Scissortail Ballet

October 17, 2017 at 5:00 am (Bird photography, Birds - Oklahoma, Nature, Nature photography, Oklahoma, Photography, Wichita Mountains NWR, Wildlife)

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

One look at the impossibly long tail of the scissor-tailed flycatcher might make you wonder if handicaps this bird by its excess. But once you see the owners in flight, you realize the tails have a purpose.

They act as rudders of sorts, allowing the birds to dart after flying insects with finesse. Read the rest of this entry »

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Nighthawks and Pauraques

May 29, 2017 at 8:12 am (Bird photography, Birds - Oklahoma, Birds - Texas, Nature, Nature photography, Oklahoma, Photography, Southwest Birds, Wildlife) (, )

Common nighthawk

Nighthawks are among the birds of my childhood. Their “buick buick” calls at dusk, the quick wingbeats followed by a glide, remind me of warm Southern nights. I remember being outside when it was nearly dark, and a nighthawk flew past my head.

I took off after it in my bare feet. (My feet were perpetually black in summer from running on pavement). Read the rest of this entry »

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Hackberry Flat in Spring

April 25, 2017 at 1:36 pm (Bird photography, Birds - Oklahoma, Nature, Nature photography, Oklahoma, Wildlife) (, )

American Badger

I figured I’d start with the badger since it’s the most unusual animal of the day. It’s technically not in the boundaries of Hackberry Flat Wildlife Management Area in Southwest Oklahoma, but pretty close. Read the rest of this entry »

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Birds at my feeder

March 14, 2017 at 8:50 am (Bird photography, Birds - Oklahoma, Nature, Nature photography, Oklahoma)

Male house finch

My best photographs of birds at my backyard feeder come on overcast days, because there are too many window reflections on a sunny day. Read the rest of this entry »

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Owls ‘n Hawks

March 6, 2017 at 5:00 am (Bird photography, Birds - Oklahoma, Nature, Nature photography, Oklahoma, Photography) (, , )

Short-eared owl

Short-eared owl

I understand the short-eared owls at Hackberry Flat Wildlife Management Area in Southwest Oklahoma will be leaving soon for their breeding grounds up north. This was my second time seeing them last Sunday. Read the rest of this entry »

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Kestrel (Sparrow Hawk)

February 11, 2017 at 5:00 am (Bird photography, Birds - Oklahoma, Nature, Nature photography, Oklahoma) (, , )

American kestrel male

American kestrel male

I spent about an hour last month photographing a single male American kestrel, also known as a sparrow hawk. When he first arrived at the blind at Hackberry Flat Wildlife Management Area in southwest Oklahoma, he was wet. Read the rest of this entry »

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Harriers and a Merlin

February 10, 2017 at 5:00 am (Bird photography, Birds - Oklahoma, Nature, Nature photography, Oklahoma, Photography) (, , )

Northern Harrier

Northern Harrier

Harriers, also known as marsh hawks, are a very common sight here in southwestern Oklahoma in winter. Although the Cornell Lab of Ornithology map shows they occur year-round in the northwestern parts of our state, I did not see any last summer. They were replaced by the very numerous Mississippi kites. Read the rest of this entry »

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American Bittern and Some Other Birds

February 9, 2017 at 5:00 am (Bird photography, Birds - Oklahoma, Nature, Nature photography, Oklahoma, Photography) (, )

American bittern

American bittern

Sometimes you have to look hard to find a bird that blends in so well with its surroundings as does the American bittern.

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I was with another birder on Jan. 2 when a photographer drove up and told us where to find a bittern at Hackberry Flat Wildlife Management Area in southwestern Oklahoma. Read the rest of this entry »

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Short-eared Owls

February 8, 2017 at 8:08 am (Birds - Oklahoma, Nature, Nature photography, Oklahoma, Photography) (, , )

Short-eared owl

Short-eared owl

I didn’t get a chance to post my photographs from my January  2 visit to Hackberry Flat Wildlife Management Area in southwest Oklahoma. I flew to Seattle two days later, and did some of the photo editing while there.

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The short-eared owl, which is a winter bird in Oklahoma, is a life bird for me (number 461) and I would have missed them if another birder had not told me there was about a dozen of them hunkered down in the tall grass by the visitor center. Read the rest of this entry »

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Caddo Maples

November 20, 2016 at 12:03 pm (Autumn, Bird photography, Birds - Oklahoma, National Wildlife Refuges (US Fish & Wildlife), Nature, Nature photography, Oklahoma, Photography, Wichita Mountains NWR, Wildlife)

Caddo Maples, Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Okla.

Caddo Maples, Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Okla.

Walking through a forested canyon in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge near Lawton, Okla., I felt like I was back in the Chisos Mountains of Big Bend National Park in Texas. Big Bend was the first park I worked at when the Great Recession ended my art business, and it changed my life. Read the rest of this entry »

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