My first photos of an osprey bird

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San Diego County and its various habitats hosts thousands of bird species, including a large number of birds who migrate here for the winter. I’ve heard we have ospreys here, also known as sea hawks or fish hawks. I’ve even seen some a few times, but never close enough to photograph.

This past weekend, I was lucky enough to spot one on top of a dead tree trunk. It was standing over a pond, turning its head left and right, possibly looking for fish to go catch. It was on a small island in the middle of the pond, so I couldn’t get very close. My camera has a 20x optical zoom, and it was challenging to get sharp pictures without a tripod, but I managed to get a few good ones. I have a Canon Powershot SX280 HS and I have to say Canon makes the best point and shoot cameras, with the option to access manual mode.

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Osprey - fish hawk - sea hawk
Osprey – fish hawk – sea hawk
Osprey sitting in a tree
Osprey sitting in a tree
Close-up on an osprey hawk
Close-up on an osprey hawk
Close-up on an osprey hawk
Close-up on an osprey hawk

The real green heron

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Last week I put a photo post together on a green heron. The problem is, it wasn’t a green heron but a black-crowned night heron. I don’t even know why I thought it was a green heron since I’ve shared photos of a green heron before and it looked nothing like this one. Anyway, I apologize for the mistake but maybe it was a premonition for what happened this past weekend. Green herons in San Diego happen to be in decline, so they’re not that easy to spot. That’s why I was pleasantly surprised to spot one at the San Diego Zoo, hanging around one of the exhibit ponds. Local birds are excellent freeloaders at the zoo: they know where to find free food in all the right places.

So here it is, the REAL green heron. It’s smaller than the black-crowned night heron, probably the size of a raven. Remember you can click on each photo for a larger view. If you like what you see, feel free to subscribe and receive nature photography updates a few times a week.

Green heron in San Diego
Green heron in San Diego
Green heron looking for fish in the water
Green heron looking for fish in the water
Close-up of a green heron in San Diego
Close-up of a green heron in San Diego

Let’s Be Wild Weekly Photo Challenge – Birds of a feather

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I’m participating in LetsBeWild.com’s Wild Weekly Photo Challenge. This week’s Challenge is: Birds of a Feather!

I’ll start with a couple of photos I took yesterday of my neighbor’s house, right under their roof. We have tons of swallows (swifts if you don’t live in the U.S.) in San Diego and it’s nesting season right now. This swallow couple started building their mud nest just this week and they’ve been busy finishing it up to lay their eggs.

Let’s Be Wild Weekly Photo Challenge - Birds of a feather - swallows in their nest
Let’s Be Wild Weekly Photo Challenge – Birds of a feather – swallows in their nest

Here’s another shot of just one of the parents. I can’t wait to see little chicks in there. I love watching the swallows hunting for insects every evening. It’s amazing to see so many of them moving so fast through in the air without flying into one another.

Let’s Be Wild Weekly Photo Challenge - Birds of a feather - a swallow's nest
Let’s Be Wild Weekly Photo Challenge – Birds of a feather – a swallow’s nest

Talking about nests, here’s a dove sitting on its eggs. We have tons of mourning doves here too. I love listening to their soft cooing in the quiet of the morning.

Mourning dove sitting on its nest and eggs
Mourning dove sitting on its nest and eggs

Here’s a West African crane taking a nap. What a cool hairdo!

Let’s Be Wild Weekly Photo Challenge - Birds of a feather - West African crane
Let’s Be Wild Weekly Photo Challenge – Birds of a feather – West African crane

I can’t help but laugh when I look at the next photo, where the duck is acting like he’s a flamingo, although his legs are about two feet too short. I guess he’s the real ugly duckling.

Let’s Be Wild Weekly Photo Challenge - Birds of a feather - Flamingo and duck
Let’s Be Wild Weekly Photo Challenge – Birds of a feather – Flamingo and duck

This great blue heron below was a freeloader at the San Diego Zoo, eyeing the small fish in the crocodile pond. I wonder if the crocodiles were eyeing him too…

Let’s Be Wild Weekly Photo Challenge - Birds of a feather - Blue heron
Let’s Be Wild Weekly Photo Challenge – Birds of a feather – Blue heron

Talking about herons, my last photo is of a green heron, which is a lot smaller than the great blue heron. A good looking little guy I should add.

Let’s Be Wild Weekly Photo Challenge - Birds of a feather - Green heron
Let’s Be Wild Weekly Photo Challenge – Birds of a feather – Green heron

My first photos of Stellar Jay birds

Zazzle online shop If you enjoy my photos and would like to purchase some, I want to thank you! Simply visit my Zazzle online shop and browse the product offerings. If there’s a photo you would like to purchase but don’t see it in my shop, please contact me by using the Contact form at the bottom of my home page and let me know which photos you are interested in purchasing, and in what format / medium.Idyllwild, California, just two hours northeast of San Diego, is a small town known for its vibrant interest in music and the arts. It’s also right in the middle of the San Bernardino forest and is home of many animals and plants.

In my previous post, I featured a lazy squirrel relaxing in the sun. Here I’d like to feature a local bird that is just beautiful: the Stellar Jay. I’ve never seen any Stellar jay birds in San Diego, just blue jays, but there are tons of Stellar Jays in Idyllwild. In the pictures below, they were just standing on a tree right behind my cottage.

Here’s a photo of the female Stellar Jay bird:

Photo of female Stellar Jay bird in Idyllwild, California
Photo of female Stellar Jay bird in Idyllwild, California

Here’s a photo of the male Stellar Jay bird:

Photo of male Stellar Jay bird in Idyllwild, California
Photo of male Stellar Jay bird in Idyllwild, California

They really are beautiful birds but they have quite a feisty character. I saw them attack squirrels and chipmunks without hesitation to keep them away from the area they were feeding on. And they’re pretty loud too!