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WILDLIFE CHECKLIST: FLORIDA PHOTO TOUR
REPTILES: American Alligator, American Crocodile, Anole, Red Bellied Turtle
MAMMALS: West Indian Manatee, Raccoon, Eastern Gray Squirrel, White Tailed Deer, Dolphin,Doberman Pinscher
DUCKS: Whistling-Duck, Gadwall, American Black Duck, Mallard, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Duck, Red-breasted Merganser,
PODICIPEDIDAE — GREBES: Pied-billed Grebe, Horned Grebe
CICONIIDAE — STORKS: Wood Stork
PHALACROCORACIDAE — CORMORANTS: Double-crested Cormorant
ANHINGIDAE — ANHINGAS & DARTERS: Anhinga B
PELECANIDAE — PELICANS: American White Pelican, Brown Pelican
ARDEIDAE — HERONS, BITTERNS & ALLIES: Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Little Blue Heron, □ Tricolored Heron, Reddish Egret, Cattle Egret, Green Heron, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron,
THRESKIORNITHIDAE — IBISES & SPOONBILLS: White Ibis, Glossy Ibis, Roseate Spoonbill
CATHARTIDAE — NEW WORLD VULTURES: Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture
PANDIONIDAE — OSPREYS: Osprey
ACCIPITRIDAE — HAWKS, KITES, & EAGLES: Bald Eagle, Northern Harrier, Red-shouldered Hawk
RALLIDAE — RAILS, GALLINULES & COOTS: Purple Gallinule, Common Gallinule, American Coot
ARAMIDAE — LIMPKINS: Limpkin
GRUIDAE — CRANES: Sandhill Crane
CHARADRIIDAE — LAPWINGS & PLOVERS: Wilson’s Plover, Killdeer
RECURVIROSTRIDAE — STILTS: Black-necked Stilt
SCOLOPACIDAE — SANDPIPERS, PHALAROPES & ALLIES: Greater Yellowlegs, Willet, Sanderling, Semipalmated Sandpiper
LARIDAE— GULLS, TERNS & SKIMMERS: Bonaparte’s Gull, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Least Tern, □ Caspian Tern
COLUMBIDAE — PIGEONS & DOVES: White-winged Dove
STRIGIDAE —OWLS: Great Horned Owl, Burrowing Owl, Barred Owl
PICIDAE — WOODPECKERS: Red-bellied Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Pileated Woodpecker
TYRANNIDAE — TYRANT FLYCATCHERS: Eastern Kingbird
LANIIDAE — SHRIKES: Loggerhead Shrike
CORVIDAE — CROWS & JAYS: Blue Jay, American Crow
MIMIDAE — MOCKINGBIRDS & THRASHERS: Gray Catbird, Northern Mockingbird
PARULIDAE — WOOD-WARBLERS: Ovenbird, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow-rumped Warbler
CARDINALIDAE — CARDINALS & ALLIES: Northern Cardinal, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting, Painted Bunting
ICTERIDAE — BLACKBIRDS: Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle, Boat-tailed Grackle
PASSERIDAE — OLD WORLD SPARROWS : House Sparrow
Wild Florida Photo Tour Results 2011.
I just got back from Florida last week. It was a long but exciting trip. It started out on a bad note when the Patriots lost the Superbowl. Thankfully each day got better.
I spent many weeks preparing for this trip even though I have photographed Florida for almost 20 years. It is important to keep up with the recent wildlife reports. I check the internet, call and email other photographers, birders, biologist etc. I also monitor the water levels and tide charts.
I drove down a week early to scout out the area. I checked on some eagle, osprey and owl nests. Some of my most photogenic nests were vacant this year but I had other ones planned out.
The tip started off in Fort Myers. Participants flew into the Fort Myers Airport and took a shuttle to the hotel. This group was a lot of fun. I haven’t laughed so much in a long time.
The wildlife on this trip put on quite the show.
Some of the highlights were
- Roseate Spoonbills (multiple locations)
- Manatees (Everglades National Park and Big Cypress Preserve) one 10 feet away
- Alligators (multiple locations) including Baby Alligators
- American Crocodile
- Some of the herons, egrets, anhingas, wood stocks, vultures, and cormorants were so close they were able to get head shots.
- Pelicans: Both White and Brown Pelican were photographed. Some nesting, perched, and diving for fish.
- Bald eagles: (multiple locations)
- Nesting Burrowing, Great Horned and Barred Owls.
- Purple Gallinule (Multiple locations Everglades)
- Limpkin: (multiple days and locations)
- Osprey: perched, in flight, nesting (multiple locations)
- Red Shoulder Hawk (multiple locations)
- Black necked Stilt (multiple locations)
- Loggerhead Shrike
- Painted Bunting
- Watching hundreds of birds return to their rookery at night
- The beauty of the Everglades, Sanibel Island, Big Cypress Preserve
- Burrowing Owls (multiple nests)
- Great Horned Owls (two locations)
- A great sunset in the Everglades
- Reddish Egrets
- Ospreys nest building at Sanibel Island
- The vultures at Myakka
- Robert was Here: Tropical Drinks
It was sad to drop people off at the airport after the tour was over.
Thank you all for the memories and laughs.
You never know what you are going to see in Florida everyday is an adventure.
I can’t wait for next year.
Who would have thought that a cell phone can improve your nature photography. When you buy a smart phone there are several options. One major choice is the operating system. Widows Phone and Blackberry have a large presence but two operating systems dominate the market. iPhone and Goodle’s Android System.
Both options have thousands of applications. I found that the iPhone has more than Android. You can look online and check the apps you may be interested in before you choice a phone.
I ended up going with the Motorola Droid Razor. It is a 4.3 high resolution display which is bigger than the iphone screen. It is one of the thinnest 4G phones and it is one of the most durable. Nature Photographers are exposed to the elements so I needed a phone that could take a beating. It is shielded with a KEVLAR® strong backplate. Suppress an onslaught of scratches and scrapes, reinforced by Corning® Gorilla® Glass. It is also splashproof.
There are thousand of apps available (hundreds just for photography).
Some of the apps I installed include:
Weather Channel: Allows you to save multiple locations for a quick glace at the weather.
Email: Nice to check emails from the road and keep up with office work.
Facebook: Nice to be able to add to my facebook page from the road.
Amazon Kindle: ability to download ebook with just a few clicks to your phone.
Nlist: Allows you to create lists. Some of the lists I made
a.) To Do list
b.) Photography Gear
c.) Shopping Lists
d.) Presentation list (what I bring when I do a presentation)
e.) Packing Lists.
Never forgot important photo gear at home.
Quick Office: To view and update Office Spreadsheet like Excel and Word.
Backpacker GPS: Record hiking trails, backpacking trips, and camping adventures. View maps, navigate with digital compass, take photos, and backtrack to the trailhead. GPS Trails Lite works in remote places
Aurora: Several apps are available to get the northern lights forecast
Google Earth: view satellite imagery, maps, terrain, 3D buildings, from galaxies in outer space to the canyons of the ocean. Helps you plan out the best locations for wildlife and landscape photography.
Google Sky Map: Point your phone at the sky, and it will show the stars, planets, constellations, and more to help you identify the celestial objects in view.
Sun Surveyor: Predicts Sun & Moon positions (azimuth, altitude, time) with its modules: 3D Compass, Map View, Camera View (Augmented Reality) and Details (Ephemeris). Useful for photo location scouting plan for every sunrise and sunset!
The Photographer’s Ephemeris (TPE): a map-centric sun and moon calculator: see how the light will fall on the land, be it day or night, for almost anywhere on earth. It is nice for landscape, nature, travel and outdoor photographers, TPE’s map-based approach means you can search for any place name on the planet or position the map pin exactly where you want it.
Trip Advisor: Great App helps with you travel planning. I use it mostly for hotel reviews
AAA TripTik: Get maps, directions, AAA Approved lodging and dining info, gas prices and more.
Gas Buddy: Search for Gas Prices by city, state, zip code, with listings for all cities in the USA and Canada.
Kayak: flight, hotel, car rental, and other trip searches. Like the website it goes through the data from hundreds of different travel sites, allowing you to compare options, prices etc.
Photo Manipulation: There are also several apps for taking pictures with you cell phone then making almost instant changes to the photo like built in HDR etc. I have never used any of these apps.
Wildlife: there are several apps on bird, tree, wildflowers identification, tracking, bird and animal calls. I hope to address this in a future article.
There are many applications which can help improve your photography. It is amazing how technology can impact nature photography.
FALL FOLIAGE: NEW HAMPSHIRE SEPT 30-OCT 2 and or OCT 3-5
Join us as we travel to the beautiful White Mountains and Northern NH to photograph fall foliage. This is timed to see some of New England’s most beautiful places during the peak times. We will photograph mountains, rivers, waterfalls, wildlife, reflections, birch trees etc. The subject matter is endless at this wonderful time of year.
There is also a discount if you mention this website.
Please visit our website or contact us for more information
About this picture: Great Gray Owls are one of my favorite birds. When I photographed this bird it was perfectly parallel to the tree. I then changed my locations to the side of the owl which was now totally blocked by the same tree. What I was anticipating was the owl peaking around the tree and looking at me which he did. This viewpoint gives you a sense of mystery since his face is partially blocked.
The Great Gray Owl is the largest owl in North America. The Great Gray Owl has a body length of about 24 – 33 inches, a wingspan of 4 1/2 – 5 feet, and weighs only 1 1/2 – 3 pounds, despite its large size. Great Gray lacks ear tufts and has a relatively large head and small eyes. Like other owls, the great gray owl has eyes that face forward. This gives it depth perception. Also, like other owls, one of its ear holes is higher than the other. This helps it identify the source of a sound, which is useful in finding prey.
Great Gray Owls prefer dense forests interspersed with open meadows, clearings, or bogs. This owl lives in taiga, boreal, and mountainous forests of North America
The main food of this owl is small mammals, like voles, but it will also eat birds, amphibians, and insects. They hunt mainly during dusk and dawn (crepuscular) from a perch at the forest edge or in a clearing, but will also hunt at night (nocturnal) and occasionally during the daytime (diurnal). They have a keen sense of hearing and can dive in the snow and catch a rodent that was not even visible.
Even Though they are the largest of the North American Owls they are Great Horned and Snowy Owls are stronger and weigh more.