Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Mallard Ducks - 1000 Islands Environmental Center - Kaukauna Photography - M. C. Kinney Photography

This Mallard duck couple was very friendly and posed for well over an hour between digging for food at the 1000 Islands Environmental Center along the boardwalk. Throughout their foraging the Drake would keep a lookout while his lady friend continued to search for food with her head deep under water.

Great Horned Owl - 1000 Islands Environmental Center - Kaukauna Photography - M. C. Kinney Photography

This Great Horned Owl is patiently waiting for the new owlet to be born in a nearby nest being monitored by its partner. Since someone else is doing the tough part, seems to be a good time for a nap! These images were taken on March 19th.  http://www.1000islandsenvironmentalcenter.org/

Monday, March 30, 2015

Dancing Sandhill Crane - Appleton Photography - M.C. Kinney Photography

Sandhill Crane migration has begun in Wisconsin and Appleton and the Fox Valley are no exception to the sightings! These two were observed next to a county road eating and dancing one early morning around 8am early this past week.

Their coloring is perfect camouflage for this time of the year! Of course, with all their dancing about they were hard to miss!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Great Horned Owl - 1000 Islands Environmental Center - Appleton Photographers - M. C. Kinney Photography

All winter I have been searching for this one bird, the Great Horned Owl. And until today it had remained elusive to me and my camera. But on a whim, and because I was up extra early this morning and had some extra time, I went to 1000 Islands Environmental Center in Kaukauna. Once arriving I wasn't certain if I was going to bother even getting out of the car, since I didn't see much but a couple of ducks and some geese. But I did get out and headed toward the river where I passed several men and off-handedly asked if any of them had seen any owls lately. I wasn't really expecting the response I received. One of the men, whose name I found out later was Jerry, said that yes, he did see an owl yesterday and knew exactly where to find it! So off we went...and I'm sooo glad I spoke to those men! Cause look at this beautiful speciman!

There were actually two birds present, but one was in a nearby nest and only the top if its head and eyes were visable. If you look closely, you'll see its ears and part of its right eye peering at you!

A huge thank you to Jerry for his help! I hope his grandkids enjoyed seeing these beautiful birds as much as I did!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Eagle - Screech Owl - Appleton Photographers - M. C. Kinney Photography

Went out this morning after a commercial shoot was rescheduled last minute and found myself with several hours to blow before work. I was already downtown so I headed toward the Fox River to look for some Eagles.

Found only the one but although he looks majestic, he wasn't very cooperative, so headed over to High Cliff to find a Screech Owl that's hanging out there. He didn't even notice my presence and didn't bat an eye the whole time I was there!
Thanks to Marie'-Andree' for the heads up on its location!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Snowy Owls - Freedom, Wisconsin - Appleton Photography - M.C. Kinney Photography

Found one very white Snowy owl in Freedom sitting in a field yesterday morning. This is not one of the owls that has spent most of December and January in Freedom, but instead one that's probably just moving through on its way back North. It was yawning as it basked in the sun but eventually decided to take off. Although I'm not usually a fan of flying away images, I love the shape of its wings in various movements of flight.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Snowy Owl - Collins Marsh - Wisconsin - Appleton Photographers - M. C. Kinney Photography

I happened to be in Reedsville the other afternoon dropping off some sports images and envelopes for 1st Communion portraits so I naturally decided to swing by Collins Marsh and Killsnake Reserve to see what I could find before returning back to Appleton. If you're looking at a map, you'll know that neither Killsnake Reserve or Collins Marsh are on the way to Appleton from Reedsville, but hey, a girls gotta go a little out of her way for some fun!

So...in Killlsnake I saw only one hawk but didn't really get anything worthwhile. I may post it later if I can identify what kind it was (it was greyish with light blue eyes). I'm not sure if the man running with his dog scared the owls and hawks usually found out there in the late afternoon away from the road or not, but there really was nothing within a normal viewing area. So I headed over to Collins to see what I could find. In the Marsh I saw nothing, but high in the tower in the Osprey nest sat the female Snowy that's taken over.
I think the Snowy might think this is her spot since there is a snowflake in the window...kind of mixed messages to the birds if you ask me...
Live stream video of her can be seen here. http://www.ustream.tv/channel/collins-marsh-osprey

Seeing as this tower is incredibly high, I didn't stick around long but instead decided to head home. That's when I saw this one sitting on a pole.

It wasn't long before it decided to find a nice evening snack and headed away from me to get it.

Unlike some of the other Snowy's I've seen going in for the kill that have eaten their meals at the spot they caught them, this owl decided to return to its perch to eat. The mouse is in its left talons, grass is in the right.

And literally seconds after this shot, the mouse was...gone. About this time a man that had pulled over to see the owl came over to talk to me and called his son and daughter over to see some of the images I had taken. It's nice to see some of the younger ones interested in these unique birds. Enjoy!