Sunday, January 8, 2012

Take-offs and Landings

I am fascinated with how large birds like herons, eagles, and geese lift off from ground to 50 feet up in mere seconds. My camera will shoot eight frames per second. Some of these captures (as digital photographers like to say) would be limited otherwise.

Last week, I saw my first snow goose at Nisqually. He or she appears to have lost track of the snow goose migration. Every year, thousands of snow geese winter in the Skagit County area in northern Washington. I was surprised to learn that snow geese typically live about eight years. Canada geese can live 30 to 40 years. This week, I noticed that the lone snow goose is missing some wing feathers. Perhaps that's why she's not with her own flock. The Canada geese seem to have taken her in, although she flies a little apart from the Canada geese.

The eagles seem to be leaving her alone. I would've thought a bright white bird would draw raptor attention. But maybe her color makes her look too big to bother with!

It also looks like a great egret–maybe the same one that wintered at the refuge last year–is in residence. He was a little too far away to photograph but I got some great shots of him fishing last winter. Visit my Water Wings gallery for more.

I love watching geese land. They are such big birds. I wonder if the youngsters accidentally land on other birds? There are many geese at the refuge, so it would be easy to do.

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