Monday, June 9, 2014

365 Project: April photos

April is a month when photos greatly increase due to the nicer weather.  This means more outside programs, more wild bird opportunities and of course, spring flowers.  This blog will include all three.  

Jake, a Great Horned Owl (photo: Cathy Spahn)

First I will start off with a photo of Jake, the Great Horned Owl.  I was on a display at the Onondaga Caves State Park and Jake was sitting in the grass with some prairie grasses behind him.  I just love this photo.  I find that Jake is just a beautifully photogenic Great Horned Owl, and with the right background he is just beautiful.

Two of the Forest Park Great Horned Owl fledglings (photo: Cathy Spahn)

Sticking with the theme of Great Horned Owls, I have also chosen a photo of two of the three baby/fledgling Great Horned Owls at Forest Park, Near downtown St. Louis.  This pair of Great Horned Owls has nested and raised babies near the Muny, an outdoor theater in Forest Park, for years.  If you happen to know where they like to hang out you can find them relatively easily. 

One of the babies was just fascinated with the sound of my camera.  The female sat close by, but never did anything. Fortunately, they are used to people, so they are more comfortable, but still cautious.  When photographing young animals always keep an eye on the parents.  If they start getting restless you are too close or doing something wrong and it is time to back away.  Never push your luck with parent birds/animals.  For example, the limbs of the tree in this photo are not in the best locations, but I was not about to scare the birds or make Mom unhappy, so I dealt with the limbs.  Even with the interfering limbs it is still one of my favorite photos.

Tulips shot from below (photo: Cathy Spahn)

Spring flowers mean color.  I spend many hours every year out at the Missouri Botanical Garden taking photos of flowers.  On this particular shot I decided to do something a little different.  I chose to shoot these tulips from the ground looking up.  I just loved how this came out and have to try this again with other flowers.

Prothonotary Warbler, Castlewood State Park (photo: Cathy Spahn)

The last photo I have chosen is of a Prothonotary Warbler. This is a migratory species that shows up middle to end of April.  They nest near the water.  I went for a walk in Castlewood State Park, which is across the Meramec River from World Bird Sanctuary.  I had a total of three Prothonotary Warblers flying around.  I find their yellow to be just the most spectacular color.  The blue on the wings with the yellow makes it a beautiful bird.  The light that day just made these birds stand out.

Even as I write this, the photo opportunities have been stacking up for May.  If you love taking photos I really recommend trying a 365 project or other form of a photo project.  I find myself getting out more and seeing so much more than I normally would.

Submitted by Cathy Spahn, World Bird Sanctuary Naturalist


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