Gone hunting

01 Aug 2015

Seasons come, seasons go. When it’s stiflingly cold, we long for the warm summer. When summer finally arrives and presents its scorching 30+ degrees, we long for spring or fall. When they come, we want the brisk freezing air again because the roads are so dirty and the cars are wearing the roads like a cloak, it seems. Whatever season we are in, we always want the “other” season to be here. So why don’t we simply stop complaining and enjoy what we have at hand?

Western Screech Owl

Because that’s not in our nature. Humans always want what they don’t have. So here are a few birds that we don’t have right now. You can still enjoy them over a nice cool beer on the patio, no problem there Smile

Not so long ago, the cold winter was upon us. I guess I have blogged enough about that for you to know. It was cold, that you also know. But even in the cold, it is good to go outside and hunt. Hunt for the beauty of Mother Nature. Hunt for the wildlife that desperately tries to survive. Hunt for the wildlife that specifically comes here to enjoy the cold.

Snowy OwlSnowy Owl

Wildlife that comes here to escape the cold, yes, that is possible too. Snowy Owls descend to the south because their food is so deep under the snow and ice that they are no longer capable of getting to it.

Northern Hawk OwlNorthern Hawk Owl

Other owls are here mostly year-round and really don’t care about the temperature. The above Northern Hawk Owl was sitting a bit far away from me. Since I just had my 150-600mm lens back, I thought it would be a breeze to shoot them from that far away. Perhaps I should not overestimate that lens too much in the future Smile .

Pine GrosbeakPine Grosbeak

Then there are the smaller birds, some of them are migratory like the above Pine Grosbeak. They come here to enjoy their winter for the same reasons the Snowy Owls do, namely for the abundance of food.

At the feeders... Evening Grosbeak, Interlake, MBAt the feeders... Evening Grosbeak, Interlake, MB

Other Grosbeaks from the same family and grossly from from the same region, the Evening Grosbeaks. They don’t have their young here, they’re here on holiday to feed. And feed. And then eat some more Smile . Some of them even tried to get away before I took their portrait, can you imagine that?

Pine GrosbeakPine Grosbeak

The male Pine Grosbeak is very visible in the snow. His red feathers make him stand out. While in summer, they prefer the coniferous woods, in winter they can be found even in the city. These birds were all taken with my trusty 28-300mm since at that time I didn’t know if I could trust my 600mm yet. An opportunity like this one doesn’t present itself very often, I didn’t want to come home with only blurry shots of birds I wouldn’t find again for at least a year.

Common RedpollCommon Redpoll

Then there are the Common Redpolls. An irruptive bird that will arrive (as its type tells you) in flocks of dozens of birds together, stay in an area for a while and then disappear again. The Redpoll is a hardy little fella. They come here in the winter when up north it is really too cold for long periods. But for overseeable periods, they simply dig themselves in in the snow and wait until the coldest weather is over.

Bohemian WaxwingBohemian Waxwing

Another irruptive bird is the Bohemian Waxwing. You don’t see them for a long time, but if you happen to have a tree that carries berries over the winter, suddenly they will love your yard. Then clean the tree of its berries or crab apples, then disappear again without saying goodbye.

So here are a few birds from another period, another season. I hope you can enjoy them slurping your ice cold beer in the backyard by +25C… Smile. I know I do.

Until next time…