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Saturday, May 19, 2012


It was special to witness the acrobatic Swallow-tailed Kites with their long narrow wings, striking black / white plumage and their scissor-like tail.


They soar and glide in the air with relatively few and seemingly effortless wing beats.

Sometimes they preen in mid-air as they sport about.

A "ribbeting" picture? The SWKI clutches a freshly caught frog in his talons. :)

Would you want to be a fly in the sky with these guys patrolling the airspace?

Another soaring by.


When the light hits just right, the shiny, pearl-like colors of the White-Faced Ibis (the headless variety) really shine!


It's been years since I've seen a Bronzed Cowbird and it was a pleasure to see one this year. Their red eyes coupled with their neck ruff makes for an interesting-looking bird.

Now do you know what part of the fish the Osprey eats first?

The well-fed Osprey moves out.

It's a great day to be alive having an opportunity to witness the "Specks" sailing by.

Thanks for looking.
All pictures taken in SW Louisiana,

A Happy Family Picture

I thought I would share this hilarious family picture that will put a smile on your face in case some of you haven't had the good fortune of seeing Roseate Spoonbill youngsters.

You didn't have to tell this little family to smile as all of them crowded around wanting to be in the picture. These little guys are full of character and have a ton of charm! :)

Thanks for looking, :)



This Blue Goose was a bit camera-shy but was certainly nothing for him to lose his head over. :)

Thought I would share with you as his position provides for an interesting display of his wing feathers and his cool colors. All that is missing is his head! :) 


Before I stared birding I probably dismissed a Ross's Goose as a small Snow Goose as I had no idea they existed. Since then it has always been a pleasure to see these 'Little Guys'.

This picture allows you to differentiate between the 'Little Guys' and the Snow Geese. Their smaller size, shorter necks, smaller heads, rounder heads, and shorter beak lacking the grinning black lips are a dead giveaway.


Immature Blue Goose

I almost deleted this picture but the more I looked, the more I liked it. I felt sorry for this less than glamorous immature Blue Goose with its wings held back, neck outstretched and landing gear lowered preparing to land but it kind of grows on you.

So, I suppose it is best classified as a good pose of an ugly Goose?  :) :) :)


There was a big fuss over spilled rice at the Rice Mill.

Adult male YH Blackbirds were part of the group.

This one had trouble keeping his balance wobbling side to side probably from over indulging on fermented rice?

These rude YHBL "Mooners" showed they have more yellow than just on their heads. :)

Bronzed Cowbirds with their red eyes were present as well (lower left hand corner).

What's UP???

Immature YH Blackbirds have a special "cute factor".

How about that pony tail? :)

Thanks for looking, :)

All photos taken in SW Louisiana,


I was out before sunrise hoping for a SE Owl to show but to no avail. The best show of the day came early when the rising sun set the sky on fire on this cloudy, humid day as the Ibis flew overhead set out on their day's journey.


Neotropic Cormorants are quite a sight up close.

Say "AHHH !!!"

The tall, gray Sandhill Cranes with their crimson red crown and white cheeks were foraging in the fields.

Two pics in one?



Although not a Whistling Duck the long, slender Pintail with their long, narrow, pointed wings and pointed tail are a work of beauty and grace as they come in for a landing.

The Fulvous Whistling-Ducks formerly known as Fulvous Tree Ducks are some precarious, cool-looking ducks. Did you know that Whistling Ducks are more closely related to geese than to other ducks.

Two Black-bellied Whistling Ducks all nestled in and resting on a cold day.

Naptime over! What's up?

All photos taken in SW Louisiana

Thanks for looking, :)


It was a two picture day today and a strange one at that.

There was a Sparrow sitting on a fence line. For whatever reason it didn't fly allowing me to get closer and closer. When I got closer1 I saw why it didn't fly. Its flying days were finished. It was dead, pinned to the barb of a barbed wire fence and hanging down. I suppose a Loggerhead Shrike had gotten hold of this guy but it was no where in sight. I wondered why the LOSH wasn't around.


As I proceeded down the road a large Turkey Vulture turned his head to see what was up.  Only two pics fir the day and they both dealt with the 'D' word. The day finished much better than it started as we attended Church, and ate Sunday dinner with our parents, kids and grandkids. The afternoon was spent mixing cement and pouring a sidewalk. They day ended having fun supervising my grandson shooting his BB gun. He is a remarkable shot for a first grader.


Male Northern Harrier

A male Northern Harrier perched on a hedge row in a field against a background of leaves undergoing their change into autumn foliage provided for a striking fall picture.


He launched from his perch in the field into the air and went on the hunt. Northen Harrier Hawks (aka Marsh Hawks) are really cool to watch as they effortlessly glide slow and low above open country watching and listening for prey below. This coupled with their long tail and white rump patch makes them fairly easy to identify.

What do they eat? Their diet consists of insects, birds, small mammals, reptiles and carrion.

It was a delight to see and to photograph this male as most of the Nothern Harriers I've witnessed are females. Why do we typically see more males than females in South Louisiana? The general thinking is that most adult males winter farther north, thus we see relatively few down here.

What age is this male Harrier? He is at least in his second year as some males take several years to transition into what would be considered a "typical" adult male with little or no brownish feathering.

Another Fly-By.

Due to his ease of gliding low over the fields I thought it appropriate to name this guy "Tom Cruise" and it was certainly not an "Impossible Mission" for him to catch prey in the field.  :)

An interesting fact about Northern Harriers such as 'Tom' is they roost on the ground at night and sometimes in groups. I've yet to witness this phenomenon but it must be fascinating to experience as they converge on a roosting area at dusk landing in trees then dropping to the ground to settle in for the night.

Female Northern Harrier

Tom had been cruising the open fields for quite some time when his wife Penelope grew concerned and set out to find him. As she glided about she thought, "These fields aren't "THE COLOR OF MONEY" but they are gorgeous this time of year. I sware to goodness, my husband must think he is "TOP GUN" and a "LEGEND" the way he cavorts about with "ALL THE RIGHT MOVES" with his aerial antics! Now where is he?", as she pressed on. 

Fortunately Penelope didn't have to fly "KNIGHT AND DAY". She looked down and spotted Tom sitting on a fence post and said, "There you are!"

 "Tom, there is bad weather on the way. It looks like it might "RAIN MAN". It could be "RISKY BUSINESS" if you stay any longer and it grows dark. You might even find yourself having an "INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE". Let's go home.", she said.

He kind of looks like Tom Cruise doesn't he?  :)

Harriers usually glide in the field too far away for a picture (for me at least). I was thankful for a few fly-bys in range so I could share with others.

All photos taken in SW Louisiana
Thanks for looking, :)


I used to overlook these guys in favor of the more glamorous birds but once you discover different species of Sparrows it is remarkable how nice looking these little guys / gals are.

This sporty-looking adult White-crowned Sparrow is nothing short of impressive.

The Song Sparrow is always a pleasure to see..

Another special thanks to Paul Conover for pointing out these LeConte's Sparrows. He really has a knack for finding birds. The LeConte's Sparrows have a tendency to stay hidden in the grass and are not the easiest sparrows to photograph.

Finally, one came out to play! .

Don't you love the way they straddle the limbs? :)

The tail-wagging American Pipit does an excellent job catching worms. I've always wondered what good it is for the worm to get up early.

And eating them too. :)

Thanks for looking, :)
All pictures taken in SW Louisiana


The American Goldfinches are showing up and are cuter than ever.


Thanks for looking,

All photos taken in SW LA


Robby Bacon and I were fortunate to see TWENTY CRESTED CARACARAS today, Friday, January 4, 2013. Yes, we were in SW Louisiana and not west Texas!

We were more than happy to see two Crested Caracaras sitting side-by-side prior to this on a separate road a few miles away. Then our socks got blown when SIXTEEN Crested Caracara were flying in the air at once with two sitting in a tree nearby.

It all started out when Robby spotted a few Caracara youngsters chasing each other in the air close to some trees.


Then four Caracaras were in the air voicing their displeasure of a Red-Tailed Hawk perched in a tree nearby. The RT Hawk didn't hang around for long.

Crested Caracaras to the left of us. Crested Caracaras to the right of us. Caracaras to the front of us. It was almost as if we were  in the midst of the Charge of the Caracara Brigade. They were everywhere!

This madness ended with thirteen Caracaras settling to the ground on a farm road leading to a field. Two are lying in the grass next to the two standing in the back. The others were sitting elsewhere in the field and in a tree.

We sat in the truck watching these guys as they flew in, flew off and squabbled with each other from time to time. They were not phased by our presence in the truck and remained as we drove away. We wondered if we would have noticed these guys on the ground had we not first noticed them flying about.

I would love to know the dynamics of this group. The third from the left is an adult with the grouip in front howeve I'm not certain of the ones in back.

A bit closer but still too far away for a good image.

The adult male Cinnamon Teal still remains at Pintail Loop.


White-Faced Ibises are full of vibrant colors when the light hits just right.

This Vermillion Flycatcher was on Arceneaux Road.