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Category Archives: Wildlife Photography

When I first started photographing birds I had to do it from my basement window because I didn’t have the right lenses to photograph them at the feeders. The birds would go to the feeders to get seeds then fly to a lilac bush by the basement window to eat them. This made it easy to get some close shots. Over the years I acquired better lenses and started photographing from my large windows by the feeders. I recently went back to my roots and spent the better part of a day photographing from my basement window.

Dark-eyed Juncos were around in large numbers after being absent for part of the winter.

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Black-capped Chickadees were around in large numbers. This seemed to be their favorite perch for eating.

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There were also a few Northern Cardinals around but they were a little skittish and wouldn’t come near the window.

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At least what passes for a blizzard this year. It snowed all day and we had some strong winds but only about 6 inches of snow. When we do get a snow storm it seems to bring the Northern Cardinals out in good numbers. On this day I was lucky to get more than the the usually number of shots of female Cardinals.

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The Black-capped Chickadees like to hang out in an old Crab Apple Tree near the woods. On a nice warm sunny winter day I like to go out by the apple tree and photograph them. It is quite the tangled mess because the tree is covered in wild grape vines. It takes a lot of patience to wait for a bird to land on a perch with a clear photo.

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Last week we headed out on another trip to find Bald Eagles along the Mississippi River. Just before we reached Durand, Wisconsin I noticed one sitting in a tree along the road. We turned around and went back for some shots. This is probably the best Bald Eagle shot I’ve gotten. He was right near the road and was not obstructed by any branches.

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As we drove over the Bridge At Wabasha  we noticed an eagle sitting in a tree next to a nest just north of the bridge. Unfortunately it was too far away for a shot. We then headed up to Reads Landing. There were a few Eagles sitting on the sand on the other side of the river but too far away for any shots. We did see a pair of Mature eagles flying around. It looked like they might be getting ready to mate. About that time a train came along and I could see that the eagles had gotten close enough to photograph but by the time the train passed they were gone. We had lunch at the Reads Landing Brewing Company. Apparently it is in the process of changing hands.

We then drove north toward Red Wing, Minnesota. There are several pull offs just north of Reads Landing so we stopped to watch the eagles fishing on the open water. One of them caught a large fish before it flew off to have lunch.

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We then drove to the next turn off where another photographer was already photographing eagles. He hadn’t had much luck but just then one landed a short distance away. Unfortunately it was partially hidden by the trees.

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While we were looking at the eagle another bird flew into a patch of Sumac. Turned out to be a Piliated Woodpecker.

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A little further up the road we found a bunch of Mallard Ducks on a partially frozen pond.

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When we reached Red Wing there were no birds around so we headed home.

 

A few more bird photos from Canadian Hill Farm. Unfortunately a male Red-bellied Woodpecker hit the window last week and was killed. The female is still coming to the feeders.

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Northern Cardinal

Northern Cardinal

Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

We see White-tailed Deer walking through the yard every so often. I managed to get these photos of what appears to be an adult and a younger deer eating Canadian Goldenrod plants. They have also been checking out my Kale. I planted Kale in the garden but didn’t get to harvest much because the deer really seem to like it.

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More bird photos from Canadian Hill Farm. Since we really haven’t had much of a winter I’ve spend more time than usual photographing birds. I managed to capture this photo late in the day when the sun was shining on some pine trees in the background.

Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

Black-capped Chickadee

Black-capped Chickadee

I managed to capture this photo just as a Dark-eyed Junco cleared the snow off of her back.

Dark-eyed Junco

Dark-eyed Junco

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker

White-breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch

When ever we have a snowy day the Northern Cardinals flock to the feeders. These are from a recent snowfall.

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We had a few weeks of cold weather so I decided it was time to take a drive along the Mississippi River and look for Eagles. We headed out early in the morning and had only driven a couple of miles when we drove over a small hill. All of a sudden there was a Bald Eagle right in front of the car. There was a deer carcass right on the edge of the road and the Eagle was trying to get airborne as we approached. I though for sure we were going to hit it because about all we could see out the front windshield was the Eagle. We drove down to the a place where we could turn around and drove back to see if it had returned to the carcass. It was flying around then landed in a tree above the carcass.

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After taking some photos we continued on our way. Along the way we encountered three Bald Eagles out in a field. Of course they were on the wrong side of the road so we drove down to the next cross roads and turned around. When we returned the first Eagle we encountered was immature.

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We drove down a little further and there were two adult Eagles together. I managed to photograph one standing in the field and the other as it flew off.

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We then drove down to Reads Landing just up the Mississippi River from  The National Eagle Center in  Wabasha, Minnesota. Unfortunately we were skunked at Reads Landing. As we drove along the river toward Red Wing, Minnesota we saw a few more eagles but none that we could photograph. We ended up at Colvill Park in Red Wing. In the past we had been able to get some good eagle photos in the park but on this day we only saw one Bald Eagle perched in a tree.

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In the past someone has been feeding ducks but it didn’t look like that was being done any more. I managed a shot of a couple of Mallard Ducks paddling in the bay. There were a couple of Trumpeter Swans in the area but they were too far away.

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While we were in the park a friend called and when he found out where we were he suggested driving up to Lock and Dam Number 3.  We had some trouble finding it but when we did we saw about five Bald Eagles perched in various trees. Most were too far away but I did manage a few photos.

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We realized that we were not all that far from King’s Bar and Grill in Miesville, Minnesota so we decided to stop and have a burger. They have the largest selection of Burgers I’ve ever seen. The biggest problem is trying to decide which one to have.

As I mentioned in yesterdays blog the House Sparrow has taken over my feeders. My most frequent visitor used to be the American Goldfinch but they have almost dissapeared from my feeders over the last month.

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