A useful introduction to the term “agonistic behavior” is found here,” from Wikipedia—”Agonistic behaviour is any social behaviour related to fighting. The term has broader meaning than aggressive behaviour because it inecludes threats, displays, retreats, placation, and conciliation.” My camera and I see it all the time, from our bird bath to clashes in the (relative) wild. I have documented such … More “Agonistic Behavior” Among Birds: More Than Just Fighting
You have noticed by now that there are two connected ponds on the Old Walnut Canyon Road (the road that leads to Walnut Canyon National Monument) that attract a variety of waterfowl as well as ospreys, bald eagles, and swallows. Once again I turn to my cache of photos taken there for another favorite— the … More Motion Blur Photography #3: Flock of Geese
I live hundreds of miles inland from the Pacific, but late in August, Flagstaff was visited by a flock of American Avocets. As you saw in my first Motion Blur post, the technique produces some cool effects. (By the way, like yesterday’s post, this shot was taken at the Old Walnut Canyon Road Ponds. I … More Motion Blur #2: Photographing American Avocets in Flight
I have been working on lessons taught by Lisa Langell a month ago in a webinar hosted by Arizona Highways Photoscapes. In particular, I am still very much working on my skills in shooting and editing photos intended to be partially blurred. I intend to show you what I mean in more posts in the … More Motion Blur: Photographing Birds in Flight
A few weeks ago, on back to back days, I had magical encounters with a gray fox, which was standing on one of the huge boulders adjacent to the Cheshire Pond (Cheshire Park). My wife and I had last seen one in our neighborhood about 16 years ago! I took this photograph during the first … More Gray Fox In Our Neighborhood
I know that gardeners are not always fond of deer making an appearance, since it can involve pretty much decimating at least one plant the deer find tasty. Putting that aside, however, watching a doe who has been visiting our boulder-filled back yard (and the plants my wife has worked so hard to nurture) for … More A doe and her fawn
On September 1, my wife called me to the window to come and see a “rock squirrel party.” Rock squirrels (Otospermophilus variegatus ) are the little rodents that we first met when we moved to our current home in Flagstaff, Arizona—and were a bit mystified. The genus otospermophilus is a group of ground squirrels. Our … More Rock Squirrels
A week ago my wife and I visited my home town, Claremont California. Whenever I go there I prioritize taking a walk along Thompson Creek. As we walked, something caught my eye—a hawk on a 15-foot-high eucalyptus branch. I began to photograph what was apparently a red-tailed hawk. The next thing I know, another hawk … More Red-tailed hawk in Claremont, CA
It’s been a frightfully warm winter, but not so warm as to completely melt the ice on our fair city’s beloved municipal pond near a couple of our public schools. Frances Short was an “educator and city councilperson” in Flagstaff. (For more information, click here.) The pond and its immediate environs are home to waterfowl … More Waterfowl on Frances Short Pond (Flagstaff)
See my newly posted video of a male red-winged blackbird. It’s pretty fun to watch him puffing himself up like a bagpipe and then producing his own piping call.
It’s always nice when I discover that my camera has seen more than I did when I took a shot. That has happened lately, as spring gets ready to turn to summer, when I see “Well well, the little creature seems to be building a nest!” (Of course I am also very aware of seeing … More Spring (or at least nest-building material) is in the mouth
Ordinary Cameras, Extraordinary Encounters:Taking Wildlife Photos From the Heart A Workshop Led by Jim Wilce, and Sponsored by the Northern Arizona Audubon Society Saturday, June 24, 8-10 a. m., Kachina Wetlands (near Flagstaff, Arizona) What do you want from outdoor/ wildlife photographs? How can you take photos that you and others will enjoy? And how … More Photo Walk With Jim Wilce, June 24
This nature preserve is a “wow!” kind of place. A theme of my work of late is birds engaging in aerial conflict. This shot, and this one, give you a sense of the kinds of conflict I saw many times in my recent visit to Upper Newport Bay.
One of my favorite places in Flagstaff is Frances Short Pond. It is a hotspot for members of the Order Odonata— dragonflies and damselflies like the one below, which is, I believe, a “bluet.” But now the show I promised—a shaky video of two orange dragonflies and their mid-air mating dance. The still photos on … More Dragonflies mating mid-air
The other day, I came in from a photographic moment down on my knees in the front yard. This put my legs in direct contact with a pile of dead plant matter. So I should have seen this coming— a hitchhiker apparently crawled onto my blue jeans. So it was not until I came inside … More Hitchhiker butterfly