Greg Gard: Blog http://www.greggard.com/blog en-us (C) Greg Gard info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) Tue, 28 Jul 2015 00:06:00 GMT Tue, 28 Jul 2015 00:06:00 GMT Common Collared Lizard - Colorado http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/7/common-collared-lizard-colorado Common Collared Lizard (Crotaphytus Collaris) basking on the rock at the Colorado National Monument, Colorado:

Common Collared Lizard sunbathing on a rock at the Colorado National Monument, Colorado wildlife photography Canon 1Dx + 600mm + 2x extenderCommon Collared LizardCommon Collared Lizard - Crotaphytus Collaris Colorado National Monument, Colorado

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The name "collared lizard" comes from the lizard's distinct coloration, which includes bands of black around the neck and shoulders that look like a collar.

Home for these beautiful and increasingly popular creatures is the arid rocky desert land of America, ranging from as far north as Nevada and Colorado, further south into Oklahoma and Texas, and even further as far as eastern New Mexico.  There are many different Species of Collared Lizards, the most widespread and readily available being the "Eastern" or Common Collared Lizard.

They live amongst the rocks and shrubs of the desert, and are incredibly variable in their colour, pattern, and even personality.  Eastern Collared lizards are green/blue in colour, often with yellow markings, the males being brightly coloured and the females invariably duller greyish green/beige/grey.  Both have mottled spots (usually pale cream/white) across their backs and have a pale tummy.

Males are known for their territorial displays of aggression. It is worth noting that in their natural habitat one male will have a large territory, and will protect the females living within his boundaries.  Should another male cross his path he will arch his back, blow out his sides in an effort to make himself look bigger and bob his head rapidly.  This is followed by a series of push-ups. (source: collaredlizards.weebly.com)

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info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) 1Dx CO Photography macro wildlife http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/7/common-collared-lizard-colorado Tue, 28 Jul 2015 00:06:26 GMT
Immature American Oystercatcher - Nickerson Beach, New York http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/7/american-oystercatcher-chick-nickerson-beach-ny American Oystercatcher chick at the Nickerson Beach, Long Island, New York:

American Oystercatcher chick posing at the Nickerson Beach, New York, USA bird photography Canon 1Dx paired with 600mm f/4 IS mark II lens and 1.4x teleconverterImmature American OystercatcherAmerican Oystercatcher - Haematopus palliatus New York, New York

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info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird NY Photography shorebird http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/7/american-oystercatcher-chick-nickerson-beach-ny Wed, 22 Jul 2015 23:52:51 GMT
Black-tailed Prairie Dog - Boulder, Colorado http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/7/black-tailed-prairie-dog-boulder-colorado Black-tailed Prairie Dog eating stem of grass while standing in the field in Boulder, Colorado:

Black-tailed Prairie Dog eating while standing on the grass Colorado mammal photography Canon 1Dx paired with 600mm f/4 IS mark II lens and 1.4x teleconverterBlack-tailed Prairie DogBlack-tailed Prairie Dog - Cynomys ludovicianu Boulder, Colorado

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info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) 1Dx 600mm CO Photography mammal http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/7/black-tailed-prairie-dog-boulder-colorado Tue, 21 Jul 2015 23:13:22 GMT
Fledgling Peregrine Falcon in flight - Northern New Jersey http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/7/fledgling-peregrine-falcon-in-flight-nj Fledgling Peregrine Falcon flying by at the Palisades Cliffs in Bergen County, New Jersey:

Peregrine Falcon fledgling flying by at the Palisades Cliffs in Northern New Jersey  bird photography Canon 1Dx paired with 600mm f/4 IS mark II lens Peregrine Falcon fledglingPeregrine Falcon - Falco peregrinus Northern New Jersey

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My falcon gallery: http://www.greggard.com/falcons]]>
info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird NJ Photography bird of prey http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/7/fledgling-peregrine-falcon-in-flight-nj Sat, 18 Jul 2015 23:48:12 GMT
Black-throated Sparrow - Colorado National Monument http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/7/black-throated-sparrow-colorado Even though, birding wasn't my objective for my recent trip to Colorado state, I was fortunate to squeeze in few hours of photographing local birds :) This allowed me to add some new species to my life list. Like this adult Black-throated Sparrow (Amphispiza bilineata) that I photographed at the Colorado National Monument, Colorado:

Adult Black-throated Sparrow sitting a top of the tree - Colorado National Monument, Colorado bird photography Canon 1Dx paired with 600mm f/4 IS mark II lens and 1.4x teleconverterBlack-throated SparrowBlack-throated Sparrow - Amphispiza bilineata Colorado National Monument, Colorado

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info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird CO Photography songbird http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/7/black-throated-sparrow-colorado Tue, 14 Jul 2015 23:05:34 GMT
Willet in breeding plumage - Cape May, NJ http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/7/willet-in-breeding-plumage-cape-may-nj Adult Willet in breeding colors photographed in Cape May, New Jersey:

Calling Willet in breeding plumage - Cape May, NJ bird photography Canon 1Dx 600mm f/4 1.4x extenderWillet in breeding plumageWillet - Tringa semipalmata Cape May, New Jersey

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info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird NJ Photography shorebird http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/7/willet-in-breeding-plumage-cape-may-nj Sun, 12 Jul 2015 23:56:41 GMT
White-eyed Vireo - New Jersey http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/5/white-eyed-vireo-nj-spring-migration White-eyed Vireo (Vireo griseus) photographed in Cape May, New Jersey during last year's spring migration:

Adult male White-eyed Vireo spring migration Cape May, New Jersey bird photography Canon EOS 1Dx camera and 600mm f/4 IS lens paired with a 1.4x extenderWhite-eyed VireoWhite-eyed Vireo - Vireo griseus - Cape May, New Jersey

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Photograph captured with a Canon EOS 1Dx camera and 600mm f/4 IS lens paired with a 1.4x extender.

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info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird NJ Photography songbird http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/5/white-eyed-vireo-nj-spring-migration Thu, 28 May 2015 00:27:40 GMT
Northern Shoveler drake - New Jersey http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/5/northern-shoveler-drake-new-jersey Close-up of a drake Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata) showing its bill and lamellae:

Adult male Northern Shoveler swimming by at the close distance, Bergen County, New Jersey bird photography Canon 1Dx paired with 600mm f/4 IS mark II lens and 1.4x teleconverterNorthern ShovelerNorthern Shoveler - Anas clypeata - Bergen County, New Jersey

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Lamellae are a fascinating adaptation of the waterfowl bill. These small, comb-like structures along the inside of the bill act like sieves and look like teeth, even though ducks and geese don’t chew food. When ducks are searching for food, nonfood items such as mud and water can be expelled while seeds, bugs, or other food items are retained by the lamellae. The top part of the waterfowl bill is called the upper mandible, and the bottom part, the lower mandible. The upper mandible is affixed to the skull, but the lower mandible can move up and down. The upper and lower mandibles of most dabbling ducks have from 50 to 70 lamellae, but bluewings and greenwings may have 120 to 130 lamellae. Shovelers have about 220 lamellae on their lower mandible and 180 lamellae on their upper mandible

 

Interesting facts (source CornellLab):

- Northern Shoveler pairs are monogamous, and remain together longer than pairs of other dabbling duck species.

- When flushed off the nest, a female Northern Shoveler often defecates on its eggs, apparently to deter predators.

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info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird NJ Photography waterfowl http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/5/northern-shoveler-drake-new-jersey Wed, 20 May 2015 01:29:53 GMT
Camping under the Milky Way - Canyonlands, Utah http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/5/camping-under-the-milky-way-canyonlands-utah I can't wait to take my trusty REI tent for the first camping trip of the season.

So many good memories!

Camping under the stars in the Canyonlands, Utah:

Camping in the wilderness under the Milky Way / starry sky - Canyonlands, UtahCamping under the Milky WayTent under the starry night sky / Milky Way - Canyonlands, Utah

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info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) 5D Photography landscape milky night way http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/5/camping-under-the-milky-way-canyonlands-utah Thu, 14 May 2015 00:47:53 GMT
Semipalmated Plover bathing - Jamaica Bay NWR, New York http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/5/semipalmated-plover-bathing-jamaica-bay-nwr-new-york Semipalmated Plover taking a bath in a shallow water at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Gateway National Recreation Area, New York City:

Semipalmated Plover bathing in a shallow water at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, New York City shorebird photography Canon 1Dx paired with 600mm f/4 IS mark II lens and 1.4x teleconverterSemipalmated PloverSemipalmated Plover - Charadrius semipalmatus Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, New York City

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info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird NY Photography shorebird http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/5/semipalmated-plover-bathing-jamaica-bay-nwr-new-york Tue, 05 May 2015 01:24:16 GMT
Female Northern Harrier straight on - New York http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/5/female-northern-harrier-straight-on-ny Adult female Northern Harrier flying straight on at the Liberty Marsh Liberty Loop NWR, Oil City Road, New Jersey / New York boundary

Female Northern Harrier flying straight on, New York bird photography Canon 1Dx paired with 600mm f/4 IS mark II lens and 1.4x teleconverterNorthern Harrier femaleNorthern Harrier - Circus cyaneus Orange County, New York

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info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird NJ NY Photography bird of prey http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/5/female-northern-harrier-straight-on-ny Sat, 02 May 2015 00:35:51 GMT
Bufflehead drake - Bergen County, NJ http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/4/bufflehead-drake-bergen-county-nj Close-up of a cute adult male Bufflehead swimming on the Oradell Reservoir, Bergen County, New Jersey:

Adult male Bufflehead swimming on the Oradell Reservoir, Bergen County, NJ duck photography Canon EOS 1Dx paired with Canon 600mm f/4 IS mark II lens and 2x extenderBufflehead drakeBufflehead - Bucephala albeola Oradell Reservoir, Bergen County, New Jersey

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Bufflehead are North America’s smallest diving duck; they benefit by using old flicker nests that larger ducks such as goldeneyes and mergansers cannot fit into

Bufflehead dive for aquatic invertebrates, crustaceans, and mollusks. They typically swallow their food while still underwater. Dives last on average about 12 seconds and rarely more than 25 seconds, typically staying on the surface another 12 seconds or so before diving again. Bufflehead forage in open, shallow water over sparse submerged vegetation or over mudflats that would be exposed at low tide. On freshwater they mostly eat damselfly and dragonfly larvae, midge larvae, water boatmen, mayfly larvae, caddisfly larvae, large zooplankton such as amphipods, and snails and clams in winter. They eat some plant matter in fall and winter, mainly seeds of pondweeds and bulrushes. In saltwater, Bufflehead eat shrimp, crabs, amphipods, isopods, snails, mussels, herring eggs, sculpins, and ratfishes. Downy ducklings sometimes dabble at the surface rather than diving.

 

Interesting facts:

- The Bufflehead nests almost exclusively in holes excavated by Northern Flickers and, on occasion, by Pileated Woodpeckers. - Unlike most ducks, the Bufflehead is mostly monogamous, often remaining with the same mate for several years.

- Bufflehead normally live only in North America, but in winter they occasionally show up elsewhere, including Kamchatka, Japan, Greenland, Iceland, the British Isles, Belgium, France, Finland, and Czechoslovakia. In some of these cases, the birds may have escaped from captivity.

- The oldest Bufflehead on record was at least 18 years and 8 months old. It was caught and re-released by a bird bander in New York in 1975. - (source: CornellLab)

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info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird NJ Photography waterfowl http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/4/bufflehead-drake-bergen-county-nj Tue, 28 Apr 2015 00:58:56 GMT
Yellow-crowned Night Heron - New Jersey http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/4/yellow-crowned-night-heron--nj Yellow-crowned Night Heron standing in the middle of the gravel road in a quick draw challenge pose :)

 

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron standing on the gravel road New Jersey bird photography Canon 1Dx paired with 600mm f/4 IS mark II lens and 1.4x teleconverterThe Face OffYellow-crowned Night-Heron - Nyctanassa violate - New Jersey

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info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird NJ Photography wading http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/4/yellow-crowned-night-heron--nj Fri, 24 Apr 2015 00:49:37 GMT
American Avocet in breeding plumage - San Francisco Bay Area, California http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/4/american-avocet-breeding-plumage-san-francisco-california Adult male American Avocet in the breeding plumage standing in the shallow water with an open beak, San Francisco Bay Area, California:

Adult male American Avocet in a breeding plumage standing in the water at the San Francisco Bay Area, California bird photography Canon 1Dx 600mm f/4 + 2x extenderAmerican AvocetAmerican Avocet - Recurvirostra americana San Francisco Bay Area, California

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info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird CA Photography shorebird wading http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/4/american-avocet-breeding-plumage-san-francisco-california Wed, 22 Apr 2015 01:33:06 GMT
Drake Common Merganser - Bergen County, NJ http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/4/male-common-merganser-bergen-county-nj Curious adult male Common Merganser (Mergus merganser) swimming on the Passaic River, Bergen County, New Jersey:

Common Merganser drake swimming towards camera, Bergen County, New Jersey duck photography Canon 7D mark II 600mm IS f/4 + 2x extenderCommon Merganser maleCommon Merganser - Mergus merganser Bergen County, New Jersey

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info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) 600mm 7D Bird II Photography waterfowl http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/4/male-common-merganser-bergen-county-nj Thu, 16 Apr 2015 00:20:48 GMT
Short-billed Dowitcher - Jamaica Bay NWR, NYC http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/4/short-billed-dowitcher-jamaica-bay-nwr-nyc Short-billed Dowitcher - Limnodromus griseus - feeding in a shallow water at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Gateway National Recreation Area, New York City:

Short-billed Dowitcher feeding in a shallow water Jamaica Bay NWR, New York City bird photographyShort-billed Dowitcher - Limnodromus griseusShort-billed Dowitcher - Limnodromus griseus Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Gateway National Recreation Area, New York City

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info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird NY Photography shorebirds http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/4/short-billed-dowitcher-jamaica-bay-nwr-nyc Fri, 10 Apr 2015 23:57:36 GMT
Male Anna's Hummingbird - San Francisco, California http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/4/male-annas-hummingbird-san-francisco-california Adult male Anna's Hummingbird displaying its iridescent emerald feathers and sparkling rose-pink throat in San Francisco, California

Adult male Anna's Hummingbird showing off its emerald pink throat - San Francisco Bay Area, California bird photography Canon 1Dx paired with 600mm f/4 IS mark II lens and 1.4x teleconverterAnna's Hummingbird - Calypte annaAnna's Hummingbird - Calypte anna San Francisco Bay Area, California

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info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird CA Photography http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/4/male-annas-hummingbird-san-francisco-california Thu, 09 Apr 2015 00:04:49 GMT
Peregrine Falcon - State Line Lookout, NJ http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/4/peregrine-falcon-in-flight-state-line-lookout-nj Dorsal view on an adult Peregrine Falcon flying by, with its beak opened, at the State Line Lookout, Palisades Interstate Park, Bergen County, New Jersey:

Adult Peregrine Falcon flying by at the State Line Lookout, Bergen County, New Jersey bird of prey photography over the Hudson River / PalisadesPeregrine FalconPeregrine Falcon - Falco peregrinus - flying by - New Jersey

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info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird NJ Photography bird of prey http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/4/peregrine-falcon-in-flight-state-line-lookout-nj Mon, 06 Apr 2015 00:19:03 GMT
Ring-necked Duck - San Francisco Bay Area, California http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/4/ring-necked-duck-san-francisco-bay-area-california Adult male Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collars) swimming on a lake in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California:

Swimming Ring-necked Duck drake on a green background, San Francisco Bay Area, California waterfowl photography Canon 1Dx paired with 600mm f/4 IS mark II lens and 1.4x teleconverterRing-necked DuckRing-necked Duck drake - Golden Gate Park, San Francisco Bay Area, California

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Cool Facts (source CornellLab):

- This bird’s common name (and its scientific name "collaris," too) refer to the Ring-necked Duck's hard-to-see chestnut collar on its black neck. It’s not a good field mark to use for identifying the bird, but it jumped out to the nineteenth century biologists that described the species using dead specimens.

- During fall migration, Ring-necked Ducks can form immense flocks. Several hundred thousand congregate each fall on certain lakes in Minnesota to feed on wild rice.

- Ring-necked Ducks on their breeding grounds occasionally get attacked by the much larger Common Loon, the Red-necked Grebe, and even the much smaller Pied-billed Grebe.

- The oldest known Ring-necked Duck was 20 years 5 months old. It was banded in 1964 in Louisiana and was shot during hunting season in 1983, in Minnesota.

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info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird CA Photography waterfowl http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/4/ring-necked-duck-san-francisco-bay-area-california Fri, 03 Apr 2015 10:35:00 GMT
Female Canvasback - Cambridge, Maryland http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/3/female-canvasback-cambridge-maryland Female adult Canvasback swimming straight on:

Canvasback hen swimming towards the camera - Cambridge, MD waterfowl photography Canon 1Dx paired with 600mm f/4 IS mark II lens and 1.4x teleconverterCanvasback henCanvasback - Aythya valisineria - adult female

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I photographed this hen on Choptank River in Cambridge, Dorchester County, Maryland

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info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird MD Photography waterfowl http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/3/female-canvasback-cambridge-maryland Wed, 01 Apr 2015 01:09:53 GMT