Wednesday, April 15, 2015

"A Rare Sight" (Barred Owl)

In January my husband and I got to see a "life bird" for us; and in a place where they are rarely seen.  This photo was taken on our second time looking for it.  This Barred Owl was in Boise, Idaho in a subdivision by the river.

After asking some binocular-carrying people for directions to its exact current location, we quietly approached with my camera shutter on quiet mode and marveled at this beautiful owl.  What a delight it was!  The patterns on it are so pretty!  It was perched in a backyard tree, not far from the sidewalk near the greenbelt.  There were several more people there admiring the owl, but it didn't seem to be bothered by us as is evidenced in the image I captured of it here.  In fact, I didn't get a photo with its eyes open due to it calmly snoozing the whole time we were there.  It was difficult to get shots of it without pieces of branches and twigs covering its face since it was back in the evergreen with behind some other bushes that were nearer to us, in the foreground.  It was a cold, winter day but it was well worth it.  I feel blessed to have gotten the chance to see this bird in the wild and so close to home!

What birds have YOU seen "out of place" lately?

For more information about the Barred Owl, click on it's name above the picture below.

                                                             Barred Owl (Strix varia )
Shekinah Photography by Kathleen Bowman: New Link Gallery &emdash; Barred Owl (Strix varia)

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Backyard Hunting has begun

On December 17th,  I saw this bird in a tree in our backyard.  I believe it to be a Cooper's hawk, perhaps 2nd year.  This is not the first hawk of the season to be hunting in my yard.  There have been a couple of others that I did not get photos of.  Both of the others were much smaller, I ID'd them as Sharp-shinned hawks, and had yellow eyes meaning they were immature birds.  This one was perched kind of high up in our tree so I headed up to my "bird blind" (aka laundry room on our 2nd floor with a small window, just perfect for a blind) to hopefully get some good shots.  I always take a few pictures before opening the window, just in case my action of doing so causes the bird to flee.  This bird was not concerned about me, only finding its next meal.  The light was nice although shadows crossed the eye of the bird and I had to wait until its head was turned just out of shadow in order to get some catch light in the eye. 

Shekinah Photography by Kathleen Bowman: Birds of Prey &emdash; Hunting Hawk

Here's the horizontal version of this same image.  Which one do you like best?  

Shekinah Photography by Kathleen Bowman: Birds of Prey &emdash; Hunting Hawk

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Wally-Eurasian Eagle Owl takes flight!

Meet Wally...an Eurasian Eagle Owl.

Shekinah Photography by Kathleen Bowman: Black & White &emdash; Taking flight 2

He was one of the raptors we saw at the flight displays in October.  I loved the look of the black and white with just the amazing color of his eye in color. To learn more about this type of owl, CLICK HERE

Here's Wally in color.  It's easy to see how he can blend in with his surroundings.  

Shekinah Photography by Kathleen Bowman: Birds of Prey &emdash; Taking flight 1

Stay tuned for more of Wally and more posts from the World Center for Birds of Prey!  Follow me on my FB page for updates on blog posts. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

My published Northern Saw-whet Owl...Here it is!

Click here to purchase your own copy and support The Peregrine Fund, as well as enjoy 14 months of awesome raptor images! *Note: I receive no money from the sale of this calendar, it all goes to The Peregrine Fund.
My image is on the page for the month of December 2014, so order yours soon or you'll miss my month! 

You can click here to be taken to my online gallery where you can order just the image itself as a fine print, on canvas, get it framed and more!


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Summer Migrators


This female or immature Rufous Hummingbird showed up and perched on the window feeder in the summer of 2012. It was the first Rufous I identified in my backyard (in SW Idaho) since I had begun bird watching.  They are feisty little things; bullies even.  I had to move my feeder out of the sight of the other feeder, otherwise the Rufous would fly back and forth chasing away any other hummers that needed a taste of the sweet nectar I was offering.  It was fun to watch the interaction with this new visitor added to the mix, but I still wanted them all to get their share.  It worked pretty well.

This is the time of year I will anticipate the possible arrival of the Rufous Hummingbird in my yard again.  Fun!  It's always exciting to see what birds show up and just when I think I've seen all that will come to my yard, a new visitor stops by and makes my day.  

This is only one summer migrator; there are others. Check out this information and map from the allaboutbirds.org blog, to see the migration routes of some unexpected birds this summer that may be coming through your area. 


Shekinah Photography by Kathleen Bowman: Birds &emdash; Rufous Hummingbird

The Rufous Hummingbird is also ABA's 2014 Bird of the Year! 

ABA Bird of the Year

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Well, owl be!

I recently entered the Birds of Prey 2014 Photo Competition that was held by The Peregrine Fund.  There were a total of 318 photos entered.   I didn't win the popular vote by the general public, what I did win means much more to me.

First, one of my photos was chosen by The Peregrine Fund’s selection committee as one of 10 Honorable Mentions!  That prize includes: Free membership in The Peregrine Fund ($25 value). Receive the next Birds of Prey Calendar, 10% gift shop discount, and unlimited admission at the World Center for Birds of Prey for one year.

The best "prize" of all I found out about just today.  My Northern Saw-whet owl photo will be published in the 2015 Birds of Prey Calendar!  Woot! Woot! or should I say, Hoot! Hoot!? :)  This means I've met my "get published again" goal I had set for myself this year.  It's been a few years...since before my corneal transplants and such; so yes, I'm STOKED! 

Here is the photo that was chosen...


Friday, June 6, 2014

A new surprise visitor!

Common Nighthawk
(Chordeiles minor)


Shekinah Photography by Kathleen Bowman: Birds &emdash; Common Nighthawk


I had a new surprise visitor to my backyard yesterday.  I love it when a bird visits my yard that's never done so before.

At first glance, with one of the boards on my trellis in the way, I thought it was a young robin (since we have a robin family with two newer fledglings right now).  When I could see the bird in the clearing, I realized it didn't look at all like a young robin.  The beak was SO small!  Then I notice all the other markings, like the  heavy horizontal bars on it's lower breast.  This was a bird I had read about in my bird books, but never actually seen.  The name, containing the word common, suggests that it is easy to find, right? Well, I've read that the numbers have declined overall, but I've heard from someone local, that they are coming back. 

Ironically, the Common Nighthawk is neither common, nor a hawk.  It does however become more active in the early morning and evening, so at least there's that part of it's name that rings true. :)  I have something in common with this bird.  As a photographer, when in the field, I too am most active in the early morning and early evening hours.  After all, that is when the lighting is best for gorgeous outdoor images.  In photography, this time period is know as the golden hour (sometimes known as the magic hour, especially in cinematography). It is a period shortly after sunrise or before sunset during which daylight is redder and softer compared to when the sun is higher in the sky.

If you're a birder and have more than my limited knowledge as a beginner, please comment and tell me what you can about this bird and it's numbers here, in SW Idaho.  Whatever the numbers are, I sure enjoyed the time this bird spent in our yard and I hope to see more of them in the future.

Here is a list of the birds I observed and identified in my backyard yesterday, June 5th, 2014:
Common Nighthawk, European Starling, House Sparrow, American Robin, House Finch, American Goldfinch, Eurasian Collared Dove, Mourning Dove, Red-winged Black Bird, Hummingbirds. (at least Black-chinned, perhaps others)

For more information about this bird, CLICK HERE.

If you'd be so kind as to vote for my birds of prey images, you can find the info and links HERE, or just go to the previous post, 2014 Birds of Prey Photo Competition.  Thank you!

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