Sometimes you get the shot you want, sometimes they stick their tongue out at you!
I was on my way out of Inglewood Bird Sanctuary when a Mule Deer Doe and two fawns crossed the path in front of me. The fawns were very cute, but they quickly made it clear how they felt about me.
Most people that I talk to in Calgary know about the Pelicans that live on the Bow River, but many of them have no idea that there are some other common residents on the river too. For example there are always Cormorants swimming in the churned up water below the weir alongside the Pelicans. These beautiful birds are incredible swimmers and they often disappear below the surface for minutes at a time. You’ll never know when or where they might come back to the surface.
Weird fact: Cormorants don’t have water repellent plumage as most other ducks and water birds do, so they must dry their wings after going for a swim or a bath… They can often be spotted perched on the wall at the East end of the Bow River Weir with their wings spread wide to dry in the breeze.
Many species of ducks can also be commonly spotted in the churn below the weir. Mergansers are very common, however they are normally quite elusive. It was very fun to see this juvenile bird completely oblivious to the people nearby as it splashed and hunted for minnows in the shallow waters near the shore.
I got home tonight and discovered some excitement in my neighborhood about some baby rabbits in the flowerbed at a house across the street. The kids on the street had discovered them earlier in the day and obviously were very excited. Baby bunnies are extremely cute. They are also essentially helpless without their parents around, and so they tried to stay motionless in the flowerbed all evening in order to avoid any attention.
The kids had a good time watching them (and feeding them some carrot sticks), and of course I dropped by to take a few pictures. Other than that they were left alone in the same place that they were found. There had been no sign of the parents all afternoon or evening, but hopefully they will return to collect the babies after it gets dark…
I was very excited to find a family of Great Horned Owls in Fish Creek Provincial Park, including two juveniles. The owlets were flapping their wings and hopping around from branch to branch. It appears that they can’t quite fly yet, but they’re definitely stretching their wings and getting ready to try!
Fish Creek Provincial Park is massive and there are birds and animals all over the park. From squirrels to coyotes, to White-tailed deer. Great Horned Owls are just one of the many very common birds in the park. There really are lots of them, and I hear reports about them all the time. Having said that, I’m always amazed when I do actually find one, and I have been extremely unsuccessful in the past. In fact I made over 9 trips to Shannon Terrace and Bebo Grove last spring searching for Northern Pygmy Owls, and I never saw even one. It became a running joke with my wife because every time she joined me one one of those trips it snowed. The visibility was usually so poor that we could have walked by a whole flock of owls and we wouldn’t have seen them.
But my luck is much better at the East end of the park near Sikome Lake and Hull’s Wood. I’ve seen owls in that area several times and so I’m not really surprised anymore when I do. Always excited, but not surprised!!
Here are a few more images of the young owlets perching and stretching their wings.
This is just a preview of 100’s of images I made this morning at my friends house. The eggs in the Blue Jay nest that I was invited to see last week hatched this week! My friends invited me back to see the babies in action. Mom and Dad were steadily coming back with their mouths full of food for the nestlings and I was able to get an extreme close-up (bird’s eye) view!