Sunday, February 8, 2009

                                   American Kestrel

This is the smallest falcon native to the North America. It is often seen sitting on wires watching for prey. This bird doesn't have to hunt for prey, as it is another permanent resident of the Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge. At a very young age it imprinted on humans and now doesn't realize that it is a bird. Instead of heading off into the wild, it heads into civilization. 

                                    Barred Owl

Another shot of the barred owl used in the portrait theme. The Cumberland Winter Eagle Festival is held the first Saturday in February. It used to be called the Raptor Festival, but I guess to many people showed up looking for dinosaurs. There are talks, a vendor fair, and staffed outdoor locations to see eagles. And there were eagles to see.


Alas, I didn't photograph any eagles. While they weren't as far away as the moon, they were to far to get good images of. Or they were moving to fast as they flew by. There are several easily visible nests in the area, and there we knowledgeable personnel with scopes set up to view them. And each nest had a pair of birds setting up house. This year there are between seventy and eighty breeding pairs in New Jersey, up from one in 1982. 

                                    Turkey Point

The Natural Lands Trust maintains the Glades Wildlife Refuge in Cumberland County, and this is the view form the bridge at the end of Turkey Point Road. There is also an observation platform here, but it was full when I got there. The last event of the day was an owl watch. This is prime habit for short-eared owls. They roost in the reeds during the day and start to hunt at twilight. There were at least 100 people on the platform, the bridge, and along the road. We saw plenty of northern harriers, a couple of bald eagles, and an american bittern (a rather secretive bird). But we saw no owls. Bummer.


We did get to see a nice sunset. Note the distorted globe of the sun.

                                    Darkness Falls

We waited until we, but not the owls, could see no more. Then we left the owls to hunt in peace.


terricreates said...

Fantastic photos, I enjoyed every one, especially the birds. Great job. The details and colors are perfect. Thanks for sharing.

Ron a.k.a. Danudin said...

Sol is stunning - A Real Star!

jo said...

Lovely photographs, but the birds are my favorite.

mljrbg said...

Fabulous series of photographs.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful photos, especially the Kestrel.

Dogeared said...

I think the sun photo's my favourite, it's beautiful! But you got some great bird photos :D