Female Hooded Merganser taking off in flight


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The Male Hooded Merganser seems to get all the attention because of his coloring and fan-shaped white crest however the Female Hooded Merganser is very attractive with her tawny crest.   I was visiting the Viera Wetlands and this beautiful Female Hooded Merganser took off from the water with no sighting of the male.  They are only winter residents in that area of Florida so maybe he was nearby.  They are capable of taking off very quickly from water so I feel fortunate to have captured this image.

Sandra Calderbank
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Least Bittern

Least BIttern taking off in flight in rain
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Sandy-in-Alaska-100x-1002I was leaving The Viera Wetlands  one April afternoon because it had started to rain and I assumed there would be no more photography action that afternoon. Suddenly this Least Bittern appeared and took off right beside me! What a gift. These small Bitterns are hard to spot because they blend into their surroundings and even more difficult to photograph in flight because it is SO difficult to find them in the reeds. They live a very secretive life and I was blessed to have this one take off right in front of me at a time when I thought photography for that day was over due to rainy weather.
sandra calderbank
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Limpkin Feeding Chicks

Limpkin feeding chick an apple snail
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Sandy-in-Alaska-100x-100I had the privilege of coming upon a pair of adult Limpkins feeding their six downy chicks by the edge of the water in Viera Wetlands. It was such a gift to be part of this wonderful activity. The adults would catch the Apple Snails, then crack the shells and feed just the meat of the snail to their baby chicks. What a treat!
Limpkin feeding chick a snail
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Sandra Calderbank
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http://www.scalderphotography.com
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Fishing on a Cloudy day

Belted Kingfisher catching fish
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Sandy-in-Alaska-100x-1001I was recently visiting the Viera Wetlands on a rainy overcast day. I was ready with my camera but not expecting much action. I stopped because a Bald Eagle flew overhead, which I totally missed. I decided to sit for a while, thinking the day for capturing images was going to be unproductive, when this little rocket popped out of the water with a fish!
sandra Calderbank
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Crested Caracara

Crested Caracara in flight with wings in downstroke
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The Crested Caracara looks like a colorful  long legged hawk, behaves much like a vulture but is really a Falcon.  It is commonly  called the ‘Mexican Eagle’ and is native to much of South America, but only a few areas in North America.   I photographed this one in the Viera Wetlands in Florida.

They are monogamous, attentive and very capable parents.  They will  sometimes come close and have a variety of behaviors which make for beautiful photo opportunities. They are impressively large and their faces have real character. It is always special to see them.
Caracara in flight, soaring
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sandra calderbank
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What am I going to do with this fish?

Great Blue Heron with large fish
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Sandy-in-Alaska-100x-100I know, Great Blue Heron images are very common but did you look at the size of that fish? I was treated to quite a show as I watched the Great Blue Heron spear this fish repeatedly and lose it and spear it again and again. The fish was still alive and struggling and almost got away. Then the Heron attempted to fly. It was unable to get airborne with this big fish so he stumbled over into the weeds and laboriously maneuvered it until he finally swallowed this big fish!
sandra calderbank
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Black Crowned Night Heron

Adult Black Crowned Night Heron in flight
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Sandy-in-Alaska-100x-1005The Black Crowned Night Heron is one of the most common herons and are found throughout most of the world. So why don”t you see them very often? They are Night Herons, nocturnal and typically feeding and flying at dusk and throughout the night. They are not usually seen during the day because they sit hunched and inactive, hiding during the daylight hours. They are frequently sitting in trees during the day, hiding behind branches and making themselves virtually invisible. I felt fortunate to capture this one in flight with the water behind him allowing me enough light.
Sandra Calderbank
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http://www.scalderphotography.com
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Info@scalderphotography.com

Sandhill Crane Parenting

Pair of Sandhill Cranes with Chick
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Sandy-in-Alaska-100x-100Sandhill Cranes are wonderful parents! The mated pair stay together year round and migrate together. They typically lay 1-2 eggs and both parents participate in incubation. The Chicks are able to follow Mom and Dad around to forage within 24 hours of hatching. The Chicks stay with the parents for 10 to 11 months. The young Sandhills migrate with Mom and Dad but until they find a mate at about age 7, the “teenagers” flock together with other teenagers. The Sandhill can live up to 20 years. They are very protective and loyal and are almost always seen in a family group or adult pair. Sandhill Cranes are remarkable in their habits and behavior!
sandra clderbank
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http://www.scalderphotography.com/
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Belted Kingfisher in flight

Kingfisher in flight with wings in downstroke
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Sandy-in-Alaska-100x-1001The Belted Kingfisher is one of the most challenging birds to capture in flight. They fly very swiftly with uneven wing beats and erratic flight patterns. I photographed this one out of a car window in the Viera Wetlands in Viera Florida, one of my favorite places to chase birds.
sandra calderbank
Website – Blog – Galleries – Portfolio

http://www.scalderphotography.com
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Contact

Info@scalderphotography.com