These are some of my favorite photographs. I try to take photographs that show animal relationships or activity. I especially love photographs of sibling relationships, family and parental, especially maternal love.
This red fox kit was one of three seen going in and out of the fox den in North Dakota. Their parents were feeding the babies pheasants and other birds for meals. This kit had fun playing with a feather.
These red fox kits were photographed cuddling near their den in North Dakota. Baby foxes play much like puppies do.
These are three out of the four cubs. You can see their tiny but very sharp claws.
A few minutes later they were snuggling, keeping warm and sleeping after an exhaustive day of trying to stay alive, keeping close to their mother, nursing, playing and trying to learn skills to survive their harsh environment.
These mule deer fawns were photographed touching noses while resting with their mom in the North Dakota badlands.
This young mule deer is leaping over a small gulley in the North Dakota badlands. They can have a bounding, jumping gait that looks like a kangaroo hopping.
Baby elephant seals grow up to be 8000 pound beachmasters who are very territorial with other males. However, when 3-weeks-old they are very curious and affectionate.
Sharp-tailed grouse gather together in the spring where the males strut around while performing their mating dance, a wonderful spring event to see in the Dakotas. This photograph is the cover for the Dakota Reflections website.
A number of years ago, while in the Dakota Badlands, I walked around a small butte to see if there were photographic opportunities at sunset. To my surprise there were the remains of a bison with bones scattered by predators. Only bones and hide were remaining. I left the bones as I found them and returned several weeks later with the remains scattered over a wide area.
This is a brand new baby Antarctic fur seal, less than 1-hour old, bonding with mom. Mom has been busy. After the birth, mom defended her baby from male seals and aggressive skuas.
Leopard seals are huge, absolutely huge. They are also very curious. When the swim up to your small zodiac boat in Antarctic and come within 1 foot of the surface, just below you, it is an awesome and somewhat frightening experience.
This Gentoo penguin is showing determination to plow into the Southern Atlantic Ocean off Saunders Island of the Falkland Islands.
These roseatte spoonbills were snuggling with each other. When awake, these birds cross and clasp their bills together as they work to build their nest.
This osprey is bringing in fish for dinner. They often are seen flying while carrying partially eaten fish so a whole fish was nice to see. The fish is not impressed.
The little blue heron is one of my favorite birds. When the light is right, the blues and purples are fantastic.
This slaty flowerpiercer was photographed in Costa Rica. This bird has a sharp tapering bill which allows it to pierce flowers and feed on nectar, which the flowerpiercer was doing as the camera shutter was opened.
This long-tailed silky flycatcher was also photographed in Costa Rica. This bird has a very long name which is used to describe an absolutely beautiful bird.
This cheetah was photographed at the White Oak Conservation Center in Yulee, Florida. They run very, very fast and are hard to get in focus.
As were were leaving Torres del Paine National Park in Chile, we were very lucky to find these guanocos standing in front of the famous three towers, Los Torres. The guanocos stood there for a few minutes and then moved on. Timing is everything.
While everyone else was eating breakfast in Torres del Paine National Park in Chile, I was out looking for sunlight possibilities. The sky was heavily overcast. Fortunately, a little sliver of sunlight broke through the clouds, lighting up a small part of Cuerno Norte, a beautiful mountain.
Getting photographs of mammals nursing is not easy but we were lucky to see this mom and baby nursing in Arusha National Park in Tanzania
This black caiman came right up to our canoe at Lake Sandoval in Peru, so close that you can see a fly above the caiman's right eye
This is my favorite Arctic fox picture, looking right at me and showing sharp teeth. The fox was actually yawning and not mad at the time.
I was about 15 yards away from this polar bear who decided to take a nap on the shores of the Hudson Bay, waiting for the water to freeze over before venturing out on the ice to hunt seals.
" The Fighting Incas"
These Collared Incas were sparing over a hummingbird feeder in Ecuador. Hummingbirds often get into tussels with one bird claiming territory by a feeder and chasing others away. This usually occurs so quickly that the camera can not move quickly enough to focus on the hummingbirds in flight and capture the action. I was lucky to get them in my focus field and push the remote at the right time.
The long-tailed sylph was my favorite bird to see in Ecuador. I was amazed to see this bird fly around trees with the long tail trailing behind. The sylph was very difficult to photograph, rarely coming to the feeders and staying only briefly, often chased away by a chestnut-breasted coronet. I was fortunate to capture the long-tailed sylph with the back feathers spread apart.
Hawking is catching insects in mid-flight, as this female purple-throated woodstar is doing in Ecuador. Hummingbirds vary their diet to eat more than nectar. When your wings beat 80 times per second and your heart rate is 1250 beats per minute, you need some added protein. She may have caught this fly to bring home to her nestling babies. Female hummingbirds forage for insects more than males due to their childrearing responsibilities.
This western meadowlark saw the sharp-tailed grouse fighting at their lek and decided to join the combat.
Snowy owls can be seen occassionally during the winter and early spring in North Dakota and are a good reason to venture into the rural during the bleak cold days.
Three of the four cubs can be seen nursing while one is hidden behind the tree branch.
This photograph was taken a few seconds later showing that mom has raised her head to get a better view of her cubs and one of the cubs has moved on to a new location.
This mama brown bear had four cubs and kept very busy nursing and protecting them while trying to catch sockeye salmon to keep up her own nutrition. This photograph captures the loving bond between her and one of her four cubs.
This is why people go to Alaska to photograph brown bears catching salmon. Although pictures like this have been taken many times, they still are impressive. It rained everyday while we were there but good photography was still possible. I like this photograph because the bear's face can be seen along with teeth. Also, there is the possibility that the salmon got away (it did this time but many are caught and eaten).
This sockeye salmon was not as fortunate.
Badgers are common in North Dakota but I have rarely seen them, usually the badger quickly crosses the road ahead of me and disappears in the brush. The are more likely to be seen in prairie regions. When they move, they look like a walking rug because their body shape is so, so flat. They dig a den to rest during the day and rarely use the den twice, constantly on the move. Finding this badger out during the day was a treat.
I was in southeast Wyoming on August 21, 2017 to witness nearly 2 minutes of total solar eclipse, the first one I have ever seen. The corona is visible, the area of plasma that surrounds the sun. The sun's corona is much hotter than the surface of the sun. When there is a flare in the corona, the results plasma may hit our earth, producing Northern lights.
Diamond Ring and Solar Flare! People first applauded eclipse totality and then gaspsed in amazement when the sun peaked over the moon. Darkness melted away into light. I was with several hundred strangers at a rest stop in southeastern Wyoming. We were there to just watch and appreciate a wonder of our world and solar system. A solar prominence is visible just to the right of the diamond ring and a smaller one at the 3 o'clock position.
Black-tailed prairie dogs are affectionate burrowing dwelling rodents once commonly seen in the grasslands and prairies of the Western United States. They lived in family groups and greet each other by a prairie dog kiss or nuzzle.
This pronghorn mom (doe) with her two babies (fawns) were photographed in the Dakota Prairie National Grasslands running at 40 miles per hour. They can run up to 60 miles per hour. Fawns are able to outrun humans within a week of life and by several weeks can keep up with their parents!
This mule deer doe is nursing her fawn in Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Fawns nurse briefly just several times a day so witnessing and photographing this important event is not easy!
This scissor-tailed flycatcher was photographed at Fossile Rim Wildlife Center in April 2017 when I attended the Conservation Centers for Species Survivial annual meeting in Glen Rose, Texas.
Lean on Me!
These great horned owlets were photographed in Burleigh County, North Dakota taking a nap when a yawn occurred!
This baby western kingbird was photographed being fed an insect by either mom or day. The baby seemed to be quite exited!
More Likely Heard than Seen!
I am able to see American Bitterns a couple of days every year. They disguise well with their brown markings and blend into the reeds. This one was just on the edge, with sunlight and no wind, allowing a nice reflection.
This black-crowned night-heron has found a salamander for breakfast. If you look closely, the heron's eye is partially covered by the nictitating membrane which protects the eye but allows vision. Birds and reptiles use the membrane during activities that may have potential of eye injury, such as trying to subdue your breakfast.
This white-face ibis has found a frog for breakfast but the frog is making an escape. White-faced ibis initially do not appear to be very attractive, in dull light they just appear dark. However, in sunlight they have a metallic green color and are quite spectacular.
This is a white-tailed deer leaping through the air. When deer run, they usually run away from me and all I get to see is their rear end, which doesn't make a noteworthy photograph. However, this deer decided to run along side my vehicle, allowing this photograph. They are extraordinarily graceful and seem to run and leap effortlessly. A wonder to behold!
An American Bald Eagle is landing in trees next to a younger bald eagle. You can see the use of tail feathers to slow landing speed as the bald eagle selects a branch to land on. Photograph was obtained in November 2017 at Long Lake National Wildlife Refuge in North Dakota.
This female snowy owl was photographed in rural Burleigh County in November 2017. There had been one month of cold air with snow cover in southern Canada and this snowy owl had ventured south to find rodents to eat.
The porcupine was photographed in Theodore Roosevelt National Park in February 2018 having a meal of bark. Winter is a time of easier porcupine viewing as they don't have leaves to hide them.
Bull Elk in Winter
His massive antlers were still on in late February 2018 in Theodore Roosevelt National Park
Apex on an Apex
Coyotes are apex predators in the North Dakota Badlands. This coyote was resting on snow on the apex of a butte in late February 2018, surveying the coyote's kingdom.
There was still snow on the ground during our long winter of 2017-18 when this red-tailed hawk was photographed in late March.
Late March 2018 found this rough-legged hawk still in North Dakota. Snow was still on the ground and the signal to return to the Arctic was not yet there.
Another early arrival to North Dakota was this American kestrel photographed in mid-April 2018 with snow still on the ground.
American kestrels have the ability to hover in place as they search out prey, photograph was taken in April 2018
Difficult to Photograph
This female Northern harrier was photographed in central North Dakota in April 2018. Her undulating flight low to the ground makes photography difficult
Also difficult to photograph
Nesting and eating on the ground also are habits that make photographing this male Northern harrier difficult. I was hiking in the Badlands when I wandered into his territory and he decided to chase me off!
Long Lake National Wildlife Refuge is a good place to see migrating water birds
Mates for Life
Coyotes mate for life and this couple was photographed in Theodore Roosevelt National Park in May of 2018
Baby great horned owlets are protected in their nest by their parents. Great horned owls are the earliest nesting bird in North Dakota.
Great horned owls will use a previous hawk nest for their or a tree hollow which this great horned owl found in the North Dakota Badlands
Ferruginous hawks are names for the rust color of the leg feathers. This hawk was photographed in Kidder County in May 2018
Hola from Argentina
Swainson's hawks travel from Argentina each spring to nest in the Northern plains and Southern Canada, photograph taken in late May 2018 at Long Lake National Wildlife Refuge
Hovering Badland's Beauty
The mountain bluebird is my favorite bird to photogaph in the North Dakota Badlands. This species is an early migrator with sitings reported as early as February in North Dakota
Quite a mouthfull
I think this black-tailed prairie dog photographed in Theodore Roosevelt National Park in June of 2018 was going to share with babies in the burrow.
Early morning is a good time to try to see elk in Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Bull elk need to eat a lot to help their antlers grow up to an inch a day. The vascular velvet on the outside nourishes the growing antlers
More Food for Our Babies
This is a favorite photograph taken in June of 2018. The female mountain bluebird is flying out of the nest to find food while the male waits to take the insect in to the cavity nest to feed their babies
Building a Nest!
Northern harriers build their nests on the ground. This female (Mom) Northern harrier is bringing in nesting material to a hidden nest among reeds in a slough. Their owl-like head helps them hear their prey as they fly close to the ground.
Breakfast is served!
The baby barn swallow is receiving a bug for breakfast. The photograph was taken in July 2018 in Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
The baby barn swallow is saying "Thank you!" after receiving a bug for breakfast. The photograph was taken in July 2018 in Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
That's My Mom!
This grizzly bear cub looked back as me as to say "no worries, I am with my mom." The photograph was taken in September 2018 in Denali National Park.
My first photograph of wolves in the wild! This is an adult and baby wolf of the Tolkat pack of 2 adults and 5 young wolves born this spring. There are only 70 wolves in Denali compared to 350 grizzly bears, 1700 caribou and 1800 moose. I have been to Denali 4 times and this is the first time I have seen two wolves together. The lighting was bad and the wolves were some distance from me so this is the best I could do. Another amazing species able to survive extraordinarily harsh conditions! The photograph was taken in September 2018 in Denali National Park.
Sandhill Crane in Flight
This is my first OK Sandhill Crane flight photo. Sandhill cranes travel through North Dakota on their annual migrations north in the spring and south in the fall, but I never get good photos. They are noisy and I can see them in the distance, up in the sky or remotely feeding in a field. They are very savvy and see me coming and take off. In Alaska, it was different, I could get very close. The lighting was bad and I can take a better photo, so it is a good reason to go back.
Sandhilll cranes raise 1 to 3 babies, they lay on the eggs for 1 month, babies take 2 months until they can fly and they stay with their parents up to 12 months. They are large birds, up to 4 feet tall, so it takes a lot of bugs and other food to help the babies grow. I was standing in a field of yellow flowers with my camera as these cranes approached within 20 yards. The adult on the right had just caught an insect and gave it to their baby on the left (which you can see in its bill). A really cool experience!
Whooping Crane in North Dakota!
I was planning to camp in the badlands in late October 2018 but work changed my plans. So I decided, instead, to go to Long Lake National Wildlife Refuge the day after attending the retirement party of a well-respected United States Fish and Wildlife Service biologist and found this whooping crane! Sometimes Plan B works out better than Plan A!
Only 500 whooping cranes travel in the western flyway between Wood Buffalo National Park in Alberta and Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas. Traveling with the hundreds of thousands of sandhill cranes means safety in numbers.
Whooping cranes are noticeably taller with 5 foot length compared to 4 feet for sandhill cranes.
Photographs added in 2019
Golden eagle, Yellowstone National Park, phootgraphed in January 2019. Golden eagles can live up to 20 to 25 years in the wild and up to 50 years in captivity.
Snow shower! American bison shaking off the snow accumulated from snow plowing for grass in deep snow in Yellowstone National Park!
Male big horned sheep photographed in Yellowstone National Park in January 2019. Males live 9 to 12 years and ewes can live 10 to 14 years in the wild.
The lighting was terrible early in the morning in Yellowstone National Park in Feburary 2019 but two moose together, looking at each other, as they crossed the Lamer River, was a wonderful sight!
Copyright © All Rights Reserved