Posts Tagged ‘Red-winged Blackbird


Red-winged Blackbird on a Cattail



Hitching a Ride



Eagle and Eagle’s Nest


I always go to this nest during Spring/Summer to shoot Eagles and I’m almost always disappointed with the shots because the sun is in the wrong place making the lighting terrible.  But it was fun shooting here, because of the many different types of shots I got in one place.  Like I said yesterday there is an Eagle and an Eagle’s nest in this photo.  The Eagle is on the bare branch of the big tree in the top middle of the photo.


Here’s a closer view so you can see there is an Eagle.


What you’re not seeing is the pesky little Red-winged Blackbird who would not stop pestering this Eagle.  I’m guessing the Eagle may have ate his family, because he would not leave this Eagle alone, even after the Eagle left this perch and flew around.


He made dozens of passes at the Eagle and had the big bird quite annoyed.


Where ever the Eagle went, the Red-winged Blackbird went in hot pursuit.


The Eagle had remained on its perch watching me and my car until after I surprised the doe.  When I got out of the car, after she leaped the fence, to try and find her fawn, the Eagle flew off its perch with the Red-winged Blackbird right behind.  When I looked behind me, I spotted the Eagle’s mate flying straight at me.


Like I said, however, I’ve never been able to master the light in this spot, and so I’m usually disappointed with the Eagle shots from here.


You can see from this picture of the Eagle’s nest the difficulty I’m having, because of how washed out this photo is.


I’ve been photographing this pair of Eagles for four years and they’ve had at least two Eaglets every year.  The nest, which is right in the center of the photo, is very well concealed.  In spite of the difficulty I have with shooting in this spot, I still like to go there because I always see a very diverse amount of wildlife; Whitetail Deer, Bald Eagles, Red-winged blackbirds, swallows, Baltimore Orioles, hawks of varying kinds, Turkey Vultures, and of course the year round residents of this place.


Black Angus beef.  Some of the finest beef America has to offer and these are free ranging cattle.


The owner of this land has left this field as is during the four years I’ve been shooting here because of the Eagle’s nest in the middle of it.  So there you have it, nature and farming in one, and I know the owner would have it no other way.


A Buck’s Curiosity

Judging by the underwhelming support I’m receiving for these deer posts, I’m guessing you folks would like me to finish this story and move on.  I’ve been taking deer pictures for several years now and this buck was one of the first deer whose photos I actually liked.  I guess because I got close enough.  When I got home and pulled the photos up on my computer, I discovered he had a wound on his nose.  I decided it had been from a fight with another buck, but as I said, it bothered me.  The time of year was wrong for bucks to be fighting.  It had been several months since they had lost their antlers.  The wound seemed only a few days or a couple weeks old at the most.


Most of the time this buck is very protective of the females, but this time of year they separate, because it’s time for the does to have their fawns and they don’t need or want the buck around for that.  They each stake out their own nursery area and will not tolerate other deer in that area.  I know where several of these nursery areas are, but that does not guarantee I will find fawns.  If the does don’t want me to see their fawns, I, or anyone else for that matter, won’t see them.


When the buck separates from the females his whole demeanor changes.  He stops acting like the king of the hill, trying to impress the does with how brave he is and becomes…hmmm…in a word – friendly.


I’ve actually walked through fields with him, spending as long as forty-five minutes to an hour taking his photos while we walked along.  He and I have circled each other in the woods, without him running away and he has shown me his family.  He’s very close to one of the females, so I’m guessing she was the first to bear him offspring.  On one occasion I followed him into a field and nearly stepped on a Wild Turkey who was very well hidden in the tall grass.


He’s become like a faithful dog, never very demanding and just seemed glad to hang out with me.  A two hundred pound (91 kilos) dog, capable of going from 0 to 35mph (0 to 55kph) in a heartbeat.  I watched several tourists pass right by him without even noticing him sitting in the field the day I took these photos.  What can I say, city slickers always bringing their city to the forest rather than leaving all that crap behind.

So, where did the scar come from?  The day we walked through this field I stayed on the man-trails because it had only been a couple weeks since I had nearly stepped on the turkey and I did not want to repeat that.  I was also aware that a family of birds was nesting out in the middle of this field, right where he was headed, but when I didn’t follow him, he turned around.

Here are the new photos.  I think I know where he got the scar from.


He began inching forward, even seeming to crouch down like a big cat stalking prey.


I like to think he learned that from me.  But wait, it gets better.


At this point, when I realized an encounter between a very large animal and a male and female animal protecting their young was happening, I just held the button down on the camera.  My camera taking pictures as fast as the processor would allow.


Eye to eye.  Face to face.  One of the Sandhill Cranes walked up to the deer and…


bam!  That had to hurt.


Then…the stare down.


It would take nothing for this two hundred pound deer (91 kilos) to stomp the heck out of this 10 pound (less than 5 kilos) bird.  However, as you can see, the crane ain’t backing down.  Wild animals will die trying to protect their young.  The buck eventually looked away.


Now look at their posture.  The crane holds his head slightly higher than the deer.  He’s won…the encounter has ended.  The deer will move off and the crane’s family has been saved.



Red-winged Blackbird in Flight



Hold on




The Red Wing Sings

Here’s a newly released novel that I’m certain the author won’t mind me borrowing the cover art to describe.  Why, won’t he mind?  Well, because in the lower left-hand corner of the cover art is one of my pictures.  If you follow this link to for the novel you can click on the novel cover and it will give you the acknowledgements (where I’m mentioned) and the first three chapters of the novel.  Enjoy!

You can also find out more about this novel at:


The Red Wing Sings cover

The Red Wing Sings

by Tom Omstead

Will Anderson has chosen to live a simple life until the morning he wakes from a dream to discover that a nuclear nightmare has just begun. A madman has put in motion a witch’s brew of events which catapults the current state of fear in America to new heights and leads to the US armed forces occupying Canada. Cut-off in Ontario, with 3,500 kilometres of occupied territory separating him from his long-time girlfriend Sydney, Anderson embarks on an ‘off-the-grid’ journey to rejoin her in their BC Rockies home. En route, he finds refuge with strangers who become his friends: a French family living in a log cabin in Québec, an eccentric professor, and a native tribe in Ontario holding fast to their traditions and customs. Discovering the lost diary of Sir Isaac Brock, renowned strategist of the War of 1812, Will learns of Brock’s timeless strategies to drive out the invaders and feels compelled to inspire others to join him in active resistance to the occupation. As the story unfolds, some believe everything they hear without question, but others start to question everything they believe.

May 2020

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