Gregory Gard: Blog http://www.greggard.com/blog en-us (C) Gregory Gard info@greggard.com (Gregory Gard) Sun, 24 Jul 2016 23:49:00 GMT Sun, 24 Jul 2016 23:49:00 GMT Nickerson Beach - The Ultimate Guide http://www.greggard.com/blog/2016/7/nickerson-beach-ny-guide Full disclosure: This post contains references to products from Amazon.com. I may receive compensation when you click on links to those products

Version 0.1 - update 7/24/2016 - work still in progress - better late than never :)

Intro:

Many of us heard about some famous birding/photography location but never could make a trip there. Either we couldn’t find enough information about it or we couldn’t spend hundreds/thousands of dollars on a photography workshop. Often, these places are in a different state and many of us cannot afford to travel to unknown location just to "waste" valuable time and money on research of the location and coming back empty handed. One of these locations happens to be 50 miles from me and I made it a tradition to visit it several times during summer months.  

After receiving numerous requests over last couple of years, from all over the world (yes, I had people contacting me from across the ocean as well :) ), on when, where and how to shoot at the Nickerson Beach, I decided to finally share my thoughts on this location. For past 6 months, I debated if I should write. I know that some photographers will be against it. Truth to be told, Nickerson Beach is a very well known place to photograph nesting shorebirds and it is not a secret place that one may think it is. It is a beach that sees heavy foot traffic every day during summer, birds are well protected. Also, nesting areas are frequented by volunteers. Knowing that there are many people around at all times, I believe that there will be no harm nor foul play because of this blog post. Actually, I hope that it will bring some education and respect for birds.  

The main goal of this blog post is to create the Best Guide to photographing shorebirds at Nickerson Beach! It will be run in an “open source” style, meaning, everyone can contribute to it! I’ll be glad to hear what you saw on your last visit there. I will be updating it after my each visit, so come back often to see what we all saw.

Contrary to all other guides/ebooks that you can buy online, I won’t be charging any fee for this information. The common price for a 10-15 page ebook where 70% of the content are just photographs, is at least $50! Most of them are written several years ago and are not being updated! Believe me, I was burnt multiple times by purchasing an ebook from well known photographers only to find out that the information in their guide was from 5-8 years ago and no longer valid! And since this was an ebook/electronic file, there were no returns!

My guide is completely free and is/will be updated frequently. At least 5 times per season! Here you will find the latest news, on what is seen and what is happening at the Nickerson Beach. I can make this happen only with your help. Please come back often and leave your observations in the comments section. If you find this information useful, and would like to help me create more content like this, you can shop on Amazon via a special link and I will receive a small percentage of your purchase. You will not pay more than regular price. I would love to see you to make it a habit of always shopping on Amazon via my affiliate link: http://amzn.to/2alLCx2​ It doesn’t matter what you buy and how much you spend. It all counts! Additionally, 20% of the proceeding from this link, I will be donating to Conserve Wildlife Foundation at the end of each year.

 

 

Black Skimmers family at the Nickerson Beach, Long Island, New York bird photography - ultimate guide Black Skimmer familyAdult Black Skimmer - Rynchops niger - feeding a fish to a chick - Nickerson Beach, Long Island, New York Black Skimmer family at the Nickerson Beach, New York

 

 

Here we go. Let the fun begin!

 

Location:

Nickerson Beach is located in Lido Beach, Long Island, New York. (Google Maps: http://bit.ly/29GJyic ) It is one of the most popular beaches on the East Coast to photograph large breeding colonies of Black Skimmers and Common Terns. Additionally, you can find breeding American Oystercatchers, Piping Plovers and Least Terns. In early Spring, and late Summer going to an early Fall, you can find other shorebirds along the beach: Red Knots, Semipalmated Plovers, Ruddy Turnstones, Willets just to name a few. 

For breeding colonies, you have excellent opportunity to photograph these birds engaging in courtship, breeding, feeding young, flight etc.

 

When to photograph specific species:

Even though each season may start sooner or later when compared to the previous one year, here are some average times on when to photograph particular species:

In early May, you can find most American Oystercatchers and Piping Plovers mating. In early June, chicks of these birds are starting to hatch and young birds are exploring the beach. This is the best time to find adult birds feeding their chicks. June is the month when the biggest colony on the beach, Common Terns, start their courtship. Most of young terns start to hatch in early July. July is also the month when Black Skimmers are mating and their chicks are starting to show up in an early August.

Keep in mind that these times are for the majority of the species population, meaning, some birds of the same species will have young before or after the majority of the colony. For example, in mid June you would expect to find 3 weeks old oystercatcher chicks, but there is a possibility of finding an oystercatcher nest still with eggs. In mid July of 2016, I was surprised to find 3 families of Black Skimmers already with chicks! Definitely the earliest hatching of skimmers for me. But majority of Black Skimmers are still mating... 

 

 

Adult Adult American Oystercatcher feeding crab to a chick - Nickerson Beach, NY bird photography guideAdult American Oystercatcher feeding a chickAmerican Oystercatcher adult feeding a chick (Haematopus bachmani) - Nickerson Beach, Long Island, New York, USA ​Adult American Oystercatcher feeding a juvenile

 

The Beef:

Even though there is a $30 admission fee to the beach, you don’t have to pay it if you arrive before 8AM or after 5PM. On some days, they collect fees until 6PM. 

To get the most pleasing photograph of birds is to photograph them at their eye level, with the Sun still low on the sky and behind you. To achieve this it is best to arrive early. Make a plan to be on the parking lot right before the sunrise. This will give you time to use a restroom, prepare your gear and get to the beach. The path to the main colony (area A on the map) is located right next to the restroom. The walk from the parking lot shouldn’t take you more than 15 minutes to get to the area were the birds are. Most of the walking is on the sand. It may be strenuous for some, so please plan accordingly. Arriving early will allow you to get familiar with a place and to find the best spot along the roped off area. Nesting areas are roped off to protect the birds. Please be sure to respect these boundaries and do not go beyond these demarcations. This is a very special place that we are privileged to be able to visit and photograph, and some of these birds are threatened/endangered. If authorities see disturbance at the nest site, they move the ropes further away from the birds “punishing” us for bad behavior. If you stay low to the ground, and be quiet, most likely birds will get accustomed to you quickly and will get closer. This is the key to get that perfect photograph! Let the bird to know that you are no harm and it will get comfortable. How comfortable? On many occasions I had a couple days old Common Tern chick walked up to me, and snuggled to my leg :) It is also possible that you will find some birds outside of the ropes. Please give it a space. Do not approach to close and do not run! It is always best to approach any wildlife slowly, very low to the ground. If you see any photographers already laying down and photographing birds, please do not walk up to them. Approach slowly, make an eye contact and wait for their permission to approach. You never know how much time they spent to get to this position and yo can ruin their work in a second. 

 

 

Nickerson Beach mapWhere to photograph nesting bird colonies

 

 

Looking at the included map:

- Area A hosts the biggest colony of Common Terns and Black Skimmers. This is where the most action is happening and this is where the most photographers are photographing

- Area B here you will find less tern and skimmer families but birds may be a little bit closer. On my very first visit to Nickerson Beach this is where most of the birds were. In the last couple of years, most of the birds are in the Area A. I’m not sure how it was in the past. On the West side of Area B you may find Piping Plovers and Least Terns. 

- Between the Area A and Area B often you will find at least one American Oystercatcher nest. Right on the center of the beach :) Nest of course is roped off.

- Walking along the shore from Area A to Area B and further, you will find American Oystercatchers, Piping Plover and peeps feeding. Also, there will be skimmers and terns diving for fish. If the foot traffic is not heavy, some of the older chicks will also come to the water edge. Especially on hot days they often leave the roped off areas to cool of in the wet sand. 

- Each season is a little bit different. Winter storms carve the beach leaving different size of pools for the summer. In 2015 there was a large tidal pool along the east side of the Area B. This year, 2016, early June there was a pool along the south side of the same area. These shallow pools allow birds to take a bath and can be very productive for photography. 

- Walking along the shore pass the Area B, you will find plovers, ruddy turnstones, red knots etc. 

- At the parking lot, check on the small pond located next to the dog field. Often, I found there some skimmers, terns and gulls bathing. Also, in 2014, there were 3 Black-bellied Whistling Ducks!

- Also if you are there day or right after the heavy rain, look for puddles on the beach or parking lot. Birds love to bath in them!

 

Colors:

In pink color I marked Restroom and Dog field

Green lines show the trails to the beach and the approximate location of the roped off area.

Red line shows the best location for sunrise shots (your back to the Sun) to photograph the colony

Yellow less favorable location during sunrise and sunset to photograph the colony

Orange shows the best location for sunset shots to photograph the colony

 

 

What to bring and what to wear:

You should wear shoes and clothes suitable for walking on a sandy beach. Best photographs are taken at the bird’s eye level. This means that you will spending most of the time on your knees/belly. Convertible pants and long sleeve shirts work best. Don’t forget your hat, sunglasses and water! Any lens above 300mm is good at this location. In some situations, shorter lens is also suitable for flight shots and landscapes, especially during sunrise and sunset. If you shoot 

 

By not buying this guide ($50), by not paying admission fee ($30), by avoiding you on tolls (at least $8) I saved you at $88. If you come more than once, you will save a lot on just not paying admission fee. I hope you appreciate these savings :) In return, I would like you to share this post with everyone that may be interested. Share it on any social media you use: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, anywhere you like. Also, I would like you to make it a habit of purchasing any items on Amazon via my affiliate link: http://amzn.to/2alLCx2​. Just save it in your bookmarks/favorites and shop away :) Remember, that the cost for you is the same. I will receive a small percentage of your purchase. Not only you will help me to create more helpful content but also you will help me to make a bigger donation to Conserve Wildlife Foundation at the end of this year! Just start your search here:

 

 

 

 

Update 7/16/2016

 

Passed the Area B, I found 4 molting adult Red Knots feeding along the shore with ~100 or so peeps (Semipalmated Sandpipers) and at least 20 juvenile Piping Plover with adults. Also, to my surprise, I found at least 3 Black Skimmer families with chicks already hatched! The earliest for me! They were very close to the ropes along the south edge of Area B. Ropes along Area A seem to be pulled further away from the nesting birds…

 

Update 7/24/2016

 

It turns out that this year's nesting seems to be about 2 weeks earlier than in previous years. There must be some kind of formula to this, I just can't figured it out yet. DO you have any thoughts? Most of Common Terns chicks are already grown up and flying. Area A is "flooded" with Black Skimmer chicks. Most of them already 1 week old! Somehow, I missed them last week. My wife photographed mating Black Skimmers this morning, so there will be some late chicks this season for sure ;) She also saw at least 5 Black Skimmer families with eggs... Sweet, there will become nice variety of chicks in the next couple of weeks...

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info@greggard.com (Gregory Gard) Bird NY Photography guide nest shorebirds tips http://www.greggard.com/blog/2016/7/nickerson-beach-ny-guide Mon, 18 Jul 2016 01:15:30 GMT
Red-tailed Hawk's nest - week 5 http://www.greggard.com/blog/2016/7/red-tailed-hawks-nest-week-5 Here is a final video from the Red-tailed Hawk nest I was able to document:

 

At the time of this recording, young Red-tailed Hawks were about 5-6 weeks old. First half shows grown-up chicks barely fitting in the nest. Second half shows young hawk finally leaving the nest and resting on a nearby tree. At this point you will see two photographs showing an underwing and back feathers. Last clip shows fledgling Red-tailed Hawk eating a chipmunk brought in by an adult bird.

 

Young Red-tailed Hawk on the first day out of the nest - NJ bird of prey photography Canon 1DX + 600mm + 2xRed-tailed Hawk fledglingNew Jersey

Video and photographs were taken with a Canon 1Dx camera paired with a Canon 600mm f/4 IS lens with a 2x extender at 1200mm 

If you are interested in seeing the progress of this nest, you can find my previous videos on YouTube:

- week 1 - youtu.be/AgnNa-FGtcI

- week 2 - youtu.be/dy8npJHJPqg

- week 3 - youtu.be/lSRS13aHjCo

- week 4 - youtu.be/vJuSCbXfcoA

- week 5 - youtu.be/fNHNW2DUYJo

 

Some books that might help you with hawkwatching:

If you are interested in creating your own photography website, look no further. Zenfolio is a great place to host your website. You can try it out for free for 14 days and if you like it, make sure to use it my referral / discount code: YRF-6XN-3BX during checkout to receive a discount on your annual subscription.

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info@greggard.com (Gregory Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird NJ Photography bird of prey nest http://www.greggard.com/blog/2016/7/red-tailed-hawks-nest-week-5 Sun, 10 Jul 2016 01:20:11 GMT
Barred Owlet http://www.greggard.com/blog/2016/6/barred-owlet Soaked Barred Owl (Strix varia) fledgling drying off its feathers after a rainstorm:

Wet Barred Owlet perched low on a branch right after taking its first flight out of the nest - New Jersey bird of prey photography Canon 1DX II + 600mm IS f/4 IIBarred Owl chickSoaked young Barred Owl (Strix varia) Northeastern USA

- for more detailed view and EXIF data, please click on the image -

  

Most likely, first thing you noticed, were this owlet's eyes. What you see is not caused by a camera flash. This is simply natural light reflecting in a special surface, right behind the retina. It is called tapetum lucidum and helps animals see better in the dark. Here you can find a little bit more information about it: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=96414364

 

If you are interested in seeing more of my owl photography, please visit my gallery: greggard.com/owls 

 

Here are some books that I found useful to help me find owls:

 

If you are interested in creating your own photography website, look no further. Zenfolio is a great place to host your website. You can try it out for free for 14 days and if you like it, make sure to use it my referral / discount code: YRF-6XN-3BX during checkout to receive a discount on your annual subscription.]]>
info@greggard.com (Gregory Gard) 1DX II 600mm Bird Photography bird of prey owl young http://www.greggard.com/blog/2016/6/barred-owlet Sun, 05 Jun 2016 21:02:15 GMT
Black-necked Stilt calling - Bay Area, CA http://www.greggard.com/blog/2016/5/black-necked-stilt-calling-bay-area-ca Vocalizing adult female Black-necked Stilt at Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge:

Vocalizing adult female Black-necked Stillt while wading in a shallow water of the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, California - Canon 1DX mark II + 600mm f/4 IS mark II + 1.4x extender Female Black-necked Stilt callingVocalizing adult female Black-necked Stillt (Himantopus mexicanus) San Francisco, Bay Area, California

- for more detailed view and EXIF data, please click on the image -

This past Memorial Day weekend, I visited Don Edwards San Francisco Bay NWR for the first time. I had some much fun photographing wading birds there, that I can't wait to go back. Only, if it was just a little bit closer to New Jersey :)

Check back soon, I will be posting more photographs from this wonderful place in near future.
 

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info@greggard.com (Gregory Gard) 1DX II 600mm Bird CA Photography wading http://www.greggard.com/blog/2016/5/black-necked-stilt-calling-bay-area-ca Wed, 01 Jun 2016 01:45:59 GMT
Bald Eagle's Nest http://www.greggard.com/blog/2016/5/bald-eagle-nest Adult Bald Eagle sitting in the nest with a young eaglet:

Adult Bald Eagle sitting in the nest with a young eaglet - New York bird of prey photography - Canon 5DsR + 600mm f/4 IS + 2x teleconverterBald Eagle nestBald Eagle nest - Haliaeetus leucocephalus

- for more detailed view and EXIF data, please click on the image -

If you are interested in seeing more of my Bald Eagle photography, please visit my gallery: http://www.greggard.com/bald-eagle

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info@greggard.com (Gregory Gard) 5DsR 600mm Bird Photography bird of prey http://www.greggard.com/blog/2016/5/bald-eagle-nest Tue, 17 May 2016 01:42:36 GMT
Wood Duck drake - New Jersey http://www.greggard.com/blog/2016/4/wood-duck-drake-nj Adult male Wood Duck peacefully resting on a grass showing its beautiful iridescent feathers on his head:

Drake Wood Duck resting on grass and looking straight into a camera - NJ waterfowl photography Canon 5DsR + 600mm f/4 IS II + 1.4x extenderWood Duck drakeAdult male Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) resting on a grass - Bergen County, New Jersey

- for more detailed view and EXIF data, please click on the image -

If you are interested in seeing more of my waterfowl photography, please visit my gallery: www.greggard.com/ducks​

And here are some books that help me with my bird photography:

 

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info@greggard.com (Gregory Gard) 5DsR 600mm Bird NJ Photography waterfowl http://www.greggard.com/blog/2016/4/wood-duck-drake-nj Sun, 24 Apr 2016 01:11:37 GMT
Red-tailed Hawk's nest - week 4 http://www.greggard.com/blog/2016/4/red-tailed-hawk-nest-nj At the time of this recording, young Red-tailed Hawks were about 4-5 weeks old. First half of the video shows an adult bringing just caught young bird to the nest, most likely European Starling chick. Second half shows young hawks feeding on the leftovers left in the nest.

 

And here you can see one of the two young hawks in the nest, stretching its wings fully exposing its underwing feathers:

Young Red-tailed Hawk stretching its wings fully showing just grown feathers - New Jersey bird of prey nestYoung Red-tailed Hawk stretching its wings at the nestJuvenile Red-tailed Hawk standing in the nest - New Jersey

 for more detailed view and EXIF data, please click on the image -

 

Video and photographs were taken with a Canon 1Dx camera paired with a Canon 600mm f/4 IS lens with a 2x extender at 1200mm 

If you are interested in seeing the progress of this nest, you can find my previous videos on YouTube:

- week 1 - youtu.be/AgnNa-FGtcI

- week 2 - youtu.be/dy8npJHJPqg

- week 3 - youtu.be/lSRS13aHjCo

 

Some books that might help you with hawkwatching:

If you are interested in creating your own photography website, look no further. Zenfolio is a great place to host your website. You can try it out for free for 14 days and if you like it, make sure to use it my referral / discount code: YRF-6XN-3BX during checkout to receive a discount on your annual subscription.

]]>
info@greggard.com (Gregory Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird NJ Photography bird of prey nest http://www.greggard.com/blog/2016/4/red-tailed-hawk-nest-nj Wed, 20 Apr 2016 01:34:55 GMT
Sandwich Tern, Fort De Soto, Florida http://www.greggard.com/blog/2016/4/sandwich-tern-fort-de-soto-fl Adult Sandwich Tern, in breeding plumage, taking a bath in a shallow water at For De Soto Park, Florida:

Sandwich Tern splashing water while taking a bath in a shallow water at Fort De Soto Park, Florida bird photography Canon 5DsR + 600mm + 1.4x teleconverterSandwich TernSandwich Tern (Thalasseus sandvicensis) Fort De Soto State Park, St. Petersburg, Florida

- for more detailed view and EXIF data, please click on the image -

 

If you are interested in seeing more of my shorebird photography, please visit my gallery www.greggard.com/shorebirds

 


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info@greggard.com (Gregory Gard) 5DsR 600mm Bird Florida Photography shorebirds http://www.greggard.com/blog/2016/4/sandwich-tern-fort-de-soto-fl Mon, 11 Apr 2016 23:41:18 GMT
Reddish Egret - Fort De Soto, Florida http://www.greggard.com/blog/2016/4/reddish-egret-fort-de-soto-fl Reddish Egret (Egretta rufescens) hunting for fish in a shallow water at Fort De Soto Park, St. Petersburg, Florida

Reddish egret canopy hunting for fish with wings widespread at Fort De Soto, Florida, wading bird photographyReddish Egret with its wings widespreadReddish Egret (Egretta rufescens) - Fort De Soto State Park, St. Petersburg, Florida

- for more detailed view and EXIF data, please click on the image -

 

It was fun to photograph this egret chasing fish. With each second it was getting closer and closer to me, that at one point, I just stopped shooting and watched him do his "dance" :) I'm not sure what Florida does to birds but they are not afraid of people at all. At least not as much as here in NJ...

 

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info@greggard.com (Gregory Gard) 5DsR 600mm Bird Florida Photography wading http://www.greggard.com/blog/2016/4/reddish-egret-fort-de-soto-fl Fri, 08 Apr 2016 00:59:57 GMT
Red-tailed Hawk's nest - week 3 http://www.greggard.com/blog/2016/4/red-tailed-hawk-nest-nj-3 I just finished processing another video from my Red-tailed Hawk nest series. This one was taken during my third visit to the nest, about 21 days after discovering it. It was the only time I saw both adults in the nest. Adult male brought in a meal and flew right away to a nearby tree where he could easily keep a watchful eye on the nest.

If you are interested in seeing the progress of this nest, you can find these videos on YouTube:

- week 1 - youtu.be/AgnNa-FGtcI

- week 2 - youtu.be/dy8npJHJPqg

- week 3 - youtu.be/lSRS13aHjCo

More coming soon :) 

 

 

Three weeks old Red-tailed Hawk chick standing in the nest showing off its down feathers on its belly and legs

Three weeks old Red-tailed Hawk chick standing in the nest showing off its down feathers on its belly and legsRed-tailed Hawk's nestYoung Red-tailed Hawk standing in the nest - New Jersey, USA

- for more detailed view and EXIF data, please click on the image -

 

and here you can see feathers on and under the wing:

Red-tailed Hawk chick showing its underwing feathersRed-tailed Hawk chicks in the nestRed-tailed Hawk - Buteo jamaicensis New Jersey

 

Video and photographs were taken with a Canon 1Dx camera paired with a Canon 600mm f/4 IS lens and 2x extender at 1200mm.

Some books that might help you with hawkwatching:

If you are interested in creating your own photography website, look no further. Zenfolio is a great place to host your website. You can try it out for free for 14 days and if you like it, make sure to use it my referral / discount code: YRF-6XN-3BX during checkout to receive a discount on your annual subscription.

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info@greggard.com (Gregory Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird NJ Photography bird of prey nest http://www.greggard.com/blog/2016/4/red-tailed-hawk-nest-nj-3 Sat, 02 Apr 2016 16:57:30 GMT
Bufflehead running on water - New Jersey http://www.greggard.com/blog/2016/3/bufflehead-running-on-water-nj Adult male Bufflehead preparing to fly by running on water and rapidly flapping its wings:

Bufflehead drake preparing to fly up by running on water and rapidly flapping its wings - New Jersey waterfowl photography Canon 1Dx + 600mm + 1.4x teleconverterBufflehead drake taking offBufflehead - Bucephala albeola New Jersey

- for more detailed view and EXIF data, please click on the image -

 

Bufflehead is a one of our smallest ducks, often very energetic in its feeding. Related to the goldeneyes and, like them, nests in cavities; but unlike other hole-nesting ducks, the Bufflehead is small enough to use unmodified old nest holes of Northern Flickers, giving it a ready source of good nest sites. Less sociable than most ducks, seen in pairs or small groups, almost never in large flocks. The name "Bufflehead" is derived from "buffalo-head," for the male's odd puffy head shape. - source: Audubon

If you are interested in seeing more of my waterfowl photography, please visit my gallery: www.greggard.com/ducks​

And here are some books that help me with my bird photography:

 

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info@greggard.com (Gregory Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird NJ Photography waterfowl http://www.greggard.com/blog/2016/3/bufflehead-running-on-water-nj Tue, 29 Mar 2016 00:40:19 GMT
Red-tailed Hawk's nest - week 2 http://www.greggard.com/blog/2016/3/red-tailed-hawk-nest Here is a video from my second visit to the Red-tailed Hawk nest:

 

The beginning shows an adult feeding a just caught pigeon to its chicks. Second half, recorded 5 days later, shows an adult preening young bird's feathers.

Isn't it amazing how fast young birds grow?

I hope you can see the difference in size and feathers that started to grow.

Adult Red-tailed Hawk in the nest with two young birds and prey - New JerseyRed-tailed Hawk's nestRed-tailed Hawk

- for more detailed view and EXIF data, please click on the image -

Video and photographs were taken with a Canon 1Dx camera paired with a Canon 600mm f/4 IS lens and either an 1.4x or 2x extenders at 840mm or 1200mm focal lengths.

 

Some books that might help with hawkwatching:

If you are interested in creating your own photography website, look no further. Zenfolio is a great place to host your website. You can try it out for free for 14 days and if you like it, make sure to use it my referral / discount code: YRF-6XN-3BX during checkout to receive a discount on your annual subscription.

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info@greggard.com (Gregory Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird NJ Photography bird of prey hawk nest http://www.greggard.com/blog/2016/3/red-tailed-hawk-nest Mon, 21 Mar 2016 00:07:30 GMT
Red-tailed Hawk's nest - week 1 http://www.greggard.com/blog/2016/3/red-tailed-hawk-nest-nj Adult Red-tailed Hawk, with two chicks in the nest, in Northern New Jersey:

Adult Red-tailed Hawk in the nest with two one week old chicks - NJ bird of prey photography Canon 1Dx + 600mm + 2xRed-tailed Hawk's nestRed-tailed Hawk - Buteo jamaicensis New Jersey

- for more detailed view and EXIF data, please click on the image -

 

After discovering this nest, I decided to visit it once a week for about an hour, to document these young hawks growing up. With addition to photographs, I recorder videos. Here is a short video I've recorder on a week 1 showing and adult, presumably the mother, feeding a just caught rodent to its kids: 


At the time of this recording, I'd estimate these chicks were no more than 5 days old. Would love to hear your opinions on their age in the comments section. 
 
For more of my bird photography, please visit my website: www.greggard.com/birds

If you are interested in creating your own photography website, look no further. Zenfolio is a great place to host your website. You can try it out for free for 14 days and if you like it, make sure to use it my referral / discount code: YRF-6XN-3BX during checkout to receive a discount on your annual subscription.

Some books that might help with hawkwatching:

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info@greggard.com (Gregory Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird NJ Photography bird of prey hawk nest http://www.greggard.com/blog/2016/3/red-tailed-hawk-nest-nj Thu, 03 Mar 2016 02:41:30 GMT
Short-eared Owl - Wallkill River NWR, NJ http://www.greggard.com/blog/2016/2/short-eared-owl-wallkill-river-nwr-nj Short-eared Owl, with its ear-tufts raised up, looking straight into the camera with its big, yellow eyes:

Short-eared Owl perched on the snow in New Jersey bird of prey photography Canon 1Dx + 600mm f/4 IS lanes + 1.4x teleconverterShort-eared OwlShort-eared Owl - Asio flammeus New Jersey - for more detailed view and EXIF data, please click on the image -

I photographed this amazing bird of prey, resting in the daylight hours on the snow covered ground, at the Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge on New Jersey / New York border.

If you are interested in seeing more of my owl photography, please visit my gallery: greggard.com/owls 

Here are some books that I found useful to prepare for my encounters with owls:

 

If you are interested in creating your own photography website, look no further. Zenfolio is a great place to host your website. You can try it out for free for 14 days and if you like it, make sure to use it my referral / discount code: YRF-6XN-3BX during checkout to receive a discount on your annual subscription.]]>
info@greggard.com (Gregory Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird NJ Photography bird of prey owl http://www.greggard.com/blog/2016/2/short-eared-owl-wallkill-river-nwr-nj Mon, 29 Feb 2016 00:54:05 GMT
Marbled Godwit - Fort De Soto, Florida http://www.greggard.com/blog/2016/2/marbled-godwit-fort-de-soto-florida Vocalizing Marbled Godwit at Fort De Soto Park, Pinellas County, Florida:

Vocalizing Marbled Godwit at the Fort De Soto Park, St. Petersburg, Florida shorebird photography Canon 5DsR 600mm IS f/4Marbled GodwitMarbled Godwit - Limosa fedoa Fort De Soto Park, St. Petersburg, Florida

for more detailed view and EXIF data, please click on the image -

If you are interested in seeing more of my shorebird photography, please visit my gallery: greggard.com/shorebirds​

Here are some books that provide good information about shorebirds:

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info@greggard.com (Gregory Gard) 5DsR 600mm Bird Florida Photography shorebirds http://www.greggard.com/blog/2016/2/marbled-godwit-fort-de-soto-florida Tue, 23 Feb 2016 02:16:19 GMT
Fledgling Peregrine Falcon - New Jersey http://www.greggard.com/blog/2016/2/fledgling-peregrine-falcon-new-jersey Fledgling Peregrine Falcon spreading its wings while standing on the edge of a cliff in Northern New Jersey: Juvenile Peregrine Falcon spreading its wings showing down feathers - New Jersey endangered bird of prey photographyJuvenile Peregrine FalconJuvenile Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) - Northern New Jersey

- for more detailed view and EXIF data, please click on the image -

 

Please help to continue the preservation of New Jersey's threatened and endangered wildlife by supporting work of Conserve Wildlife Foundation: www.conservewildlifenj.org

 

 

If you are interested in seeing more of my falcon photography, please visit my gallery: greggard.com/falcons]]>
info@greggard.com (Gregory Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird NJ Photography bird of prey endangered http://www.greggard.com/blog/2016/2/fledgling-peregrine-falcon-new-jersey Sun, 14 Feb 2016 20:50:57 GMT
American Oystercatcher - Nickerson Beach, New York http://www.greggard.com/blog/2016/2/american-oystercatcher-nickerson-new-york American Oystercatcher probing a surf clam at the Nickerson Beach, Long Island, New York:

Adult American Oystercatcher probing an open surf shell in search for food at the Nickerson Beach, Long Island, New York shorebird photography Canon 1Dx 600mm IS f/4American OystercatcherAmerican Oystercatcher - Haematopus palliatus - Nickerson Beach, Long Island, New York, USA

for more detailed view and EXIF data, please click on the image -

If you are interested in seeing more of my shorebird photography, please visit my gallery: greggard.com/shorebirds​

Here are some books that are great source of information about shorebirds:

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info@greggard.com (Gregory Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird NY Photography shorebirds http://www.greggard.com/blog/2016/2/american-oystercatcher-nickerson-new-york Wed, 10 Feb 2016 01:59:51 GMT
Drake Barrow's Goldeneye - San Francisco, California http://www.greggard.com/blog/2016/2/male-barrows-goldeneye-ca Only with couple of hours to shoot, before continuing with my travels along the California's coast, I was lucky enough to photograph this male Barrow's Goldeneye (Bucephala islandica) swimming by at close range:

Drake Barrow's Goldeneye (Bucephala islandica) swimming by in a lake in San Francisco Bay Area waterfowl photography Canon 5DsR + 600mm f/4 IS II + 1.4xDrake Barrow's GoldeneyeAdult male Barrow's Goldeneye (Bucephala islandica) - San Francisco Bay Area, California

for more detailed view and EXIF data, please click on the image -

Once again, waking up in early morning to arrive at the site before the sunrise helped with getting that nice, warm/gold color reflecting in the water. I'm also happy that this drake, in breeding plumage, decided to swim by to check me out, reveling its iridescent purplish colors on his head. I took this photograph in San Francisco Bay Area, California.

Interesting facts from CornellLab:

- The Barrow's Goldeneye is rather long-lived for a duck, with one individual reaching 18 years of age. Most females do not breed until they are three years old. The oldest Barrow Goldeneye recorded was a male who was at least 15 years, 4 months old.

- Like the Common Goldeneye, the Barrow's Goldeneye is not too particular about holding on to its own offspring. A female may lay eggs in the nest of another goldeneye or other species of cavity-nesting duck. Once the ducklings come out of the nest, the broods of different females often come together and are taken care of by a single female. The young ducklings are highly independent, feeding on their own, and require little parental care. 

Barrow's Goldeneye feeds on aquatic invertebrates and fish eggs, occasionally small fish and vegetation.

 

If you are interested in seeing more of my waterfowl photography, please visit my gallery: www.greggard.com/ducks​

And here are some books that help me with my bird photography:

 

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info@greggard.com (Gregory Gard) 5DsR 600mm Bird CA Photography waterfowl http://www.greggard.com/blog/2016/2/male-barrows-goldeneye-ca Thu, 04 Feb 2016 00:59:31 GMT
Drake Bufflehead flying by - New Jersey http://www.greggard.com/blog/2016/1/bufflehead-flying-nj Adult male Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola) flying low above the water at the Oradell Reservoir, Bergen County, New Jersey:

Drake Bufflehead flying by low above the water - duck photography New Jersey  600mm f/4 IS mark II lens and 1.4x teleconverterDrake Bufflehead in-flightAdult male Bufflehead - Bucephala albeola - Bergen County, New Jersey for more detailed view and EXIF data, please click on the image -

Bufflehead are very small, compact ducks with large, rounded heads and short, wide bills. They dive underwater to catch aquatic invertebrates. When courting females, male Buffleheads swim in front of them, rapidly bobbing their heads up and down. Bufflehead are most widespread in migration and winter, when they move south to coasts and large bodies of water, particularly shallow saltwater bays. They breed near lakes in northern forests where conifers mix with poplars or aspens. Bufflehead nest in tree cavities, especially old Northern Flicker holes. - source: CornellLab

If you are interested in seeing more of my waterfowl photography, please visit my gallery: www.greggard.com/ducks​

 

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info@greggard.com (Gregory Gard) 1Dx Bird NJ Photography waterfowl http://www.greggard.com/blog/2016/1/bufflehead-flying-nj Fri, 29 Jan 2016 00:53:55 GMT
Willet in winter plumage - Fort De Soto, Florida http://www.greggard.com/blog/2016/1/wintering-shorebirds-florida Willet spreading its wings and jumping, to shake the water off, after taking a bath:

Willet in winter plumage jumping out of the water, after taking a bath, spreading its wings with water droplets flying off - Florida shorebird photography Canon 5DsR 600mm 1.4x extenderWillet jumpingWillet - Tringa semipalmata - Fort De Soto Park, St. Petersburg, Florida

- for more detailed view please click on the image -

I photographed this wintering Willet at the Fort De Soto Park, St. Petersburg, Florida.

For more shorebird photographs please visit my gallery: greggard.com/shorebirds

 

 

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info@greggard.com (Gregory Gard) 5DsR 600mm Bird Florida Photography shorebirds http://www.greggard.com/blog/2016/1/wintering-shorebirds-florida Sat, 23 Jan 2016 01:46:29 GMT