Breakfast Time

Downy Woodpecker on Oak Gall
Willow Creek State Recreation Area, American River Parkway, Folsom, CA; AUG 2020

I am sharing images of birds and of an otter that are enjoying breakfast time. I watched as they worked hard to get their meal.

This year, I have had many opportunities to see animals hunt and eat. I am truly grateful to have had those opportunities and thankful that I only had to pull mine from a cupboard.

Please click on caption to see image at higher resolution.

Acorn Woodpecker
Mississippi Bar, American River Parkway, Orangevale, CA; AUG 2020
Female Belted Kingfisher
Mississippi Bar, American River Parkway, Orangevale, CA; JUL 2020
House Finch on Blue Elderberry
Mississippi Bar, American River Parkway, Orangevale, CA; JUL 2020
Juvenile American Robins
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; JUL 2020
Great Blue Heron with Prey
Mississippi Bar, American River Parkway, Orangevale, CA; JUL 2020
River Otter with Prey
Sailor Bar, American River Parkway, Fair Oaks, CA; AUG 2020

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

Some Local Wildlife

Desert Cottontail Rabbit (Sylvilagus audubonii)
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; JUN 2020

Today, I am sharing some wildlife local to the Sacramento, CA area.

Please click on caption to see image at higher resolution.

Coyote (Canas latrans)
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; MAR 2020
Black-tailed Jackrabbit (Lepus californicus)
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; MAY 2020
Photographic images of some wildlife found in the Sacramento, CA area.
Coyote Pup (Canas latrans)
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; JUN 2020
Black-tailed Mule Deer (Odocoileus hemionus) in Velvet
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; MAY 2020
Coyote Pup (Canas latrans)
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; JUN 2020

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

A Year in the Life of Deer

Black-Tailed Mule Deer (Odocoileus hemionus) Buck;
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; DEC 2015

The Black-tailed Mule Deer (Odocoileus hemionus) are found on the western Great Plains, the Rocky Mountains, Southwestern United States and the West Coast of North America.

Deer are ungulates, meaning they are hooved. They are also ruminants which means they eat and send their food to the rumen; one of its stomachs. Later, it regurgitates the cud (food) from its rumen, chews it and sends it to its other stomach to digest. Male deer, like moose and elk, have antlers. Antlers are made of bone which are shed and regrown each year. (Animals like sheep, goats, cattle, and antelope have horns. Horns are made of bone covered with keratin which are permanent; not shed and regrown.) The prongs on an antler are referred to as points; a 6 point buck has 3 prongs on each antler.

Male deer are called bucks, female deer are called doe and the babies are called fawns. During most of the year, deer segregate themselves by sex; bucks in groups and doe, along with their young, in separate groups.

Each year, deer go through a reproductive cycle that begins with the “rut”[i]. The rut is the time when male deer fight for the right to breed with a harem of females and concludes with impregnated doe. As the rut commences and bucks have regrown their antlers, the bucks attempt to form a harem. One buck may challenge another for the right to breed with a harem. Bucks will lock antlers and push and fight until one is pushed backwards and loses the challenge. It is a dangerous time for bucks; they can become permanently injured. The ultimate winner breeds with the females as they enter estrus. Gestation is about 200 days.

In mid-to-late winter, the bucks drop their antlers. When the antlers regrow, they are covered with a furry skin commonly called velvet. When the antlers have completed their growth, the velvet dries and causes irritation for the bucks. The bucks rub their antlers against a tree to remove the velvet.

About the time autumn begins, when the fawns have grown and the bucks’ antlers have regrown, the rut begins again.

Note: Please click on caption to see images at higher resolution.

Black-Tailed Mule Deer Doe;
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; FEB 2019
Pregnant Black-tailed Mule Deer;
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; JUN 2019
Black-tailed Mule Deer Fawn;
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; JUL 2019
Black-tailed Mule Deer Nursing Her Fawn;
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; JUN 2019
Black-tailed Mule Deer Buck After Losing Antlers;
Buck was limping. Other bucks still had antlers. It is possible antlers were lost in combat.
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; MAR 2019


Black-tailed Mule Deer Buck with Antlers in Velvet;
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; JUN 2019
Black-tailed Mule Deer Buck; Antlers with Velvet Partially Rubbed-off;
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; SEP 2019
Bucks With Antlers Grown and Polished; the Year Begins Anew ;
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; OCT 2019

These and other images are available to purchase on my website: www.earthwatcher.us or by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

[1] Information obtained from: https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Regions/6/Deer/Natural-History

An Early Morning at Folsom Lake

Early Morning at Folsom Lake; Doton’s Point,
Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, Folsom, CA; MAR 2019

This past week, we had a morning where the rain clouds were breaking up in the early morning. I chose that day to explore Doton’s Point trail at Folsom Lake Recreation Area; a trail that was new to me. The grasses and other plants were displaying their spring green. The early morning sun helped saturate the colors. Spring was at its finest. I went with the expectation that I might see some different birds. Instead, I discovered that it was time for some landscapes.

The beautiful rocks in this image are granite. The area around this portion of Folsom Lake is called Granite Bay because of the abundance of granite in the area. Like the Sierra Nevada mountains, this area sets on a pluton, a large blob of magma that cooled slowly underground to form granite then was uplifted and exposed.

Please click on caption to see image at higher resolution.

Early Morning at Folsom Lake – P2;
Doton’s Point, Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, Folsom, CA; MAR 2019

These and other images are available to purchase on my website, www.earthwatcher.us or by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

Standoff at Sacramento NWR

Peregine Falcon
Peregrine Falcon; The falcon clings to the dead female mallard while plucking its feathers.

No, not government agents vs. protestors. On Jan 7th, Donna and I visited the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge near Willows, CA.  The highlight of the trip was a standoff between a peregrine falcon, a gull, and a Turkey Vulture. The falcon was standing guard over a female mallard. It was not clear if he brought it down himself or found it. Regardless, he was guarding his prize. The first interloper was the turkey vulture. He made some strafing runs at the falcon and was able to drive him off for a short period of time, but the falcon eventually prevailed. The second interloper was a gull, possibly a herring gull. It was a lot more reticent. It mostly stood watch while the falcon ate. But, he did try one attack. The falcon would have nothing of it and expressed his displeasure. In the end, the falcon consumed his meal while the vulture and gull looked on. We left before any battle over the leftovers ensued. There wasn’t much leftover to fight about.

Regards,

Larry

Note: Click on caption to see image in larger size.

Peregine Falcon, Turkey Vulture
Peregrine Falcon, Turkey Vulture; The falcon protects his prey from the turkey vulture.

Peregine Falcon, Turkey Vulture
Peregrine Falcon, Turkey Vulture;Vulture attacks, falcon abandons prey amidst flying feathers.

Peregine Falcon, Herring Gull
Peregrine Falcon, Herring Gull;  The gull arrives and begins apprising the situation. The falcon gives a threatening stare.

Peregine Falcon, Herring Gull
Peregrine Falcon, Herring Gull;  The gull gives off a war cry and begins a futile try that fails.

Peregine Falcon, Herring Gull
Peregrine Falcon, Herring Gull; Stay away; this is mine.

Peregrine Falcon, Herring Gull, Turkey, Vulture
Peregrine Falcon, Herring Gull, Turkey Vulture; The standoff ended with the falcon consuming his meal while the others waited, hoping for scraps.

Note: These and other images are available for purchase at www.earthwatcher.us or by contacting larry@earthwatcher.us.

Birds and Flying Bugs

Image of an Eaglet - Bald Eagle Chick, American River Parkway, Folsom, CA, MAY 2017
Bald Eagle Eaglet

I want to share a few images from some recent walks around the American River Parkway near Folsom, CA. I’ve also included one from Oak Alley Plantation near New Orleans. Nature provides some beautiful creatures for us to appreciate. I hope you enjoy these few.

Regards,

Larry

Note: Click on caption to see image at larger size.

Image of a Female Eastern or Common Pondhawk Dragonfly, Oak Alley Plantation, LA, APR 2017
Eastern or Common Pondhawk

Image of a California Quail, American River Parkway, Folsom, CA, JUN 2017
California Quail

Image of a Northern Mockingbird, American River Parkway, Folsom, CA, JUN 2017
Northern Mockingbird

Image of an Ash-throated Flycatcher, American River Parkway, FOlsom, CA, JUN 2017
Ash-throated Flycatcher

Image of a Spicebush Swallowtail butterfly, American River Parkway, Folsom, CA, JUN 2017
Spicebush Swallowtail

Image of an Eaglet - Bald Eagle Chick, American River Parkway, Folsom, CA, MAY 2017
Bald Eagle Eaglet

IMage of a Spanish Swallowtailbutterfly, American River Parkway, Folsom, CA, JUN 2017
Spanish Swallowtail

Image of a Spanish Swallowtail butterfly, American River Parkway, Folsom, CA, JUN 2017
Spanish Swallowtail

Image of a pair of Tree Swallows, American River Parkway, FOlsom, CA, JUN 2017
Tree Swallows

Image of a California Towhee, American River Parkway, Folsom, CA, JUN 2017
California Towhee

 

Note: These and other images are available for purchase on my website: www.earthwatcher.us or by contacting larry@earthwatcher.us

Winter Wildlife

RIver Otter - Perspective 4
River Otter – Perspective 4

It’s fun to be in Northern California in the winter.  We are part of the Pacific Flyway, so we get many birds, primarily waterfowl, who winter over.  But even in my backyard I see Oregon Juncos and a species of Goldfinch that spends its summers in the Sierra foothills.  Though my passion is landscapes, photographing this wildlife is fun because watching them go about their business of living is fun.

I’ve been out twice in the last two weeks photographing and enjoying the wildlife.  On one trip, I went to 2 of the wildlife refuges that have been built along the flyway.  Some years ago, land was set aside as a safe haven for migrating waterfowl.  Levees were built and fields flooded so they could live and eat.  This helped farmers by keeping the birds off their cropland.  A win-win situation, enjoyed by birders, photographers and duck hunters.  On the day I visited the refuges, raptors became my focus.  They benefit from the migrating waterfowl as well.

This past week, I got to spend an hour watching a River Otter and an Egret.  They appeared to be helping each other feed.  Otters always seem to be playing even as they feed.

I hope you enjoy these images.

Regards

Larry

Note: Click on image to view at larger size

Image of Juvenille Black Crowned Night Heron
Juvenile Black Crowned Night Heron

Image of Red Shouldered Hawk
Red Shouldered Hawk

Image of River Otter - Perspective 1
River Otter – Perspective 1

Snow Geese
Snow Geese

Image of River Otter and Egret
River Otter and Egret

Image of Peregrine Falcon
Peregrine Falcon

These and other images are available to view and purchase at my website: www.earthwatcher.us or by contacting larry@earthwatcher.us.

Wild Irises

Peaceful Morning on the American RIver
Peaceful Morning on the American River. Wm Pond Park, American River Parkway, Sacramento, CA, APR 2015 (Click on image to enlarge)

Wm Pond Park, American River Parkway, Sacramento, CA, APR 2015
Irises on the Bank. Wm Pond Park, American River Parkway, Sacramento, CA, APR 2015 (Click on image to enlarge)

As often as I have walked along the banks of the American River, at William Pond Park, I never realized that much of the vegetation I saw was wild irises.  But, imagine if you will, clumps of the brilliant yellow blossoms outlining both sides of the shore for perhaps a half mile or so, complimenting the lupine and other wildflowers.    Though there are some wild irises that are native to northern California, I haven’t been able to find if this particular species is or is not and even if it is, whether they are native to the banks of the American River.  Regardless, they provide a real treat.

Regards

Larry

These and other images are available at my website http://www.earthwatcher.us or by contacting me at larry@earthwatcher.us