Osprey, leaving home?

There was a lot of activity at the old Osprey nest this morning.  I got the impression that the grown ups were trying to get the young ones to fly.  There was a stiff breeze, about 20 MPH, and they were standing up in the nest with wings open, but hanging onto the nest with their claws.

In spite of all the encouragement, they were reluctant to turn loose.  After about 20 minutes, the adults gave them a demonstration, but to no avail.  It’s one of those kind of deals, if you can fly you can come back home, if you can’t, you’re on your own.  I understand the reluctance.

One of the adults stayed on the roost nearby, just to keep an eye on things while the other one tried to push the youngster out, at least that was my read on it.  I think it will be an empty nest soon.

Happy Bird Day



I am not ready to fly, am I?
I am not ready to fly, am I?

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Warming Trend

It looks like the ducklings at Costco pond are going to survive this summer heat we’ve been having.   At least they seem to be adapting to it better than I am.  As Yoda would put it, “Too Hot”, this summer it is.  I enjoyed these ducks getting cooled off so much I thought about joining them, but all that green stuff in the water kind of changed my mind.

This heat has put a kink in my bird watching activities, and I don’t like it.  It is currently 51 degrees in Climax, Colorado and a low of 39 tonight.  The high for next ten days is forecast to be a toasty 64 in Climax.  The 4th of July in Climax was a screaming 65 degrees.  I wanna go home, I wanna go home, Lord do I wanna go home. hahahahaha

The temperatures here in Yakima are bad enough, but the quality of air has deteriorated significantly since the 4th of July.  Lots of brush fires and forest fires from Oregon to Canada are pushing some smoke and pollutants this way.   I am basically a fair weather bird watcher, this weather does not agree with me.

On the bright side, I thought these ducks, who were just chicks a few months ago were worth sharing.  They do seem to have more fun than anybody when it gets hot.

Have a Happy Bird Day



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Osprey’s near the Yakima River

I went back to check on the young osprey I photographed a couple of weeks ago to see how he was doing.  Turns out it has a sibling.  I had a hard time trying to figure out just what was going on at first.  He should have been a pretty large bird by now.,

It looked like maybe the older was was hoisting the young to the top of the nest to dump him out or something.  I think what really happened was the adult bird dropped off some chow for the little ones and some how the young one got a lift from the older one.  Not sure if that is normal or not, but I did read that when Osprey’s have their young, they spread it out over time.  A new one can hatch before the old one has left the nest.

These pictures are not in any particular order, but taken over a period of about 30 minutes.

Have a happy bird day.


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Costco Pond – Cedar Waxwings

Probably not a big deal for a regular birder, but I have always had a hard time with these waxwings.  Costco Pond never ceases to amaze me with the variety of birds and other animals that hang out there.  That is,  in a large part due to the undisturbed swampy forest next door.  Only a few acres, but it gives birds, squirrels and rabbits a place to hide when it gets too crowded.  Frequently you will see a red tailed hawk hanging out on the lamp post adjacent to the pond, probably looking for the same thing I am, only they don’t need a camera.  

The first one is not a Cedar Waxwing but it was too cute to pass up;  a baby robin, watching me and thinking about flying, and wondering if he is old enough yet. hahaha

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I have been watching the new building go up at the corner of Ahtanum Road and Longfibre Road for the past several months.  It is down right close to my favorite bird watching pond here in Yakima.  I have been hoping it would be a nice quiet business.

I drove by the building a couple of days ago and noticed the signage.  Seems the Department of Ecology put up the building.    Oh well, I am sure they filed an environmental impact statement.   Oh yeah, and they can approve it at the same time.  hahahaha  Seems reasonable. 


Easy Prey

I found this juvenile  red tailed hawk hanging out on Valley Mall Blvd. near the airport.  Had to stop and take a quick picture or two, it is hard for me to pass up an opportunity to picture a hawk.  After a few minutes, a little bird came out of nowhere and tried to run him off.

It looked like a swallow just playing around at first, then he got serious.  Turns out it was a mature Kestrel.

I got the impression that a “little” grown up bird can actually intimidate a juvenile “big bird”.

The kestrel took a couple of short breaks, but in the end, the juvenile red tailed hawk decided enough was enough.

You can see from the last photograph that the kestrel was truly remorseful about the whole incident.



Hard work, taking a break.
Hard work, taking a break.

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Too close for comfort.
Too close for comfort.

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Dive bomber mode.
Dive bomber mode.


What is that??
What is that??

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I feel so bad, having chased on that young whipper snapper.  But, he was bigger than me....hahahaha

I feel so bad, having chased on that young whipper snapper. But, he was bigger than me….hahahahahawk56

What happened to the duck pond??

Duck photo op at Costco Pond went awry:

It was a tough afternoon for bird watching for sure.  We left the house and got about a block when the serpentine belt broke – around the block and back home.  Re-grouped, fired up the old pickup truck and headed for Costco pond, always a nice duck shoot.

When I arrived, I got about half way out of my pickup when I realized I had forgotten my camera, that is a first, usually I have the camera but the battery is home on the charger.  Back home, grabbed the camera and headed back to the pond.

There were ducks for sure, but it looked like an invasion of rabbits and squirrels.  I think they are Brush Rabbits, but their ears were pretty long, kind of like a Jack Rabbit.  I think the squirrels were the California Ground Squirrel variety, however I am not sure on either count.  Seems  kind of odd considering the location.  I took a few pictures of them and headed back home.  Pulled up in the driveway and 2 ducks were grazing under the sprinkler in the front yard.  Must have been the heat today.

All of these pictures were taken at Costco Pond, with the exception of the first one, that was taken just as I drove up.

Have a great bird day, Gary

P.S.  Is it my imagination or does it look like that first rabbit has eyes in the back of his head.  That is spooky.

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My Favorite Duck Pond

As I was leaving Costco pond yesterday, I noticed a bird zooming around back and forth over the pond like a chicken hawk.  After a dozen or so trips over the pond, he landed on the opposite side.  I finally got a quick shot of him from a distance.  At first glance I thought he might have been a hawk looking for a quick duck dinner.  Seems he was just a thirsty Rock Pigeon.  (in my opinion)

It was about 94 degrees at the time.

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RED TAILED HAWK – Just being cool

I took these photographs near the Yakima airport on 16th Street this morning.  When I first started taking pictures he appeared to be regal and dignified.  After a few minutes his dignity changed to just plain cute.   It was the hottest day of the year to date, nearing 100 degrees.  I am certain that was not his intention, but when you’re hot, you’re hot.

A few minutes make a lot of difference in appearances.

Looking Regal
Looking Regal
Looking Regal
Looking Regal
I'm the bird
I’m the bird

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