Sunday, March 21, 2010

Crowns Up!

Yellow -crowned Night Heron ready to defend his territory! This was the first time I've ever seen the display -- crown feathers standing straight up and mantle all a-bristle!

Away with you, young upstart!

To the victor go the spoils. The nest is his once again. Now all he needs is a lady to share it with...

I am the most beautiful Anhinga of them all

Mirror, Mirror, in the lake... from Jane Patterson on Vimeo.

Found this male Anhinga in exceptional breeding plumage preening himself at Lake Martin. Notice he picked a spot where he could admire his reflection as he primped :-)


There's red, and then there's RED!

The male Northern Cardinal is an great example of a red bird...there's no doubt. In the spring, in fresh breeding plumage, they seem to perch themselves to reflect the sun and they're quite a sight.

But if you want a *really* red bird...a bird that seems to glow with a fire from within...find a Vermilion Flycatcher! He's not a large bird, but the color makes him pop! This bird is a rare visitor to southeastern Louisiana, so this bird in Braithwaite (across the river from New Orleans) was a treat. He was very cooperative and I wish I'd gotten even closer for a better picture, although quite frankly, it's hard to do him justice.

Welcome back, Little Blue!

Little Blue Herons are arriving in force from their wintering grounds in the tropics. They have spiffed up for breeding season -- look at all the colors! And you thought they were simply blue!

This picture was taken at Lake Martin on 3/14. Though the herons have arrived, they seem to be later with courting and nesting this year. Stay tuned though -- they usually nest in the button bush which is closer to the road, so I may be able to get some good photographs.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Eagle chick is growin' fast!

Update on the Bald Eagle nest from Jane Patterson on Vimeo.

The eagle chick in the Ramah-Maringuoin is growing fast! He's as large as his parents now. He's shown here exercising his wings and lumbering around the nest. The parents seem to be leaving him alone for longer periods of time now -- sometimes watching from the nearby tree-line, but often they can't be seen in the vicinity at all. I think he has about 3 more weeks in the nest, give or take...

(apologies for the shaky video -- at 70x zoom any bit of wind throws the camera around, even on a tripod)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

'Tis the season of the Waxwing!

Cedar Waxwings are common winter visitors in the Baton Rouge area. They arrive in late fall and folks report them now and again. But around March each year, they become more visible, it seems. One of the reasons for this is that they're eating in our yards! Hollies are a standard landscaping plant and, either because the other natural berries are depleted, or because the hollies ripen so late in the season, the waxwings come after the hollies. Hollies are used along the streets and around many buildings in the downtown area, so clouds of waxwings descend. They come in small and large flocks, with their extremely high-pitched call, descend on a bush, strip it of the berries and move on. Sometimes they'll get so full they appear to be "drunk" and just fall out on the ground! Unfortunately, Cedar Waxwing window strikes are very common this time of year as well. If you didn't know better, you might mistake these birds for Cardinals, since they also have a crest. But the fine details -- the black mask, the perfect red accents on the wing, and the yellow-dipped tail, tell you this is another bird altogether!

Eagles in downtown Baton Rouge

There have been several Bald Eagle sightings in downtown Baton Rouge this winter and spring. They are coming in apparently to fish on the lakes at LSU and the Capitol. Have to wonder if there's a nest in the vicinity but no one has reported one to my knowledge.

I ate lunch down by the Capitol Lake this week and this Bald Eagle was perched in a cypress tree across the lake and stayed there for a good long time. (Not great quality due to limited optics, light, and distance, but I think you can tell it's an eagle :-) )

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Hummingbird Jewelry

Installing hummingbird jewelry

She shows off her new bling

She's got some bling of her own!

Tail decor

Buff-bellied jewel

From head to toe

Such beauty deserves close inspection!

Ah, how she shines!

The release!

Buffy basks in the sunshine wearing her new accessory.

Eagles and Other Pretty Things

Eagle Lift-off!

Eagle Education

Ma and Pa Eagle

Bayou Black, Louisiana


Amy Shutt and CC Lockwood

while attending CC's photography workshop at 2010 Eagle Expo

Serious Nutria

Egret Silohuette

Red-Tailed Hawk

Great Blue Heron

Red-Shouldered Hawk nest

Bayou Black, Louisiana

Red-Tailed Hawk


(love the blue eyes!)

Cooper's Hawk

Red Swamp Maple

Bayou scene - South Louisiana - February 2010

Japanese Magnolia - February 2010

Daffodils - February 2010

Layers - Ag field with train bridge