Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Barred Owl

Barred Owl

This guy was an unusually cooperative owl. He only looked at me once, then snoozed the rest of the time. I actually know that this is a male, because I heard another barred give a contact hoot, which was higher pitched. From what I've read, only females make contact calls. It was a huge bonus to be there when that happened, let alone be in the presence of him without disturbing his sleep too much.


Monday, March 21, 2011


Imposter!, originally uploaded by Hannibals Animals.

This Doe is NOT the Easter Bunny! She tried to fool me with her fluffy white tail and long whiskers and all around cuteness, but I saw right through her facade. She should try out for the Cadbury Egg commercial.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Killdeer Flight Shots and a Tumor?

So the weather is getting warmer, and it's been a long time since I could hike in optimal conditions, so todays shots were in 55 degree weather with a bit of a breeze. A stronger wind makes for optimal flight shots. Why? When they surf the wind, they sort of hang there in the headwind, giving you a bit more trigger time. The skies were gorgeous too!

Killdeer Tumor?

Check out that bulge in it's belly. Is that a tumor? (Unlaid eggs would bulge behind the legs.)

Killdeer Pair

It's hard enough to get a close up flight shot of killdeer, let alone 2 in focus. Skill? Sure, I was tracking the one, when the other flew into frame. Luck? Definately!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Edward Scissorhands

I'm on the hunt for minks. It's that time of year again. It was a failed attempt yesterday, but all was not lost. I found Mr. Scissorhands, whom I deemed pretty cute. I know, he's not cute in the very raw sense of the word, and won't win any calendar contests, but still, in a "harmless to Hannibal" sort of way, he's gentle and sweet. He minds his own business as I intrude into his world, and he's tolerant, which are admirable traits. Did I sell ya on him? I didn't think so...

Edward Scissorhands

Interesting facts about Muskrats:

An adult muskrat is about 40 to 60 cm (16 to 24 inches) long, almost half of that tail, and weighs from 0.7 to 1.8 kg (1.5 to 4 lb). That is about four times the weight of the brown rat (Rattus norvegicus), though an adult muskrat is only slightly longer. Muskrats are much smaller than beavers (Castor canadensis), with whom they often share their habitat.

Muskrats are covered with short, thick fur which is medium to dark brown or black in color with the belly a bit lighter but as the age increases it turns a partly gray in color. The fur has two layers, which helps protect them from the cold water. They have long tails which are covered with scales rather than hair and are flattened vertically to aid them in swimming. When they walk on land the tail drags on the ground, which makes their tracks easy to recognize.

Muskrats spend much of their time in the water and are well suited for their semi-aquatic life, both in and out of water. Muskrats can swim under water for 12 to 17 minutes. Their bodies, like those of seals and whales, are less sensitive to the buildup of carbon dioxide than those of most other mammals. They can close off their ears to keep the water out. Their hind feet are semi-webbed, although in swimming the tail is their main means of propulsion. (