Pete's Stuff
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Meet Millie

This robin is about at home in an urban environment as a bird can be. A couple of weeks ago she built a nest in the crook of a drainpipe at my parents' house, and proceeded to lay her eggs.


Incubating.

But four days ago they hatched, and now there's three ugly floppy, voracious little babies.

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Like Shooting Fish in a Barrel. Or Something.

I was at Riverbend Nature Center today for the second MNOC event of the season. It's a great venue - it has a large, well appointed visitor center with a variety of inside displays, most oriented towards kids. Like many similar locations, there's a whole raft of bird feeders hanging just outside the window, and several chairs and set of binoculars just inside. So it wasn't hard to break out the latest camera gear, kick back with my feet up (well, that was partially to be able to steady the camera against my knee), and start taking pictures in ease and comfort.


A male cardinal.

More pictures behind the link...

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Behold, The Mighty Albatross!

The Laysan albatross, that is (Phoebastria immutabilis), also known as not-so-mighty "gooney bird" thanks to its short legs and consequent ungainly look on land. They are surely masters of the air, however.


A bird sweeping low over the dunes; both sexes incubate the egg, so it's not clear whether this one is male or female.

On Saturday I hiked to Ka‘ena Point, the westernmost tip on the island of O‘ahu. A few hundred acres at the very tip have been made into a fenced nature reserve that preserves a coastal dune ecosystem frequented by plover, shearwaters, green sea turtles (honu) and Hawaiian monk seals (‘ilio-holo-i-ka-uaua).

I spent a quiet hour and a half there, but only saw a couple dozen pairs of this relatively common albatross, and none of the other species (late afternoon into sunset might have been a better time.) But it was still a great opportunity.

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