Barred owls are native to eastern North America. Their preferred habitat are mature forests, but they also reside in open woodlands. They are large owls, ranging 16 to 25 inches long, with a wingspan ranging from 38 to 49 inches. They are non-migratory and reside in the same area year round.
I've been looking into joining a wildlife photographer association to meet other wildlife photographers. As I was researching the different associations, there was a prevailing message from most of them that I can proudly say I follow: ethics in wildlife photography.
Seeing wildlife or getting the perfect image is not a guarantee. That's what makes it so special when it does all come together.
The American kestrel is the smallest falcon in America. They range in size from about the size of a blue jay to the size of a mourning dove. Kestrels live in various habitats, such as grasslands, meadows, and desserts. They are able to live in diverse conditions from above the Arctic Circle to the tropics of Central America. American kestrels often mate for life.
I have to make a confession. Of all the raptors that I've had to honor of seeing and studying, red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis) remain my favorite. They are partial migrators, which means that some migrate south for the Winter and others do not. Adults spend the Winter closer to their breeding grounds. They are commonly seen along roadsides hunting for prey. Even though they are common, I still get a thrill every time I see one. They are monogamous and mate for life.
The greatest threats to red-tailed hawk populations are shootings, collisions with automobiles, and human activities near nests. Lead poisoning from eating food items that contain lead shot also kills a number of red-tailed hawks each year. Red-tailed hawks are protected under the U.S. Migratory Bird Act.
Red-tailed hawks play an important role in the ecosystem because they eat small mammals, keeping the population down.
Not too long ago, I removed several galleries. There were a few reasons behind the decision:
1. The various series are limited editions and art is meant to be viewed in person. While I enjoy sharing my images with you, the best way to view them is in print. There are small details that are completely missed on a phone, tablet, or monitor. This point was really driven home when a client was viewing one of my works hanging on the wall and noticed a subtle motion blur. He then realized the image was not a composite, but the real thing, which added more value to the image for him.
2. As a business and in my heart, I am a fine art portrait and headshot photographer. My landscape and wildlife are my personal work. I enjoy sharing the work, but they don't belong prominently in a gallery on this site. They will remain in blog posts for those interested.
3. Over the years, my style and my opinions have changed. That happens as people grow. I never intend to stop growing. Therefore, some of my blog posts were no longer relevant, nor did they reflect my current opinions. I have deleted those posts. I have also deleted the posts announcing changes to the site or business because those are no longer relevant.
4. My film and digital images are intermixed in the galleries. Chances are, and especially on the internet, you can't tell the difference. Therefore, it was best to keep galleries under subject category instead of keeping them organized by the medium.
All in all, this was more of a housekeeping exercise to clean the site and keep it on topic.
I hope you enjoy it and find it pleasing to view. I also hope to meet you in the person in the future.
It is all of our little imperfections that make us perfect.
No retouching except converting to black and white and a small crop to censor a smidge of buttocks (don't want anyone to faint with indignation).
I had a lot of fun creating this look. I created or styled the pieces. The wood flagon is by a local woodworker friend of mine. I cast Kory because I thought his look was perfect for the concept. With the winter in full swing in Michigan, we had to push the session out by one week. It appears we are in for another snow storm today. Glad Kory and I were able to make this happen between snow storms.
I'm also glad my commissioned sessions were scheduled on the least snowy days this week! I would hate for clients to have to trudge through snow and bad roads to get to a session. It's always best to be relaxed and enjoy yourself during a session, but that's hard to do if you had to drive white-knuckled through a snow storm to get there.
A big thank you to my clients and to Kory for braving the Winter. I love meeting all of you!
The more I photography people, the more I love the in-between moments. I think those are the moments that really present who that person is. The perfectly posed portraits are nice for hanging on the wall, but the most memorable ones, the most intimate ones, are the portraits with expression, body language, and unguarded moments.
Since it was first detected in New York in 1999, West Nile virus has spread to 45 states and the District of Columbia. The virus has affected more than 300 wild and captive birds species.
West Nile virus is transmitted to most birds through the bite of an infected mosquito. Predators, such as hawks and owls, and scavengers, such as crows, become infected after eating sick or dead birds that were already infected with the virus. Great Grey old are especially susceptible to the virus.
Birds infected with the virus appear disoriented or lethargic, have head tremors or seizures, loss of defensive behaviors and overall weakness. West Nile virus causes swelling in the brain and can affect other organs including the spleen, kidneys, liver and eyes.
In most cases, by the time these birds are weak enough to be found, the virus is so advanced for wildlife rehabilitates to treat. Most birds brought in for care die within 24 to 48 hours of arrival.
Above, a Great Grey owl perches on a stump and looks for prey. Fortunately, this Great Grey owl is not affected with the virus. However, raptors are very susceptible to the disease, mostly likely because they have two ways of contracting it: mosquito bites and eating carrion already infected with the virus. Raptors in Ohio and midwestern states seem to be hit the hardest.
In the Winter, bald eagles hunt for ducks along the waterways around here. There is plenty of wildlife locally. While I enjoy trips on occasion, I enjoy staying local and studying the amazing local wildlife. I don't think we appreciate what we have in our own areas. It's the "grass is always greener" syndrome.