Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Saffron Finch - Hawaii

Saffron Finch, originally uploaded by Michael A. Nelson.

Well, I thought I would continue with the Hawaii theme and show this photograph of the Saffron Finch. Often used as a cagebird they have established themselves in Hawaii. It originally came from just outside the Amazon Basin in South America and is a type of Tanager.

I discovered this bird poking around on the grass beside our condo we were staying in. He was nice enough to pose before he left.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Hawaiian Stilt - Hawaii

Hawaiian Stilt, originally uploaded by Michael A. Nelson.

On a recent trip to Hawaii, I picked up this rare picture of the Black Necked Stilt or more specifically the Hawaiian Stilt which is endangered in Hawaii. This bird is considered by many to be a subspecies of the Black-necked Stilt and by others to be a distinct species. The Stilt is the only shorebird to breed in the Hawaiian Islands.

We were returning our rental car at the airport and just across the street I noticed the stilts. I pulled the car over to the side and grabbed my camera. My wife Darlene was going crazy as we were about to board a plane and needed to return the car. Oh well, the life of a nature photographer!!!!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Endangered Kirtland's Warbler at Point Pelee

I just came back from Point Pelee doing our yearly birding trip to catch the migrating warblers. It was just a wonderful time. We saw about 20 species of Warblers over 3 days. The highlight of our trip was a rare endangered Kirtland Warbler.

As the story goes..... someone heard the song and in about 1 hour of hearing the song, about 30 of us were trying to find the bird. Now this Kirtland loved to sing but also loved to hide. After about 1 hour we didn't see the bird and a number of us were giving up. This was the last day for Tim(my brother) and I, so we decided to leave as well and try our luck elsewhere. We had a 4 hour drive back to Toronto and time was pressing on. Now about 1 hour later we heard that indeed the Kirtland showed its head. We decided to keep on birding the trail we were now on instead of going back. Well that lasted about 10 minutes. At Tim's urging we heading back to the the Kirtland spot and about 30 minutes later it showed it's head for a few quick short seconds, however my camera was ready so I have these very special shots for you. About 60 people were gathered around all jammed together to experience this very special moment.

Here is some additional info on the Kirtland Warbler.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Blue Cotinga #2 - Panama 2008

Blue Cotinga, originally uploaded by Michael A. Nelson.

Well, I just got back from Dominican Republic and can start actively blogging again. Today, I am heading off to Point Pelee in Ontario to catch the migrants coming north. I will post some new pictures from Point Pelee as well as some great shots I got in Dominican and some great photos from a recent trip to India.

Now here is the second promised photograph of the Blue Cotinga. I just love the colour of blue although I did have to use a flash on this one and the colour maybe a little more intense then normal.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Red Legged Honeycreeper #2 - Panama 2008

Red Legged Honeycreeper, originally uploaded by Michael A. Nelson.

I am sitting in the lobby of a resort in Punta Cana in Dominican Republic as I write this - The joys of technology!!! I promised another shot of the my second favorite bird from my last trip to Panama. Here it is - the very colourful Red Legged Honeycreeper. We were very close as I took this shot. It really makes my day when I see such a beautiful bird up close and personal. The photograph is just an added bonus.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Squirrel Cuckoo - Panama 2008

Squirrel Cuckoo, originally uploaded by Michael A. Nelson.

I am down to my last few Panama shots. I may show a few other different photographs of my 2 favorite birds from Panama - The Blue Cotinga and the Red Legged Honeycreeper.

The interesting thing with this Cuckoo is how he moves through the branches. It becomes readily apparent how he got his name.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Black Tailed Trogon - Panama 2008

Black Tailed Trogan, originally uploaded by Michael A. Nelson.

Ah, the stately Trogan, looking down at the world with such a manner of superiority. At least thats what I think when I see their posture - always easy to pick them out from a distance before you see the coloring. Here is a neat video of the Black Tailed Trogon in action.