Friday, February 26, 2010

Rock-N-Roll Larks

I always love to find Horned Larks in the winter. Their horns reminds me of Rock n Roll, going to concerts back in the 80's, and flashing "devils horns", making me one of the coolest music lovers of big-hair bands back in the day... I know, I just dated myself, and as embarrassing as that might be, I still turn up the radio when Queen or Ted Nugent among many grace the airwaves. Anyway, these birds are so colorful, but then you add horns, and you get Rock-n-Roll larks! Ah, the memories...

Female and Male Horned Larks

Gorgeous markings!

Devils Horns!

Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide,
No escape from reality
Open your eyes, Look up to the skies and see... (Bohemian Rhapsody-Queen)

Rock on Bloggers!

Friday, February 19, 2010


Collecting Starlings on his back and giving me the "whatwhat" with his tongue, this buffalo was not as amused as I was...

Not photographically my best scenery shot, but the lighting was pretty poor under gray skies. Later, the sun came out for this buffalo herd shot.

(Must click on photo for the tongue!)

Northern Harrier

Driving the causeway to Antelope Island at the Great Salt Lake in Utah produced this Harrier hunting the shoreline. It was a pretty cool close encounter, and our first for the day!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Dueling Coyotes

We found 2 coyotes pretty close to the road while exploring Antelope Island at the Great Salt Lake in Utah. We stopped, took photos & then listened in amazement as they started to howl for eachother. They were about 50 feet apart in the tall grasses, and were well aware of our presence. They didn't stop on our account. It was pretty amazing to hear and see!

(Click on photos to enlarge)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Traveling to Utah for a family reunion was a first-time visit to the state. We had just a few hours to go in search of wildlife, and chose Antelope Island at the the Great Salt Lake in hopes of seeing Pronghorns for the very first time. Luck was with us as we spotted a herd just a few miles in.

(Click on photo to see details!)

Did you know that these guys stand only 3 feet tall? I found that surprising...

Their cute faces and interesting colors fascinated us the whole time!

Just above the brushy landscape, on the right in the photo, is a small wedge of the Great Salt Lake. Here are some facts about this lake:

The Great Salt Lake is basically the remaining portion of a larger lake that existed in prehistoric times known as Lake Bonneville. During the time when this lake was at its largest size, it was almost as large as Lake Michigan, and considerably deeper too. It covered an area approximately ten times more than the Great Salt Lake and was more than 1,000 feet deep. During the Great Ice Age, or the Pleistocene epoch, it covered large potions of today’s Utah as well as smaller areas of Nevada and Idaho. Great Salt Lake is a shallow body of water, its average depth being but a little more than three feet, while in many parts it is much less. The water is transparent, but excessively salt; it contains about 22 per cent of common salt, slightly mixed with other salts, and forming one of the purest and most concentrated brines in the world. Its specific gravity is 1.17. The water is so buoyant that a man may float in it at full length upon his back, having his head and neck, his legs to the knee, and both arms to the elbow, entirely out of water. If he assumes a sitting posture, with his arms extended, his shoulders will rise above the water. Swimming, however, is difficult as the lower limbs tend to rise above the surface, and the brine is so strong that to swallow even a very little of it will cause strangulation.

Monday, February 8, 2010

American Bald Eagles

American Bald Eagles, originally uploaded by Hannibals Animals.

Found this pair near their nest and shot almost directly overhead... Females are the larger of the species and from this angle, I would say she is on the left.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Wolf Moon

I forgot I had taken this until now...Too busy with Costa Rica pics I guess...

Anyway: Full Wolf Moon - January amid the cold and deep snows of midwinter, the wolf packs howled hungrily outside Indian villages. Thus, the name for January's full Moon. Sometimes it was also referred to as the Old Moon, or the Moon After Yule.

(click for larger view)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

One Last Look at Costa Rica

This is my last post about Costa Rica...

This overlook was one of the hidden views most people never see unless you were a local. The path was barely used and trecherous, but worth it...

This photo was taken with a Blackberry camera phone. A bamboo tunnel greets you as you enter the resort...

Within the confines of the resort, here is the paver road leading to a restaurant and the bungalows we stayed in. What is nice about this resort is that they leave the jungle intact as much as possible.

A walkway

Here is where the restaurant tries to keep the monkeys and Coati Mundis at bay, by setting up a feeding station, offering fruits for them in the tray pictured here. Every morning after breakfast, we would visit this area and enjoy the show. (See the monkey on the roof and the coati in the foreground)

Here is a very large Angel Trumpet flower.

Let's All Go To The Beach!

I didn't want to carry an expensive camera to the beach, so I left all of my scenic shots to my lil ole iPhone. I didn't know how well it would perform, but I took the gamble anyway, and for the most part, it did o.k. The photos are 3 mg, and I did have plenty of blowout, but I am not complaining. My camera was safe, and that was all that mattered.

Playa Blanca Beach

Turtle tracks- How frickin cool is that? I wanted to come back at night to see the lil guys make their way to the water, but without a flashlight, it would have been quite difficult.

This area was our little piece of paradise at the beach. You know how beaches get soooo crowded? This one isn't and we had probably 75 feet of beachfront to ourselves!

Jesus Christ Lizard

The common Basilisk lizard is part of the Iguana Family. They have the nickname “Jesus Christ Lizard” because when fleeing from a predator, they are very fast and can even run on top of the water. Basilisks actually have large hind feet with flaps of skin between each toe. The fact that they move quickly across the water, aided by their web-like feet, gives them the appearance of “walking on water”. Smaller basilisks can run about 10-20 meters on the water without sinking. Young basilisks can usually run farther than older ones. Like most reptiles, basilisks are active during the day. Most are under a foot in length, but some may grow up to two feet. Their outstanding camouflage allows them to remain motionless and very hard to detect.

This frame was the least fuzzy photo of him running away. I can truly confirm just how fast these guys are, as not even the lightning focus-speed of the Canon 300mm 2.8L prime could keep up! It was awesome to see them running on just 2 legs! We tried to seek them out on the rest of the trip, but only found 1 other, and we couldn't get him to run out in the open for photographic purposes.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Potpourri of Tropical Birds Part 2

Rufous-naped Wren

Social Flycatcher

Spotted Sandpiper

Lineated Woodpecker

This concludes the "birdy" photos from Costa Rica. I hope you found them as interesting as I did!

Hermit Crab Huddle

Hermit Crab Huddle, originally uploaded by Hannibals Animals.

Trying to "macro" with the Canon 300mm 2.8 prime. Needed the extension tube but forgot it in the bungalow...

These crabs measured about 1/2 inch apiece.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Potpourri of Tropical Birds

Streaked Flycatcher- A pretty common bird to spot, I was sorry I only had the mindset to capture him once, as this one is on a wire.

These last 3 birds are a collection of photos taken from a bit more distance than the previous posts. I have just 1 more set of potpourri, and then I have completed my posts of tropical birds. I still have lizards and spiders coming up!

Orange-chinned Parakeet- We found this guy and his mate while going rogue. We were not supposed to be in this particular area, but the rebels we were, took the chance anyway and were rewarded with him, although it was quite distant. (We could "walk" the road, but we were in a golfcart. Small technicality I'd say...)

Yellow-throated Euphonia- Found this male on one of our guided morning birdwalks. He sang beautiful songs, hence the name...

Streaked-headed Woodcreeper- A bird found in the shadows, we saw one a few times, but always hidden from sunlight.

Click on any photo to see larger.

Groove-billed Ani

The Groove-billed Ani is an all-black member of the cuckoo family. At first glance, in my own experience, you walk right past this bird, giving it the "oh, you are just a grackle", then you find out differently and pay attention next time. Closer inspection of this bird was really cool to see! Their bills are enormous!