Greg Gard: Blog http://www.greggard.com/blog en-us (C) Greg Gard info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) Sat, 05 Sep 2015 00:53:00 GMT Sat, 05 Sep 2015 00:53:00 GMT Turning Peregrine Falcon - New Jersey http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/9/peregrine-falcon-nj Adult Peregrine Falcon showing its top wing:

Adult Peregrine Falcon flying by showing its top wings - State Line Lookout, Bergen County, New Jersey bird of prey photography over the Hudson River / Palisades NJ Canon 1Dx paired with 600mm f/4 ISPeregrine FalconAdult Peregrine Falcon in-flight - NJ

 - for more detailed view please click on the image -

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info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird NJ Photography bird of prey http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/9/peregrine-falcon-nj Sat, 05 Sep 2015 00:52:52 GMT
Vocalizing Pectoral Sandpiper - Jamaica Bay, NY http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/9/pectoral-sandpiper-jamaica-bay-ny Ahh... nothing beats a day spent on a belly, with a chin in the mud, and photographing shorebirds at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Gateway National Recreation Area, New York City. Finally, got some closer looks at the Pectoral Sandpiper (Calidris melanotos):

Pectoral Sandpiper calling at the Jamaica Bay wildlife refuge, New York City bird photography Canon 1Dx paired with 600mm f/4 IS mark II lens and 2x teleconverterVocalizing Pectoral SandpiperPectoral Sandpiper - Calidris melanotos Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Gateway National Recreation Area, New York City

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


What a place to witness a southbound shorebird migration! Can't wait for the next visit...]]>
info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird NY Photography shorebirds http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/9/pectoral-sandpiper-jamaica-bay-ny Tue, 01 Sep 2015 23:09:09 GMT
Common Tern - Long Island, New York http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/8/common-tern-long-island-ny Adult Common Tern flying above the colony at the Nickerson Beach, Long Island, New York:

Common Tern adult in-flight at the Nickerson Beach, Long Island, New York bird photography Canon 1Dx paired with 600mm f/4 IS mark II lens and 1.4x teleconverterCommon Tern adult in-flightCommon Tern - Sterna hirundo - Nickerson Beach, Long Island, New York

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

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info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird NY Photography shorebirds http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/8/common-tern-long-island-ny Fri, 28 Aug 2015 01:06:07 GMT
Black Skimmer family - Nickerson Beach, NY http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/8/black-skimmer-family-nickerson-beach-ny Black Skimmer family at the Nickerson Beach, Long Island, New York:

Black Skimmers family at the Nickerson Beach, Long Island, New York bird photography Canon 1Dx paired with 600mm f/4 IS mark II lens and 1.4x teleconverterBlack Skimmer familyAdult Black Skimmer - Rynchops niger - feeding a fish to a chick Nickerson Beach, Long Island, New York

and here is a close-up of the same photograph showing a parent feeding a chick with a just caught fish.

If you look closely, this 2 day old chick, still has an "egg tooth" on the tip of its beak. It helps to break through the egg's surface during hatching. 

Black Skimmers family at the Nickerson Beach, Long Island, New York bird photography Canon 1Dx paired with 600mm f/4 IS mark II lens and 1.4x teleconverterBlack Skimmer familyAdult Black Skimmer - Rynchops niger - feeding a chick - Nickerson Beach, Long Island, New York

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

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info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird NY Photography shorebirds http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/8/black-skimmer-family-nickerson-beach-ny Tue, 25 Aug 2015 00:30:22 GMT
Peregrine Falcon with prey - New Jersey http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/8/peregrine-falcon-prey-nj Adult Peregrine Falcon flying by with just caught prey in its talons:

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

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

If you are interested in viewing more of my Peregrine Falcon photographs, please visit my gallery: www.greggard.com/falcons

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info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird NJ Photography bird of prey http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/8/peregrine-falcon-prey-nj Fri, 21 Aug 2015 10:35:00 GMT
Indigo Bunting - New Jersey http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/8/indigo-bunting-nj Adult male Indigo Bunting:

Adult male Indigo Bunting New Jersey bird photography Canon 1Dx paired with 600mm f/4 IS mark II lens and 2x teleconverterAdult male Indigo BuntingIndigo Bunting - Passerina cyanea - Bergen County, New Jersey

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

"Male Indigo Buntings sing from treetops, shrubs, and telephone lines all summer. This species eats insects, seeds, and berries, and can be attracted to backyards with thistle or nyjer seed. While perching, they often swish their tails from side to side. Fairly solitary during breeding season, Indigo Buntings form large flocks during migration and on their wintering grounds.

Interesting facts:

- Indigo Buntings migrate at night, using the stars for guidance. Researchers demonstrated this process in the late 1960s by studying captive Indigo Buntings in a planetarium and then under the natural night sky. The birds possess an internal clock that enables them to continually adjust their angle of orientation to a star—even as that star moves through the night sky.

- Indigo Buntings learn their songs as youngsters, from nearby males but not from their fathers. Buntings a few hundred yards apart generally sing different songs, while those in the same "song neighborhood" share nearly identical songs. A local song may persist up to 20 years, gradually changing as new singers add novel variations.

- Like all other blue birds, Indigo Buntings lack blue pigment. Their jewel-like color comes instead from microscopic structures in the feathers that refract and reflect blue light, much like the airborne particles that cause the sky to look blue.

- Bunting plumage does contain the pigment melanin, whose dull brown-black hue you can see if you hold a blue feather up so the light comes from behind it, instead of toward it.

- The oldest known wild Indigo Bunting was 8 years, 3 months old. " (source: CornellLab)

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info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird NJ Photography songbird http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/8/indigo-bunting-nj Thu, 20 Aug 2015 11:23:35 GMT
Black Skimmers - Nickerson Beach, NY http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/8/black-skimmers-nickerson-beach-ny Late Summer months are always fun to photograph on the beaches of New York and New Jersey. Not only you can witness the magic of the southbound shorebird migration but also the birth of Black Skimmers (Rynchops niger). Like this, two day old chick resting with an adult on the Nickerson Beach, Long Island, New York:

Black Skimmer adult sitting on the nest with a 2 day chick at the Nickerson Beach, Long Island, New York bird photography Canon 1Dx paired with 600mm f/4 IS mark II lens and 1.4x teleconverterBlack Skimmer adult with chickBlack Skimmer - Rynchops niger - adult with chick - Nickerson Beach, Long Island, New York

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

Nesting Facts via CornellLab:

"Mates take turns scraping, using an exaggerated posture (with the neck, head, bill, and tail raised) kicking sand behind them with alternating foot strokes. They then rotate in their scrape to create a saucer-shaped depression, similar to resting scrapes used throughout the year. The depression takes only a few minutes to create, but the process of nesting may involve several scrapes. Males do more scraping and make larger scrapes than females. The average scrape is 10 inches in diameter and 1 inch deep. Black Skimmers are colonial seabirds that nest in groups, often with other species such as Laughing Gulls and Common, Least, or Gull-billed Terns."


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info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird NY Photography shorebirds http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/8/black-skimmers-nickerson-beach-ny Tue, 18 Aug 2015 00:51:31 GMT
Bathing Plover - New Jersey http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/8/bathing-plover-nj Semipalmated Plover (Charadrius semipalmatus) taking a quick bath, in a shallow water created by receding tide of the ocean, along the Jersey shore:

Semipalmated Plover bathing in a shallow water of the Atlantic Ocean in New Jersey bird photography Canon 1Dx paired with 600mm f/4 IS mark II lens and 2x extenderSemipalmated Plover bathingSemipalmated Plover - Charadrius semipalmatus - New Jersey

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

We are already few weeks into the southbound (fall) shorebird migration here on the East Coast. If you are visiting the shore this weekend, most likely you will see large flocks of small birds either feeding or resting on the beach. Have a wonderful weekend and let me know if you saw them :)

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

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info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird NJ Photography shorebird http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/8/bathing-plover-nj Fri, 14 Aug 2015 23:29:40 GMT
Young Peregrine - New Jersey http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/8/young-falcon-nj Young Peregrine Falcon standing on the edge of the cliff in Northern New Jersey. This photograph was taken about 2 weeks after it left the nest (eyrie) with a sibling. Both birds were rarely seen together, and only one was kind enough to pose for a close-ups :)

Juvenile Peregrine Falcon perched on the cliff at the Palisades Interstate Park, Bergen County, NJ bird photography Canon 1Dx paired with 600mm f/4 IS mark II lensJuvenile Peregrine FalconJuvenile Peregrine Falcon - Falco peregrinus - New Jersey

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

If you are interested in viewing more of my Peregrine Falcon photographs, please visit my gallery: www.greggard.com/falcons

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info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird NJ Photography bird of prey http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/8/young-falcon-nj Wed, 12 Aug 2015 23:27:51 GMT
Molting Ruddy Turnstone - New Jersey http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/8/molting-ruddy-turnstone-nj This past weekend, I was lucky to witness thousands of shorebirds migrating south to their wintering grounds. Among many sandpipers, I was happy to spot several Ruddy Turnstones (Arenaria interpres), like this molting adult:

Molting Ruddy Turnstone feeding along the New Jersey shore bird photography  New Jersey bird photography Canon 1Dx paired with 600mm f/4 IS mark II lens and 2x teleconverterRuddy TurnstoneRuddy Turnstone - Arenaria interpres - New Jersey

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

 

I already can't wait for another chance to photograph shorebirds along the Jersey shore :)

Feel free to share this image under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at www.greggard.com/shorebirds/e52b2a18d beyond the scope of this license may be available at www.greggard.com.

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info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird NJ Photography shorebirds http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/8/molting-ruddy-turnstone-nj Tue, 11 Aug 2015 00:24:31 GMT
Juvenile Peregrine Falcon - Bergen County, NJ http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/8/flying-juvenile-peregrine-falcon Juvenile Peregrine Falcon in-flight, Bergen County, New Jersey:

Juvenile Peregrine Falcon flying by at the State Line Lookout, Palisades Interstate Park, Bergen County, NJJuvenile Peregrine FalconJuvenile Peregrine Falcon - Falco peregrinus - New Jersey

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

Feel free to use this image under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.Based on a work at www.greggard.com/falcons/e5226d303 beyond the scope of this license may be available at www.greggard.com.]]>
info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird NJ Photography bird of prey http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/8/flying-juvenile-peregrine-falcon Fri, 07 Aug 2015 01:10:26 GMT
Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron - New Jersey http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/8/black-crowned-night-heron-nj Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron:

Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron perched a top of a tree - New Jersey bird photography Canon 1Dx paired with 600mm f/4 IS mark II lens and 1.4x teleconverterJuvenile Black-crowned Night HeronBlack-crowned Night Heron - Nycticorax nycticorax - New Jersey

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

 

Interesting facts:

- Black-crowned Night Heron nest in groups that often include other species, including herons, egrets, and ibises.

- A breeding Black-crowned Night-Heron will brood any chick that is placed in its nest. The herons apparently don’t distinguish between their own offspring and nestlings from other parents.

- Young Black-crowned Night-Herons leave the nest at the age of 1 month but cannot fly until they are 6 weeks old. They move through the vegetation on foot, joining up in foraging flocks at night.

- The oldest Black-crowned Night-Heron on record was 21 years, 1 month old. 

source: Cornell Lab

Black-crowned Night-herons are gregarious at all times of the year, and are often seen in very large groups. As their name implies, they are mostly nocturnal, roosting during the day in trees or marshes, and foraging at night, especially at dusk and dawn. They have also been seen feeding during the day, a practice most common during the demanding nesting season. When foraging, they usually stand still or walk slowly at the edge of shallow water, waiting for their prey. They will also perch above the water to fish. Birds return year after year to traditional winter roost sites.

Although the diet of the Black-crowned Night-heron is varied, fish are the predominant prey. Squid, crustaceans, aquatic insects, frogs, snakes, birds, rodents, and carrion round out the diet.

Black-crowned Night-herons typically nest on islands or in groups of trees. Young birds start to breed at two years of age. Like most herons, they nest in colonies, often mixed with other species. Their nesting season begins earlier than that of other herons, but is highly variable. The male picks a site and displays to attract a female. Once paired, the male brings nesting material to the female, and she builds the stick nest. Both parents incubate the 3 to 5 eggs for 24 to 26 days. Once the young hatch, both male and female feed them by regurgitation. For the first 10 days of the chicks' lives, they are brooded almost continuously by one of the parents. At the age of four weeks, the young climb about around the nest. First flight occurs at about 5 weeks, and the young will follow the adults to foraging areas and beg for food for another few weeks.

Photographed in Ocean City, Cape May county, New Jersey

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info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird NJ Photography wading http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/8/black-crowned-night-heron-nj Thu, 06 Aug 2015 00:22:23 GMT
American Oystercatcher chick - Nickerson Beach, Long Island http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/8/american-oystercatcher-chick-nickerson-ny American Oystercatcher chick hiding in the sand at the Nickerson Beach, Long Island, New York:

Immature American Oystercatcher hiding - Nickerson Beach, New York, USA bird photography Canon 1Dx paired with 600mm f/4 IS mark II lens and 1.4x teleconverterAmerican OystercatcherAmerican Oystercatcher - Haematopus palliatus - Nickerson Beach, Long Island, New York

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

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info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) 600mm Bird NY Photography chick shorebirds http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/8/american-oystercatcher-chick-nickerson-ny Tue, 04 Aug 2015 12:18:49 GMT
Adult Peregrine Falcon in-flight - New Jersey http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/7/adult-peregrine-falcon-in-flight-nj Top view on an adult Peregrine Falcon flying over the Hudson River in the 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 / PalisadesAdult Peregrine FalconPeregrine Falcon - Falco peregrinus Northern New Jersey

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

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info@greggard.com (Greg Gard) 1Dx 600mm Bird NJ Photography bird of prey http://www.greggard.com/blog/2015/7/adult-peregrine-falcon-in-flight-nj Fri, 31 Jul 2015 00:43:26 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

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

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

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

 

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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

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

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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

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

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

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

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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

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

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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