Today I am sharing some birds we find foraging around the shore of our lakes, ponds, rivers, and sloughs. Some of these birds can be found here in the Sacramento region year-round but most are much more prevalent from late autumn to early spring.
Please click on caption to see image at higher resolution.
Here are a few raptors, birds of prey, I’ve photographed over the past year.
The Red-shouldered and Red-tailed Hawks are members of the Buteo family. They forage in more open areas and prefer small rodents. The Goshawk and Sharp-shinned Hawks are members of the Acipiter family. They are built to forage in in forested areas and prefer birds. The Merlin is a small falcon. Though they have there preferences, they’ll eat whatever they can catch.
Note: Please click on caption to see these images at higher resolution.
I am not typically a bird photographer. When I do shoot birds, I try to take them in the context of their environment, trying to answer the questions: this is who I am and this is how I survive. Living in the Sacramento, CA area affords me the opportunity to shoot migrating winter birds but, I find I really like to go back to the usual suspects – herons, egrets, Canada geese and mallards, hawks. Learning about them, observing their behavior gives me a lot of pleasure.
The last week or so, I’ve had the added pleasure of trying out my new Fujinon 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 lens and 1.4X Tele-converter. Its a great lens but its been more than a year since I shot with a long lens so, I made a few depth of field mistakes. Oh well, I guess I just need to go out and shoot more.
Anyway, here are a few images I shot. I hope you enjoy them.
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.