Great-horned Owlet Drooped Over Nest Box

Great-horned Owlet Drooped Over Nest Box

Quotation MarksThis little guy (Bubo virginianus) fell from his nest early on, and because the nest was so high, the Wildlife Specialist created a temporary nest as high as possible using a cardboard box. Once he grew old enough, he would sleep and perch on the side of the “nest,” as seen here. It was hysterical to see him drape his wing over one side, and fall sound asleep. He is just awakening in this photo, as you can see from his droopy eyes. Incidentally, his parents continued to care for him and his sister, who remained in the original nest, and both were successfully fledged to independence. God’s Creations are so amazing!

—A. deLeeuw

Arizona, U.S. | 1/200 | F10 | ISO 400 | 185mm

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Written on August 13th, 2014 , 5th Day Photography, Birds, Latest Tweets, Owls
Snow Geese Superaerial

Snow Geese Superaerial

Quotation MarksThis is a rather prosaic photo of Snow Geese (Chen caerulescens), but something about the superaerial white geese against the tawny grass, and umber tree trunks and branches that I find very poetic. Snow geese, too, are quite poetic in their social bonds. The young adults usually wait until their second year to search out the soul mate with whom they will remain until death. I am unsure if poetry plays any part in their courtship, but dinner dance dates are requisite. Once goslings enter the family group, they typically stay within the family for two to three years before choosing a mate of their own. If you want to learn more about the more mundane theories for goose pair bands, you can read Why Do Geese Mate for Life, I still favor the idea that it is another stanza of God’s poetry.

—A. deLeeuw

New Mexico, U.S. | 1/1000 | F7.1 | ISO 320 | 420mm

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Written on August 12th, 2014 , 5th Day Photography, Birds, Latest Tweets
Ring-necked Drake in a Pond of Gold

Ring-necked Drake in a Pond of Gold

Quotation MarksThis Ring-necked (Aythya collaris) drake is swimming in the perfect setting to enhance his golden eye. The reflection in the water of the lovely fall colors provides a stunning impression of molten gold, and I love the way this little guy in his elegant tuxedo appears to be swimming in a pond of gold!

—A. deLeeuw

Arizona, U.S. | 1/400 | F10 | ISO 320 | 300mm

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Written on August 6th, 2014 , 5th Day Photography, Birds, Latest Tweets
Ferruginous Hawk Predatory Gaze

Ferruginous Hawk Predatory Gaze

Quotation MarksThe intensity of the Ferruginous Hawk’s (Buteo regalis) gaze is intimidating indeed, but weighing in at an average of 2 1/2 to 4 1/2 pounds, and standing at 22″ to 27″ tall, they are intimidating even without the ominous stare of an avid carnivore. It makes me grateful that I am NOT a gopher, a favorite comestible of the Ferruginous Hawk, and in fact such a favorite that the Ferruginous was nicknamed the “Gopher Hawk.” Even with its unusually large mandibular gape, more equivalent to that of a Great-horned Owl that swallows its prey whole, I know I am safe from its prodigious crushing talons. Well, safe from predation anyway, but those talons could still do some deleterious damage!

—A. deLeeuw

Arizona, U.S. | 1/1000 | F6.3 | ISO 320 | 420mm

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Written on August 1st, 2014 , 5th Day Photography, Birds, Latest Tweets
Vermilion Male Proffering Victuals to His Wife

Vermilion Male Proffering Victuals to His Wife

Quotation MarksI followed this Vermilion Flycatcher (Pyrocephalus rubinus) couple from nesting, egg-laying, raising and fledging of their first family, but in four to five short weeks later, they were laying their next clutch. Once the fledglings graduated, it was a new honeymoon period for the now empty nesters. Mr. V is back to wooing his sweetheart, but no ordinary bunch of flowers for his best girl. He brought her dinner, hot and still wriggling, and she seems wholly charmed by his suavities. Such heartwarming devotion and fidelity are difficult to resist!

—A. deLeeuw

Arizona, U.S. | 1/640 | F9 | ISO 320 | 300mm

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Written on July 29th, 2014 , 5th Day Photography, Birds, Latest Tweets
Broad-billed Hummingbird Hen in Flight

Broad-billed Hummingbird Hen in Flight

Quotation MarksWho says that hummingbird hens are drab. This iridescent Broad-billed hummingbird (Cynanthus latirostris) hen is anything but lackluster. Just look at the array of hues and shimmer on her, and she clearly knows precisely how to strike the most flattering pose to exhibit her glamor. She is spectacular!

—AdL

Written on April 25th, 2014 , 5th Day Photography, Birds, Latest Tweets
Male Great Egret Wading in Pond

Great Egret Wading

Quotation MarksThe Great Egret (Ardea alba) is probably as common to areas of the United States, as Cactus Wrens are to the Sonoran Desert, but for us “desert rats,” it is exhilaratingly exotic. To stand within three to four feet, and fill my camera’s frame with his jewel was intoxicating! I have been enamored with egrets ever since! —AdL

Written on April 21st, 2014 , 5th Day Photography, Birds, Latest Tweets
Peacock with expression of earnest devotion

Peacock Courtship: Earnest Devotion

Quotation MarksI just love this closeup of Mr. P in one vertex of his performance, and wanted to capture it on camera. The intensity of his expression as he focuses all his attention and energy on his audience, Mrs. P. Just look at the intensity on his face! It is obvious that nothing and nobody else exists at that very moment. What woman could resist such an obvious declaration of earnest devotion? —AdL

Written on April 8th, 2014 , 5th Day Photography, Birds, Latest Tweets, Peacock Courtship
Peacock Courtship Ritual

Peacock Courtship: Entr’acte

Quotation Marks

Mr. P has performed most admirably for his audience, and has expended a proportionate amount of exertion. During the entr’acte he needs to replenish his depleted muscles, and takes advantage of the few free minutes between acts to quickly ingest the necessary nutrients. I find it particularly amusing that he does not even take a moment to undo his cape, but rather snacks with his costume fully unfurled! He is an ardent suitor! —AdL

Sonoran Scrub Oak

Life Cycle of Sonoran Scrub Oak

Quotation MarksWhat I find so appealing about this photo of the Sonoran Scrub Oak (Quercus turbinella) is the singular and delightful shapes made by the leaves and color patterns. Who knew oaks could produce so many different shapes…from the traditional oak leaf to these holly-like leaves? I am also fascinated by so many life stages represented all on one small branch. From the residual cupule from last year’s acorn, to new leaves unfurling in bright pink, to full-grown mature leaves, to dying leaves beginning to fade and curl. Too cool!

—AdL

(To purchase any of my photos, visit my photography site: on the 5th Day Photography)

Written on June 18th, 2012 , 5th Day Photography, Latest Tweets

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Nature Photography and Stories from the Sonoran Desert