Lion, no tigers and bears…

Oh my!  The tigers were napping behind a tree with no vantage point for a photo.  A somewhat positive thing you can say for zoos (besides protecting and in some instances re-establishing some endangered species) is that you can get reasonably close to animals that you would otherwise never see or get close to.

Teri 📷

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Let’s go to the zoo

I grew up visiting the St. Louis Zoo; Marlin Perkins and Wild Kingdom television and all.  I’ve also visited the National Zoo in Washington, D.C, but after awhile I didn’t like visiting zoos as I felt “sorry” for the animals.  Zoos and how the animals are on view have changed and in some instances zoos have become a lifeline for some endangered species.

Now animals are on view in somewhat natural surroundings and have more room to roam around in than before but still sometimes I wonder how they would be if they were in the wild.  Probably in trouble in too many instances.  Oh well….

We went to the Columbus Zoo (Jack Hannah land) recently and while many animals were not on display yet because of the weather and they are rebuilding some areas, there was still plenty to see, photograph and get in some walking and fresh air – through our masks.  They are required here at our zoo.  No problems with that although they didn’t help with some of the scents wafting past from certain animals!

What’s your zoo like where you live… that is if you’ve visited it.  What zoo have you visited that you thought was outstanding?

More zoo critters to come – Teri 📷

elephant, black and white, monochrome, Columbus Zoo

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Shift Change

Bald eagles are powerful birds that can weight near fourteen pounds with a wingspan of eight feet; this being the female.  The males are smaller with a weight of around eight pounds and wingspan of six feet.  Large birds no matter how you measure it!

They mate for life and if one should sadly die or be killed, the other will eventually find another mate.  They return to their same nesting site year after year (unless destroyed by weather, etc.) adding to it each year.  Some nests get to be 8 feet deep with a diameter of 5-9 feet.  The female lays one to three eggs and the parents take turns sitting on the nest which is what I witnessed here.

One eagle had been hunkered down in their huge nest unseen to us humans until the other one flew in and landed on a  nearby branch.  This was when the one that had been on nest duty rose up, yawned, flexed it’s wings and took off for their shift.  Cooperative parenting in the wild.  As it takes some time for the eggs to hatch and the eaglets to fledge, I still have time to go back and hopefully capture more photos of the family as it grows.

Teri 🦅📷

bald eagle, nesting pair, olentangy river

bald eagle

bald eagle, columbus, Ohio

bald eagle, eagle in flight, raptor, bird of prey

away

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Eagle Eyes

Another image of one of the eagles.  I’m not even sure how to tell them apart; both birds were equally spectacular to see and the sound the wings made upon take off? Wow! They always look so serious and a bit intimidating.

By the way, anyone know how to tell a male from a female?

Teri 🦅📷

bald eagle, central ohio

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Eagle Time

We have a rather famous pair of eagles that have nested year after year in one particular spot along the Olentangy River here in Ohio.  There nest is in a location that provides an excellent view for photographers and bird watchers.  We’ve been meaning to A. Find where they were and then B. Take photos!

And we just did!

Bird photography is a fascinating genre as sometimes the birds are there and sometimes they aren’t; throw in weather and lighting conditions and you get quite an interesting equation to work with.  We got directions that were far better than anything Google maps would’ve given us from a good friend and off we went armed with our zoom lenses and extra batteries because it was cold and windy that day and we know what the cold can do to batteries!

When we arrived, the eagles were not cooperating; some of the other photographers there had been waiting for hours!  One eagle was hunkered way down in their huge nest and the other was off hunting.  Patience comes in handy with bird photography (and a bit of luck I’d say as well) but it paid off when the one hunting bird returned and it’s mate traded places with it.

Happy photographers all around!

More soon – Teri 🦅📷

Bald Eagle, eagle, Olentangy River, raptor, bird of prey

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What goes down – goes back up

Snowy decided to walk past the pole she had “slipped” from (although from the yellow eye she was giving us she may have been saying she meant to do that) to size up the suitability of perching on the adjoining pole.  She was not having anything to do with that “slippery” one again.

After landing on the second pole she gave her feathers a good fluffing and resumed sitting there like nothing had ever happened.  You can’t keep a good owl down on the ground.  We will miss you, Snowy, and hope you come back to visit us next winter.

Teri 📷

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Whoops!

This is how the prior photo of Snowy walking in the grass started.  As you recall from this image, she was doing her yoga stretches and then things went a bit wibbly wobbly.

I’m assuming it was a misstep or something along those lines when the “whoopsies” happened!

After she stuck her landing, she stood there in the grass for a moment to regain her composure and contemplate what to do next.  And that’s when she went for her stroll in the grass to……

Stay Tuned – Teri 📷

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Why the look?

I think Snowy may have packed her bags and gone back home; haven’t seen any new images of her since around Valentines Day.  This image was taken January 9th when it was still cold but without the ice and snow.  There’s a cute story that goes with this image and why she is giving me the “Nothing to see here, just an owl walking!” look.  Will share next week.

Have a great and safe weekend everyone – Teri 📷

 

Snowy Owl, Alum Creek State Park

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Lady Cardinal of the Snow and Seeds

F8 – 560mm – ISO 50 – 1/250

Teri 📷

female Northern Cardinal, central Ohio

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From Birds to Cows

That title isn’t quite what you think it may be.  This past weekend we went out into the cold, wind and snow that came up to mid calf on me to see if we could find any birds to photograph.  So I went out equipped with a lens with an attached teleconverter that gave me a reach of 560mm maximum.

Will share the wintry birds later.

After finding the little winter birds in one park, we left to go to the reservoir to see if Snowy the Owl was still around.  Either she had moved someplace else, blended in very well with the snow or had packed her bags and headed home; we didn’t see her.  As we were at the reservoir anyway, we decided to head to the beach area where we had seen many water fowl and seagulls during warmer weather just to see if there was anything  interesting to photograph.

And that’s when we found the cows.

Cows is really C.O.W.S – Central Ohio Wind Sports; a catchy and memorable name.  On the lake where gulls like this one hung out all summer and fall were now humans on snow and ice.

Humans flying around on skis and snowboards snowkiting; something I had never seen before but found fascinating to watch.  I asked one of the members how they knew that the ice was safe enough for their fun and was told someone goes out and drills a hole and… well you know the rest from there.   There were even some people out ice fishing that day.

I’ve gone water skiing and wind surfing once but I don’t think I will ever try anything like this.  And they didn’t just zip back and forth with the wind that day, some did tricks and they would also go from the lake to land and then back again.  I think they all knew in some way that this day was probably going to be their last hurrah for kiting in the snow because temperatures are predicted to go up this week above freezing with sunshine.

It’s melting out there already…

Teri📷

snowkiting, kite skiing, Central Ohio Wind Sports

 

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