Calliope Hummingbird cleared for lift off

Calliope Hummingbird about to flyCalliope Hummingbird about to fly – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/1000, ISO 640, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

Two days ago at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge I saw a male Rufous Hummingbird up close which it was my first sighting of them this year.  It made me think of the Calliope and Black-chinned Hummingbirds I photographed last year on Antelope Island State Park as they sipped nectar from the Rocky Mountain Bee plants that can be found there.

I never seem to get caught up processing all of my images but I picked this Calliope Hummingbird image to process and share this morning. The Calliope had been preening and stretching prior to this frame and then it lifted its wings and flew off.

I hope that I will be able to photograph some Rufous Hummingbirds soon because so far my images of them haven’t thrilled me.

Mia

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Adult Burrowing Owl at sunrise

Adult Burrowing Owl at sunriseAdult Burrowing Owl at sunrise – Nikon D7100, f6.3, 1/500, ISO 500, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

Burrowing Owls have become harder to find on Antelope Island State Park than they have been in the past so I was happy to spot this one three days ago. I wasn’t so happy to see that it was banded but it has also gotten more difficult to find Burrowing Owls on the island that aren’t. The banding program is to find out more information about Burrowing Owls because their populations are declining throughout the western United States.

I love the golden light and how the owl was turned towards the rising sun.

Mia

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Semipalmated Plover – small in frame with layers of color

Semipalmated Plover on the shore of the GulfSemipalmated Plover on the shore of the Gulf – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/640, ISO 160, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light

This photo of a Semipalmated Plover on the shore of the Gulf was purposely photographed so that the plover would be small in the frame, a photographic style that I like and appreciate. It not only showcases my subject but the habitat that the plover can be found in.

When the image was created I loved the wet, glassy appearance of the foreground sand and the reflection of the plover. I was laying flat on my stomach in the wet sand with my lens just barely above the water  and wet sand to achieve a very low angle.

For me this image isn’t only about the plover, it is also about the mirror-like quality of the foreground and the layers of color in the background created by incoming waves.

Mia

This image was created in September of 2008

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A foraging Savannah Sparrow

Savannah Sparrow foraging for preySavannah Sparrow foraging for prey – Nikon D7100, 1/2000, ISO 500, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or called in

Earlier this month while I was in Montana I spent time photographing some Savannah Sparrows at Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge. Quite often I hear these beautiful little sparrows before I see them and I don’t need to see them to know that they are around. Their songs can be heard here.  The Savannahs that I photographed were foraging by the shore of the Lower Lake on the refuge and several times I saw the adult feeding a fledgling or flying to a hidden nest and feeding the nestlings there. The sparrows were quite unafraid to come close to the vehicle and at times even with my limiter turned off they would come so close I couldn’t focus on the quick moving bird.

I have only processed this one Savannah Sparrow image because I have been very busy but I do have some that I will post later of the prey the sparrow found and some of the fledgling begging or being fed. I liked the way the sparrow was looking at me in this frame, it’s pose and the great eye contact. I wish I could have gotten to a lower angle but that is hard to do when you are inside a “mobile” blind.

Mia

I am still working on trying to Stop the Utah Crow Hunt.

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Help Stop the Utah Crow Hunt – Part II

Stop the Utah Crow Hunt

Calling CrowCalling Crow

This is a follow up on my post from yesterday titled “Help Stop the Utah Crow Hunt” and deals with the codes of the Division of Wildlife Resources and Wildlife Board. I have made bold the sections of this code that I feel need to be addressed or that I have questions about.

Utah Code – Title 23 – Chapter 14 – Division of Wildlife Resources and Wildlife Board

23-14-3. Powers of division to determine facts — Policy-making powers of Wildlife Board.

(1) The Division of Wildlife Resources may determine the facts relevant to the wildlife resources of this state.

(2) (a) Upon a determination of these facts, the Wildlife Board shall establish the policies best designed to accomplish the purposes and fulfill the intent of all laws pertaining to wildlife and the preservation, protection, conservation, perpetuation, introduction, and management of wildlife.

(b) In establishing policy, the Wildlife Board shall:

(i) recognize that wildlife and its habitat are an essential part of a healthy, productive environment;
(ii) recognize the impact of wildlife on man, his economic activities, private property rights, and local economies;
(iii) seek to balance the habitat requirements of wildlife with the social and economic activities of man;
(iv) recognize the social and economic values of wildlife, including fishing, hunting, and other uses; and
(v) seek to maintain wildlife on a sustainable basis.

(c)
(i) The Wildlife Board shall consider the recommendations of the regional advisory councils established in Section 23-14-2.6.
(ii) If a regional advisory council recommends a position or action to the Wildlife Board, and the Wildlife Board rejects the recommendation, the Wildlife Board shall provide a written explanation to the regional advisory council.

(3) No authority conferred upon the Wildlife Board by this title shall supersede the administrative authority of the executive director of the Department of Natural Resources or the director of the Division of Wildlife Resources.

Amended by Chapter 211, 1995 General Session

I have added my own thoughts and notations below the items I highlighted above by making them bold.

23-14-3. Powers of division to determine facts – Policy-making powers of Wildlife Board:

Where are the facts? Where is the science? Where is the data that a study would provide?

(2) (a) Upon a determination of these facts:

What facts? No facts were presented, the information shared so far has been anecdotal. No official complaints of depredation have been addressed that include names, dates and how much damage was done to the crop. Was it ten peaches or 100? Failure to disclose that information makes the alleged depredation appear to be nothing more the hearsay.

Wildlife Board shall establish the policies best designed to accomplish the purposes and fulfill the intent of all laws pertaining to wildlife and the preservation, protection, conservation, perpetuation, introduction, and management of wildlife:

What policies were best designed by the Wildlife Board to accomplish the preservation, protection, conservation, perpetuation and management of Utah’s crow population when there have been no scientific studies done on the crow population, counts of nesting birds, nestlings that survive and fledge? Does the Wildlife Board understand that in Utah we have resident and migratory crows that are only here during a few weeks in winter? That the number of crows we see swells when those migratory birds are here. That during the proposed hunting dates resident crows will be the only crows around because the large flocks of migratory crows don’t arrive until after the first season closes?

(i) recognize that wildlife and its habitat are an essential part of a healthy, productive environment;

Crows; much the same as any other bird species, are an essential part of a healthy, productive environment. In addition they are carrion eaters which helps to clean up the environment.

(iv) recognize the social and economic values of wildlife, including fishing, hunting, and other uses; and:

Has the Wildlife Board fully recognized the social and economic value of bird watching, photography, wildlife watching and how all bird species fit into those values including the American Crow?

(v) seek to maintain wildlife on a sustainable basis.

How can this board seek to maintain crows on a sustainable basis when there are no studies that give an official number for the crow population, for the number of nests in Utah, the number of eggs in the nest and the number of young that survive? How can they say the number of crows is increasing without those studies? How much the crow population has increased in Utah at this point is merely an uninformed assumption or worse yet, a guess.

We need facts, data, studies and science not misinformation, assumptions and vagueness about alleged crop and livestock depredation complaints.

There are 71.1 million wildlife watchers in the U.S. who spend $55 billion dollars each year in the pursuit of wildlife activities. A portion of those wildlife watchers are people from out of state and country who come to Utah to view and photograph birds including our crows. And they spend money which in turn helps the economy.

The members of the Utah Wildlife Board should be aware that the number of wildlife watchers, birders, nature photographers, cyclists, hikers and people in general who enjoy and participate in outdoor activities are increasing and that our voices count and will get stronger as our numbers rise.

So far we have not seen the science, the data or the actual complaints about crows. Perhaps it is time for the Utah Wildlife Board to “be on the right side of history” and make informed decisions now about hunting crows in Utah instead of basing them on non-scientific assumptions, guesses and hearsay.

I think we should expect more from the Utah Wildlife Board than that.

Mia

Utah residents who want to comment but can not attend the hearing scheduled for July 29, 2014 from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm in the Department of Natural Resources Auditorium please send your comments to Staci Coons; UDWR Wildlife Coordinator, by email at stacicoons@utah.gov, by phone at 801-538-4718 or by FAX at 801-538-4709. Please indicate that you are a Utah resident.

Out of state viewers who want to let the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources know how you feel about the Utah Crow Hunt why not contact them and let them know how you feel about this unethical hunt at DWRcomment@utah.gov. Let them know you will spend your money elsewhere.

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