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All photos on this blog are for your personal viewing pleasure. They are copyrighted with all rights reserved. These images may not be used without express written permission.

Thanks for Dropping By and Have a Great Day, :)

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


I fell short on bird images this year so sharing some "blasts from the past" along with some recent pics is in order. This year has been a fun one and has been a blur in front of my face as the time has passed so fast. Where does it go?


A rare-to-Louisiana, stunning Shiny Cowbird showed up in Cameron Parish in 2010. They don't come around often and are truly an impressive bird to see. Hopefully 2015 will provide us with some more opportunities to see this bird.

A stunning American Kestrel perched on a wire clutching a freshly caught grasshopper.

Do you remember the rare-to-Louisiana Ferruginous Hawk that showed up in Cameron Parish on 12/12/2013?

Another rare Ferruginous Hawk showed up in Cameron Parish on 11/2010. The dark morph Ferruginous Hawk in the Thornwell area a few weeks ago must have been quite a sight to see.

Wood Duck nest boxes are common sights. One with a Momma Wood Duck exiting really gets your attention!

Why can't this be the 'Ghost Bird' ?  :)

The 'Blood Moon' was certainly a cool sight to see in 2014.

Have a Happy New Year!

P.S. - If anyone knows where some Short-eared Owls are hanging out and would like to have their picture taken please shoot me an email.

Best,  :)

Thursday, December 11, 2014


Billy Jones and I had fun taking pictures at Sam Houston State Park today.


Are you guilty of listening for a 'double-knock' or looking for a large triangle of white on the lower back of a large Woodpecker in hopes that it might be the legendary Ivory-billed Woodpecker which is probably extinct? Wouldn't it be nice if some were still hanging around?

Regardless, it was exciting to see this Pileated Woodpecker land in a tree nearby.

Hugging the tree

A small, curious and restless Brown-headed Nuthatch was out and about.

Pine Warblers are always a treat to see.

My wife tells me our grandchildren need to grow feathers in order for me to take their pictures! :)

Our granddaughter is in the eighth grade, plays on a tournament soccer team and helps coach younger girls just starting soccer. She is outgoing, involved in organizations at school, President of the Rebel Riot, maintains a banner roll average and was voted runner-up for Miss W.W. Lewis Middle School. She is a super grand daughter and we are proud of her.

She is holding a trophy she won Tuesday afternoon. She placed first among all the Middle Schools in Calcasieu Parish's Forensic Tournament with her oratory speech on placing prayer back in school. She is pictured on the left along with her friend who placed second is on the right.

Thursday, August 14, 2014



This Hummingbird lit on our sugar water feeder and looked around. A few seconds later he began singing his favorite Tim McGraw song. Seeing in believing. What a talented little guy.  :)

Friday, July 11, 2014



BLACK RAIL?  It was tense for a moment however it turned out to be a black King Rail Chick scurrying into the high grass to be with his calling parent.

Feeding White-faced Ibis cool.

Recognize this bird? It is an early AM in-flight Wood Stork.

The prehistoric-looking Wood Storks are cool birds to see. FYI there will be another Wood Stork Day  this year July 19, 2014 at Sherburne WMA South Farm for anyone who would like to see one. The particulars are here http://www.jjaudubon.net/events Thanks to the LDWF, US Army Corps of Engineers and all the hard-working people who make this possible.

How anxious do you get when you see a large Woodpecker fly by in hopes that it might an Ivory-billed Woodpecker?

Yellow-throated Vireo

 The 'Great Imitator' keeping a watchful eye on the photographer.

The remaining pictures were taken close to Galveston, Texas.

Sometimes you find the strangest birds behind a shrimp boat. Do you see the Magnificent Frigatebird?.

A better look at the Magnificent Frigatebird.

Finally, a picture of an American Oystercatcher.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Great Horned Owl + 8

Ran across this hatch year Great Horned Owl in the early AM sitting on a branch overlooking a field looking for a meal.

It reminded me of a poem I read a long time ago. "A wise old Owl sat in an Oak. The more he saw the less he spoke. The less he spoke the more he heard. Why can't we be like that Wise Old Bird?" :)

A statuesque Least Bittern patiently waiting for a meal.

A skulking American Bittern on the prowl.

Least Terns are entirely too cute.

One "good tern" deserves another? A Black Tern in breeding plumage.

Black Tern in non-breeding plumage.

A Willet fly-by


Yellow-throated Vireo

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Turnstone, Plover, Cormorant

A striking Ruddy Turnstone in breeding colors. 

A Wilson's Plover scurrying along.

What do you think of those jaded eyes? Are you getting s-l-e-e-p-y ....

Tuesday, April 22, 2014



My brother-in-law, Jeff Gavel, and I knew Hawking with Dr. Jennifer and Tom Coulson would be fun but we didn’t know it would be this much fun. The Coulsons are Master Falconers and have extensive knowledge of the habits and behaviors of Harris’s Hawks. They have published countless articles and written books on these Raptors. They are also reputable breeders of Harris’s Hawks and are well known throughout the United States. In addition to Harris's Hawks their passion for Swallow-tailed Kites is unheralded as they spend countless hours in the field collecting nesting data and tracking these magnificent Raptors.


The piercing eyes of the Harris's Hawk look right through you.

We arrived at the hunt site around 9:30 AM. The Coulsons retrieved four boxes from their truck and placed them on the ground. The doors were opened and the stars of the show made their debut. Four Harris’s Hawks, Tipitina, Leah, Sky, and Fergie took to the air exercising their wings preparing to wage battle on the clever Swamp Rabbits. The well-trained Hawks stayed close by and were sitting in trees nearby watching their masters getting ready for the hunt as if saying, "Come on Coulsons, HURRY UP!. It's time to GET IT ON!"

Released from her box stretching out her wings preparing for the show down.

Being new to this sport, Jeff and I wondered, “How will these Harris’s Hawks catch the elusive Swamp Rabbits as they run for their life, twisting, turning and darting in and out the dense underbrush?” It didn’t take long to find out. It was a remarkable sight to see and one that will never be forgotten.

Perched in a tree watching, looking and listening for Swamp Rabbits.

This was not the Harris’s Hawks first rodeo. These skilled hunters knew their quarry, had a plan and stuck to their plan. Unbeknownst to the Swamp Rabbits, big trouble was lurking from above

Let the games begin! The Coulsons trampled through the dense underbrush attempting to flush Swamp Rabbits as their Harris’s Hawks patrolled the skies at tree top level watching for prey below. The Hawks worked from tree to tree soaring low overhead watching with their extraordinary vision and listening with their acute hearing waiting for the opportunity to pounce on a fleeing Swamp Rabbit.

Patrolling the airspace searching for Swamp Rabbits.

GAME ON! Without warning a Swamp Rabbit burst from the underbrush. He zigzagged through the briars fleeing from the Coulsons as they pushed through the dense underbrush. Little did the Rabbit know the real danger was overhead as four pairs of sharp eyes were watching his every move. With a flip of her wing the closest Harris’s Hawk immediately went into ‘attack mode’. In an instant she was inverted, head down and tail up, plummeting vertically downward gaining speed all the while. She was ‘locked on’ to the Rabbit below like a high tech military heat-seeking missile while she tracked the Rabbit's every move. The Hawk hit the Rabbit with a vengeance impaling her sharp, lethal talons deep into the Rabbit’s flesh stopping him dead in his tracks.

A Swamp Rabbit running for his life below as a Harris's Hawk prepares to deliver the knockout blow from above. These guys are GOOD!

The Harris's Hawk mantled the Rabbit with her wings in order to hide it and wasted no time stripping away part of his fur with her beak as she began feeding before the Coulsons could reach her. Once there, they allowed the Hawk a few morsels from the rabbit rewarding her capture thus reinforcing her positive behavior.

Mantling the Swamp Rabbit as she begins to dine.

The Coulsons attending to the Hawk and captured Swamp Rabbit

My brother-in-law and I were awestruck by what we witnessed. The fierce, intelligent, well-trained Harris’s Hawks were spectacular! I was glad I wasn't a Swamp Rabbit today.

One Swamp Rabbit down and time to move on. The Hawks again took to the air soaring tree top high as some set in trees watching and listening for the slightest movement below as the Coulsons again broke through the underbrush. It wasn’t long before another rabbit suddenly bolted from the tangle of briars alerting the sharp-eyed Harris’s Hawks.

The closest Harris’s Hawk immediately spotted his quarry and dove for the Swamp Rabbit scurrying through the underbrush. The Harris’s Hawk missed by a hair (Hare?). It was the rabbit’s lucky day or so he thought. Unbeknownst to the Rabbit there were three more Harris’s Hawks to contend with. A second Hawk already had the Rabbit in his sights and was closing fast. She flipped to an inverted position bearing down on the rabbit running for his life. Again a last second evasive maneuver from the fleeing Swamp Rabbit resulted in another miss by the Harris's Hawk.

Free at last? Not by a long shot! Little did the Rabbit know he would be running the Harris's Hawk's gauntlet to escape with his life as there were two more Harris’s Hawks eagerly waiting their turn. Hawk number three was ticked off and mad as she began her kamikaze dive from up above. The intensity on her face said it all. She was determined this Rabbit WOULD NOT escape. The Swamp Rabbit was racing for the safety of his hole in the ground and was running for his life as fast as his legs would carry him with the Harris's Hawk hot on his heels. Just as the Rabbit approached the safety of his hole in the ground the Harris’s Hawk swooped down with outstretched talons delivering a blow like the Hammer of Thor! She buried her razor sharp talons deep into the Rabbit's flesh and the struggle was over in an instant. The Swamp Rabbit came to rest a foot short of his safe haven in the ground. The intelligent Harris’s Hawks teamwork prevailed and their persistence paid off.

Launching from a tree and coming in for the kill.

A sight seldom seen. A Harris's Hawk with her head down and tail up diving on a fleeing Swamp Rabbit. These tenacious Hawks mean business. Look out below!

Bomb's away!

And another one bites the dust!

The amazing Harris’s Hawks owned the airspace today and no Swamp Rabbits were safe as they hunted together like a Wolf Pack. These intelligent and extremely efficient hunters dispatched three more Swamp Rabbits in similar fashion providing for an exciting and eventful morning hunt. Their teamwork reminded me of Helen Keller’s quote, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”.

The day was ended with a picnic reminiscing about the day’s events. The Coulsons do a remarkable job raising, breeding and training their Harris’s Hawks as evidenced by their performance in the field. The 'Hawk Whisperers' were gracious hosts and we thanked them for generously sharing their four remarkable Harris’s Hawks. It was an incredible experience being with the Coulsons witnessing and photographing their 'Wolf Pack' in action and a great time was had by all.

A few interesting notes about the Harris's Hawks.
  • In the wild the Harris’s Hawks maintain the same behavior hunting together and even live together as extended families.
  • The Harris’s Hawk was given its name by John James Audubon for his friend Edward Harris.

If you are a Swamp Rabbit and see this then you are fixing to have a BAD DAY!

Hope you enjoyed the hunt and the pictures!


Sunday, April 13, 2014


Fifteen baby Wood Duck chicks hatched in our daughter's nest box. The mother Wood Duck flew from the nest box to the ground and the Wood Duck chicks followed making their 'Leap of Faith' from the nest box to the ground below. It was a heart-warming sight watching the proud mother Wood Duck collect all her chicks and waddle off into the weeds with her new little family headed toward the small lake/pond to begin their life's adventure.

After they marched off it was discovered one chick still remained in the nest box. Our son-in-law removed him and placed him on the ground. He ran through the grass chirping and looking for his brothers and sisters but alas, they were gone. His brothers, sisters and mother left him. Immediately our daughter's family adopted this cute Wood Duck chick. Our daughter sat their newest family member on a bench and took his picture. He was too cute sitting on his booty showing his plump little belly with his feet sticking out. They named him Dudley the cute little Wood Duck!

Our three grandsons ranging in age from 10 years to 15 years were infatuated with Dudley and took great care of him. They kept him in a large cardboard box with food and water. Dudley received a lot of attention and was admired by all. On the morning of the third day our grandsons raced to see Dudley. Alas, they found Dudley lying still in the bottom of the box. It was a sad day in Mudville and many tears were shed.

Dudley was buried in their back yard close to the next box where he hatched. He will long be remembered. Hopefully his brothers and sisters will fare well and will be seen with their mother paddling around in the pond close by.


Saturday, April 5, 2014


While driving to Peveto Sanctuary on LA27 South I passed a noticeably large Scaup with a lot of white, and a greenish-flat head in the canal on side of the road a bit south of the Wetland Walkway. By the time I turned around and headed back to get a picture it had paddled a bit from the road's edge.

Whaddya' think?


According to Peterson's Field Guide the hen Greater Scaup has a wide bill and may show a pale ear patch in the fall or winter which this female shows. I am not 100% certain but feel this is good for a pair of Greater Scaup which is a first for me.

An Indigo Bunting feeding on some seeds.