feeding off the coast here, but there must have been some impressive schools of fish off of Butterfly Beach a few nights ago. The two Pelicans on the surface behind the dive bombers just surfaced from their dives and there must have been hundreds of attempts. If you look closely to the left of the photo you can see a nose sticking out of the water of what I believe must be a sea otter. But it's hard to say since I was paying so much attention to the Pelicans I did not actually see him until I looked at the photo.


Annas in Flight
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Annas in Flight

This is another shot of one of the beautiful Anna's hummingbirds I was following around Valley Hills Nursery in Carmel. It looks like a beautiful spring day, but a beautiful nursery can make any day look like a beautiful spring day in California.


Thoughtful Hummer
Saturday, December 15, 2012
Thoughtful Hummer

This little guy was actually as interested in me as I was in him. He flew around a bit and kept coming back to this spot. As I moved closer and closer every few shots, he would tilt his head back and forth seemingly trying to see what I was up to. Even at rest he was graceful and beautiful.


Nectar Sample
Thursday, December 6, 2012
Nectar Sample

This is another shot of my friend from the Carmel Nursery. This is after he got bored with me. He watched me for a while, tilting his head back and forth, and when he decided I was safe or maybe not very interesting, he decided to make the rounds to his favorite flowers. He was so graceful as he hovered from flower to flower.


Taking Flight
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Taking Flight

This weekend between rainstorms, I had the great pleasure of wandering around a beautiful nursery in Carmel California. Valley Hills Nursery is one of my favorite spots to visit when I'm in the area, and not only for thier plants. They always have a very friendly Hummingbird population, this weekend they seemed to be even more cooperative than usual. This beauty was actually almost hamming it up for me, he seemed as curious about me as I was about him.


Santa Barbara View from Stearns Wharf
Friday, October 19, 2012
Santa Barbara View from Stearns Wharf

Recently I had a request for a cover shot that showed a view of Santa Barbara from Stearns Wharf. I have quite a few Stearns Wharf shots but the client was looking for a daytime shot, and most of my wanderings on the Wharf have been in the evening. This was one of the first shots after I raised the camera in this spot, the sea gull was really interested in the camera. I think he was planning on landing on it. He only thought better of it at the very last second.


Great Blue Heron Silhouette
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Great Blue Heron Silhouette

This little lake on the eighteenth hole of the Sandpiper golf course is one of my favorite sunset spots. The birds seem to like it too. This particular evening I was coming back after getting some sunset shots of the rest of the course when I noticed this beautiful Heron resting at the near edge of the island. But try as I might, I could not get a good shot. After he watched me pace back and forth a few times he must have decided I looked too much like a hungry cat. So he decided to go get some dinner of his own. I watched him slowly cruise across the island moving as elegantly and stealthfully as possible hoping he would move into the remaining glow of the setting sun. After a few minutes you can see that my patience was rewarded.


Carmel by the Sea Cypress Sunset
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Carmel by the Sea Cypress Sunset

A veiw of the beach in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. The Cypress trees are beautiful here, especially the ones that have extra character from decades of abuse by the sea. This is actually not far down the coast from the famous lone cypress at Pebble Beach golf course. This guy might not be as famous as his relative up the coast, but he is no less beautiful!


Nursery Hummer Close Up
Monday, January 30, 2012
Nursery Hummer Close Up

A beautiful Anna's Hummingbird at one of my favorite spots, Terra Sol Nursery in Goleta, California. I imagine, living in a nursery for them must be like us living in an all you can eat buffet with all your favorite foods. It seems like a pretty good life, they live in there a lot closer than most hummingbirds because of the abundance of food. And the Nursery's cat is very mellow and never bothers them, but keeps anything else away that might be a predator.


Stearns Wharf Sunset Flight
Monday, January 23, 2012
Stearns Wharf Sunset Flight

I was experimenting with some differnt shots out on Stearns Wharf last week. It was an absolutely beautiful evening!


Hummingbird Sampling Nectar
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Hummingbird Sampling Nectar

Last weekend the Hummingbirds were very busy at the local nurseries. This girl (an Anna's Hummingbird) in particular was spending a lot of time at her favorite flowers. She was not particularly excited to have me there at first. But it was easy to see she really loved these flowers, some kind of South African Lily I believe. So all I had to do was get a step closer each time she came by, and she eventually was pretty comfortable with me.


Hummingbird Lunchtime
Monday, November 21, 2011
Hummingbird Lunchtime

Don't you hate it when someone comes by to take your picture and you don't have time to straighten that pesky feather sticking out of the back of your head? Well, can't be taking time to look in the mirror when you're burning this much energy all the time.