BIRDS!! There are approximately 10,000 known species of birds in the world, but many live in such remote areas that the true number of species could be double that. Sadly, many of those species are in trouble, facing possible extinction due to loss of habitat and pollutants of varying types. And, they are probably the most beautiful creatures on earth ... without make-up! If you want to be amazed by irredescent colors (that are very difficult to capture in a photo) just check out a wild turkey or a ring neck pheasant in bright sunlight. I still have not acquired the knowledge needed to call myself a "birder", but I am learning. And, I have gotten some photographic awards for photos of birds. Check out this page if you want to see why I enjoy birds so much.

 

Sweet 16 Free AgainSweet 16 Free Again

The Peregrine Fund staff in Arizona regularly tries to trap every free-flying California Condor in the territory and test them for lead poisoning. A condor showing a dangerous level of poisoning is taken to a care center where it is treated with two Chelation shots per day. Once the lead levels are lowered to an acceptable number, the treated birds are re-released on a cliff over the Grand Canyon. Here biologist Josh Young turns female number 16 loose. The image, "Sweet 16 Free Again", won First Place in the BirdNote 2024 Photo Contest in the "Conservation Action" division.

 

Balance For Life by Jim ShaneBalance For Life by Jim Shane

Each year the worldwide Mensa Society chooses a theme and sponsors a photo competition for members. In 2021 the theme was "Balance". Each Mensa member country is allowed to submit only 3 images from their membership. "Balance For Life" is one of the three USA finalists sent to the 2021 Mensa International competition in Europe. The birds are American Avocets and this precarious pose is one step in an elaborate mating ritual. On the day I shot this image I also shot 4 other similar rituals. It truly was mating season. I tied for second place in the World of Mensa 2021 word wide photo competition.

 

Ming 4CsMing 4Cs

One of the major current projects of The Peregrine Fund is the reintroduction of the California Condor. At one point in the late 70's there were only 22 Calfornia Condors left alive. All 22 were captured and a captive breeding program was started. The propagation building at The Peregrine Fund headquarters in Boise is one of four in the U.S, and the largest. Most of the captive bred birds are released into the wild where it is hoped they will mate and breed more condors (they have started!!). This image is one of the released birds with it's nictitating membrane covering it's eyes. I named it "Ming The Merciless", and if you know where that name came from, you're a senior citizen. Ming earned an Honorable Mention from the Columbia Council of Camera Clubs in the March, 2021 MEID competition.

 

Wheres Waldo0Wheres Waldo0 If you watch the "Planet Earth" series on BBC (and you should) you have seen some amazing animals, and animal behavior.  One of the programs deals with "The Great Migrations".  All types of animals migrate on and over land and sea. The images of tens of thousands of one species moving as a group in the same direction is truly impressive. There is a minor migration "flyway" that passes through Idaho. Lots of bird species stop here to feed and rest as they head north, and south. One of the most impressive species I have witnessed is Snow Geese. I have not yet figured out how to capture an entire flock in a single image, but, "Where's Waldo" is my favorite "Flock" image so far. In 2021 Waldo received a Club Silver Medal in the "Petrus" International Exhibition in Serbia.

Baby FalconBaby Falcon

The Peregrine Fund was originally created by a group of falconers in 1970 because the Peregrine Falcon had disappeared from most of North America. It is easy to understand that falconry and falconers are still a part of The Peregrine Fund, and I have had the pleasure of spending time in the field with some of them. This image was taken when I spent time with three falconers training two new Gyrfalcons. This image is named "Baby Falcon" because "Milo" was only two months old when it was taken. The photo earned an Award Of Merit from the Columbia Council of Camera Clubs Summer 2021 QEID competition. It was then rewarded with Second Place in the 2021 Year End Monochrome division where it was judged against all the other monochrome images from the past year. Since then the image name has been changed to "Turn Me Loose".

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In 2018 I was selected to be the "Photographic Artist in Residence" for the 25th anniversary of the "Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area" that is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The Boise BLM maintains a couple of demonstration birds, and this is their Prairie Falcon. This "Natural Beauty" tied for high score, and an Award of Merit, from the Columbia Council of Camera Clubs Winter 2021 QEID Traditional competition in a field of 162 images.

Hand of Man BPOTY 21Hand of Man BPOTY 21

The wildlife biologists working for the Peregrine Fund deal with lots of different predatory birds, but none of the others compare in size to the California Condor. With a wingspan of over 9 feet and weighing in at 25 to 30 pounds, the California Condor is the largest flying bird in North America.  They are truly a handful for the biologists who must handle them when they need shots for lead poisoning, the leading killer of the species. This image of a wildlife biologist holding a critically endangered American Condor made the elite "Top 100" images in the North American Nature Photography Association {NANPA) 2020 Showcase.  "The Hand of Man" also got an Award of Merit from the Columbia Council of Camera Clubs Spring 2020 QEID Altered Reality competition. And, it received the high score for the category. As a result, it was entered in the Year End competition and earned the title of "Image of the Year".

Sneak a PeekSneak a Peek

The Boise State University Raptor Research Center has a variety of ongoing species monitoring programs that students are involved in, as well as student generated species studies. I try to get involved by photographing field activities and donating images to the university. The project I like best is the Burrowing Owl study. They are sooo cute!! BSU maintains a number of manmade burrows that allow the researchers to dig them up to study the number of eggs laid. Then they can watch the burrows to see how many eggs hatch.  This image shows a group of nestlings at the entrance to a manmade burrow trying to "Sneak A Peek" at the great big world outside. This image made the North American Nature Photography Association 2020 Top 250 Showcase that attracted nearly 4000 entries. It also earned an Honorable Mention in the "Arise To Canvas" International Exhibition in India in 2021. And, it is one of my personal favorites.

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The year I was the Photographic Artist in Residence for the "........Birds of Prey National Conservation Area" I got to work with some very dedicated BLM field wildlife biologists. One of them showed me his cell phone image of a group of Ferruginous Hawk nestlings in a stick nest. I was blown away and I told him I would steal his idea. This is one of those "stolen" images. In 2018 it was selected by the staff of the Peregrine Fund as the winner of the 2018 "Raptors at Risk" conservation award and was featured as the cover photo of The Peregrine Fund 2019 Calendar. The image also earned an Honorable Mention in the 2018 Photographic Society of America recognized "Raptors at Risk" international photo exhibition. It was then selected as a semi-finalist in the 2018 Share The View contest, and, in the 2020 PSA International Photo Exhibition "Baby Raptor Eyes" earned an Honorable Mention.

Sweet 16 PortraitSweet 16 Portrait

I have now made several trips to visit the Northern Arizona home of The Peregrine Fund's California Condor Reintroduction Project. There condors born in captivity are released into the wild. The Arizona staff daily monitors the movements of the condors living there and annually trap and test them for lead poisoning.  On my first trip I watched the staff administer lead reducing Chelation shots every twelve hours until an affected bird's lead levels reach "acceptable" levels. I first met #16 while she was getting the shots. I was also there when she graduated from treatment and was released back into the wild on a cliff over the Grand Canyon. I gave her the nickname of "Sweet 16" and this portrait of her has earned an Award of Merit from the Columbia Council of Camera Clubs Spring 2020 QEID competition as well as becoming one of the Top 12 Finalists (out of 700 entries) in the 2020 Birdwatching Magazine Bird Portrait contest. It also won"Best of GEM State Chapter" in the 2021 Photographic Society of America Chapter Showcase competition and was featured in the "Portrait: Commended" segment of Volume 6 of the "Bird Photographer of the Year" series. In 2023 "Sweet 16" was one of the first captive bred birds to lay, and hatch, a wild born offspring. Sadly, she didn't get to see her offspring bloom as she was one of 22 birds in the Arizona family to succumb to the Avian Flu. I will continue to honor her as best I can.

The Hunters EyesThe Hunters Eyes

Meet Phoenix, one of the Red Tail Hawks that performs for visitors to The Peregrine Fund's World Center for Birds of Prey headquarters in Boise, Idaho.  Here, perched on a leather glove that protects the bird handler's from sharp predator's talons, he scans with "The Hunter's Eyes" and saw an Award of Merit from the Columbia Council of Camera Clubs Winter 2020 QEID competition.

Jim Shane.Nature Version.Extreme PreenJim Shane.Nature Version.Extreme Preen

Pretty girls are so vain. Here a wild female American Kestrel preens on a sunny day. Her beauty earned the Bronze Medal in the Nature Section of the 2017 Raptors At Risk International Photo Exhibition. There were about 275 total entries from countries all over the world.  "Extreme Preen" was also selected as a "Top 250" image out of 2114 entered in the 2019 "Share The View" contest.
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What would you have done if your mother had brought you a snake for dinner? This fledgling Burrowing Owl is trying to swallow a snake ... whole! It's siblings are amazed at the show. I entered "Bet You Can't Eat Just One" in the 2019 PSA China international Exhibition where it received a "QINSEN" Honorable Mention. No, I don't know what Qinsen is, or means, either!! The snake eater also received an Award of Merit from the Columbia Council of Camera Clubs Summer competition in 2019 and it was also selected as a "Semi-finalist" out of 2114 images entered in the 2019 "Share The View" contest. 

 

I can't remember which zoo this photo was taken, but it was a captive subject."Secretary Bird" won an "Award of Merit" from the Columbia Council of Camera Clubs twice!! Once as a club entry and once as an individual entry.  It was also selected as a "Semi-finalist" out of 2114 entered in the 2019 "Share The View" contest. In 2024 it graced the cover of the Peregrine Fund calendar.

 

Early WarningEarly Warning

"The Sentinel" was created as part of my 2018 Photographic Artist in Residence program for the 25th Anniversary of the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area and was introduced in the Bureau of Land Management gallery in Celebration Park.  Ravens typically post a guard whenever they are feeding. This Raven is was on lookout perched about 500 feet above the Snake River. The image was given a Judge's Choice "Best of Show" at the 2018 Western Idaho Fair as well as a second place in it's category. The Columbia Council of Camera Clubs gave it an Award of Merit in the Fall 2018 QEID competition and the Photographic Society of America awarded the image an Honorable Mention in the 2019 Winter International Interclub competition. It was also selected for the "Top 250" out of over 2,000 entries in the Share The View contest. "The Sentinel" also earned recognition from the Columbia Council of Camera Clubs year end awards with a second place in the Traditional category.  In 2021 The Sentinel got an Award of Merit from the "Arise To Canvas" International Exhibition in India.

 

No Rest For The Cute _ MonoNo Rest For The Cute _ Mono

We have a large number of Canada geese that summer and breed in Idaho. I saw this fluffball gosling resting alongside a path in a Boise park. I was going to pass by and not bother it, but then it slowly opened its eye to check me out. Was it an invitation, or a challenge?  "No Rest For the Cute" won an Award of Merit in the Photographic Society of America 2019 Inter-Club competition as well as an Award of Merit from the Columbia Council of Camera Clubs May 2019 Inter-club competition.

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One evening I saw a Bald Eagle fishing in Kamath Lake, Oregon. By the time I got parked and out to the shoreline the bird was gone. Birds are creatures of habit so I thought I would have a chance to see the same eagle fishing for it's breakfast in the same area. At sunrise I was driving along the same shoreline, watching for the eagle. The eagle no-showed but I was rewarded with the discovery of an Great Egret rookery.  The fledgling egrets were very active so I spent several hours each day at the rookery. "High Praise" is one of my favorite images from that adventure. It shows the reception three fledglings gave a parent at the nest site. In it's first competition it was selected as a "Top 250" finalist out of over 2,000 entries in the annual Share The View contest.

Lunch Date 52finalLunch Date 52final  

The fellow on the left is a Bohemian Waxwing and the guy on the right is a Cedar Waxwing. Their "Lunch Date" earned an Award of Merit from the Columbia Council of Camera Clubs in the spring of 2017 as well as a First Place in the Professional Birds category of the 2017 Western Idaho Fair. In 2018 it was a "Top 250" finalist in the Share the View contest. 

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You wouldn't think there would be any way this bird could get stopped before slamming into the front of this nest box. No problem for this female American Kestrel on her "Final Approach" to her little home in Boise. It was a semi-finalist in the 2018 Share the View contest.

Rising SnowsRising Snows

You may have read in one of the captions above that we have large numbers of Snow Geese that migrate through Idaho. While walking around one of the resting ponds I flushed these four birds. "Rising Snows" has been one of my more popular images and several people have requested mounted prints. 

2021: An Honorable Mention in the "Arise To Canvas" International Exhibition in India.

2018: Photographic Society of America Award of Merit in Interclub competition

2015: First Place in the Outdoor Idaho competition

2014: Columbia Council of Camera Clubs Honorable Mention

 

In addition to the migrating species, Idaho is also the permanent home to a large number of resident birds. Wild turkeys are one such species that I find fascinating. They live in natural woodlands, typically near rivers or streams, but they have also adapted to living amongst humans in semi-rural areas.  I always thought of wild turkeys as being somewhat drab until I saw some males in bright sunshine. Their plumage literally glows. "Coat Of Many Colors" doesn't really do these turkeys justice, but it still earned an Honorable Mention from the Photographic Society of America Nature Division Interclub competition in 2017, as well as a Top 250 Honorable Mention from the "Share The View" 2015 international photo contest.

Snowy bw ws sizeSnowy bw ws size

There was a group of 5 Snowy Egrets that appeared to be staying at the same resort near Puerta Vallarta that my wife and I were enjoying. I would see them on the beach, enjoying the sunshine on the patios and flying around from spot to spot all day. One early morning I came across the quintet at breakfast on the beach and this is one of the photos from that encounter. "Wet Snow" earned an Honorable Mention from the Colombia Council of Camera Clubs 2024 Winter Quarterly electronic image competition.

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I think it must be nice to for an adult to know is that any living creature they bring back to the nest box will be well received. This female American Kestrel delivers a fresh lizard to a waiting nestling.  The Cornell University Lab of Ornithology awarded "Fresh Lizard Delivery" an Honorable Mention in their 2017 Nestwatch contest.

Whoo Dat softWhoo Dat soft

A friend and I had heard about a Burrowing Owl nest that had been spotted in a field near our homes. We found the field one evening and tried to drive up close to get a better view and, possibly some good photos. We spotted the burrow and I was creeping slowly closer in my car. We were both intently focused on the burrow and didn't realize there was an owl sitting on a post about 10 feet in front of where we were parked!! I finally woke up and got a couple shots before the owl flew away.

"Whoo Dat?" earned an Honorable Mention in the 2016 Outdoor Idaho photo contest.

Killdeer FamilyKilldeer Family

Kildeer are long legged, ground nesting birds that are quite common around the water hazards where I live. They appear to prefer nesting in rocky locations where they simply clear a small spot among the rocks. The problem is that they often pick locations close to cart paths, driveways or sidewalks. This "Killdeer Family" built their nest in landscape rock between a driveway and a golf cart garage. If you look closely you can see parts of three nestling faces under the crouching bird. This image tied for second highest score in the Summer 2016 4C's Traditional Images category and earned an Award of Merit. 

 

 Every once in a while I get home from a trip, start editing the photos, and find something totally unexpected. On this day I had taken a walk along the estuary that runs inland from the beach at Moss Landing. I saw one seagull that was acting in an unusual manner. Normally seagulls fly 10 to 20 feet above the water and dive when they see a fish. Not this seagull. It was swimming around the estuary and when it saw a fish it would pop up then do a shallow dive on it's prey. I captured a couple of these unusual fishing sequences but didn't know until I got home that I had captured the exact instant the seagull's beak broke the water in one of them. "Nose Dive" won Second Place in the 2016 Boise Camera Cub End Of Year Sports and Action category. No, it is not a Photoshop product. It was pure luck that I caught this gull diving for dinner at just this critical moment.

This is a Ruddy Turnstone. I  guess they are quite common around the world, but I had never heard of them before I saw this one on a beach in the Yucatan. They scurry along the waters edge and try to catch small prey stirred up by the waves. I guess?  This image of a Ruddy Turnstone avoiding a wave is titled "Tsunami" and it earned an Honorable Mention in the 2016 Boise Camera Cub End Of Year Nature category.

 

Why Theyre Called Wood DucksWhy Theyre Called Wood Ducks

There is so much beauty in nature, and I think Wood Ducks are a shining example. At least the males. (I will get nasty emails) They are cavity nesters and seek out large cavities in trees. This lucky couple found a storm damaged tree and were checking the accomodations. Titled "Why They Are Called Wood Ducks" was a monthly winner in the "Outdoor Idaho - Iconic Idaho Photo Contest". It was also featured as the cover of the ADA County Parks and Waterways Magazine "Currents".

 

I really like detailed close-ups but they are hard to get for most birds. Even most large birds are cautious when humans approach. But, this pelican was part of a group of pelicans that hung around the commercial fishing dock in Cabo San Lucas and was somewhat used to humans. This Brown Pelican came in a "Plain Brown Wrapper" and won an Award of Merit from the Traditional Division of the Columbia Council of Camera Clubs as well as a Top 250 Honorable Mention from the "Share The View" 2015 international photo contest.

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The road from West Yellowstone into the heart of  Yellowstone National Park runs alongside the Madison River for several miles. On one trip along the river I saw a pair of Trumpeter Swans feeding. Trumpeters live almost exclusively in North America and during the 20th century almost went extinct. They have rebounded well, but the birds usually maintain a distance from humans. This pair of birds were feeding relatively close to the edge of the road so I sat quietly on the river bank and watched. After a period of foraging, one swan came up on shore and stood very close to where I was sitting. The other swan stayed in the river and began bathing. Apparently bathing is a big thing for these big birds as the action got quite animated. The result, "Trumpeter Thrash", is the first image of mine to win an award from an "International Exhibition". It got an Honorable Mention from PSA-MET (New York) Exhibition. In addition, "Trumpeter Thrash" got an Award of Merit from the Columbia Council of Camera Clubs in the Traditional Division in Summer of 2015 and won First Place in the Action Category of the 2015 Boise Camera Club Annual Awards. "Share The View" international photo contest 2015 awarded it a Top 250 Honorable Mention and the 2015 Western Idaho Fair awarded it a Third Place in the Honored Citizens Bird Category. 

Eurasian Eagle Owls do not live in North America so I have never seen one in the wild. Fortunately there was one that performed for visitors to The Peregrine Fund World Center for Birds of Prey. When this bird lived at the World Center it was known as "Wally".  When it moved to a new breeding facility it was learned that Wally was a girl. Funny but true.  Eurasian Eagle Owls are large birds with long, sharp talons. It takes a "Good Glove" to withstand the powerful grip of this predator. This view earned an Honorable Mention from the Columbia Council of Camera Clubs May 2015 electronic image competition. This image was also featured in the 2016 Peregrine Fund calendar.
 

A pair of Black Necked Stilts were nesting in a small back bay alongside the Boise River where it runs through a residential area. Here one of the pair ruffles it's feathers and squats over a nest full of eggs in "Nesting Ritual", which was awarded an Honorable Mention by the Photographic Society of America 2014-2015 Season Contest.

"A Busy Day At LAX" is a composite of 6 different images of a female Mallard coming in for a landing on a pond close to my Idaho home. The six images were stitched and blended together in Photoshop. It got an Honorable Mention in the Creative category of the Columbia Council of Camera Clubs Winter 2015 individual electronic image competition.

Not much to say. This pelican is "Singing On A Rock By The Bay" (apologies to Otis Redding) near Cabo San Lucas and earned an Honorable Mention from the Columbia Council of Camera Clubs Winter 2015 individual electronic image competition.

Stare DownStare Down

Earlier on this page I mentioned that I like close up, detailed images. This shot of a male Mute Swan is one of my personal favorites and hangs on a wall in my home. I also mentioned that most birds don't like to get close to humans. This male was guarding his nesting area while his mate sat on eggs. I was lying in some weeds alongside the nesting pond hoping to get a close shot when this big fellow decided I had crossed into his territory. About three seconds after this shot was taken he attacked with his powerful wings. We both lived to tell the story. "Stare Down" won First Place in the "Up Close" category at the 2014 Western Idaho Fair. The image also received an Honorable Mention in the Boise Camera Club 2015 Annual Awards Competition in the Nature Category, and it was one of the "Top 250 Highly Commended" images in the 2014 "Share The View" international photo contest.

Red Tail Cleared For LandingRed Tail Cleared For Landing

"Red Tail Cleared For Landing" is a stitched composite of three images and was given an Honorable Mention by the Columbia Council of Camera Clubs summer 2014 QEID competition. In 2016 it earned a second place ribbon in the Professional "Birds of Prey" category at the western Idaho Fair. It was also featured in the 2023 Peregrine Fund Calendar.

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When I was a boy I lived in a hunting family. Canada Geese where prized prey during the season. I don't remember ever seeing one in the wild when we went duck hunting ,but one year my father came back from a trip with a goose. There was a victory celebration and a wonderful family meal. Now we are all but over-run by Canada Geese here in Idaho (Thank you Ducks Unlimited). During the Fall, large flocks fly over the area daily.  I like this image of a small flock of Canadian honkers taking off from a local lake for the birds, but also for the golden hue of the water. "Sky Quest" got an Honorable Mention in the 2013 Idaho Statesman Outdoor Idaho Photo Contest and Third Place in Color Panorama at the 2013 Western Idaho Fair. 

I had been searching for Bald Eagles with little success for months until a friend told me about sightings not far from my home. I found a nesting pair in a large, dead tree close to a remote section of the Boise River.  "Branching Out" got a perfect score of 27 in a Boise Camera Club review so I entered it in the Summer 2013 QEID competition of the Columbia Council of Camera Clubs where it tied for top score in the Traditional category and got an Award of Merit. The Photographic Society of America Projected Image Division gave it an Award of Merit in November of 2013. This eagle also landed in First Place in the Seniors category at the 2013 Western Idaho Fair and got an Honorable Mention in the Idaho Statesman 2013 Outdoor Idaho Photo Contest. Shortly after this batch of images was captured a large storm destroyed the nest.

I went on an early morning fishing trip with my brother, Dean. He didn't catch anything, but this osprey did. Huge forest fires were burning in the area and heavy smoke polluted the air. That's why everything looks yellow. This composite of 6 images won an Honorable Mention in the 2012 Boise Camera Club End of the Year competition in the Creative category. The title "Hey, have you got a license" didn't win an award for creative anything.

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This image won an award over 10 years ago!! Do you think I can remember what I titled it? I may have simply named it "CedarWaxwing".  AND, way back then, because I was an old guy I could enter the "Seniors" category. This image won a  second place in some category at the 2012 Western Idaho Fair. That's all I know.

Osprey-Pandion haliaetus066Osprey-Pandion haliaetus066

Very early in my "late in life" venture to become a wildlife photographer I showed this image at a camera club monthly event. It got a great score and one of the senior members of the audience remarked that this image woud go on to win a cmpetition. And, "Osprey Twins" was my first big winner. The "twins" won an "Award of Merit" from The Photographic Society of America; an "Award of Merit" from the Columbia Council of Camera Clubs and an "Honorable Mention" in the Idaho Statesman 2010 Idaho Outdoor Photo Contest. This image was also recognized in the "Top 250" Audubon Society of Greater Denver 2012 "Share The View" international competition! Ospreys are almost exclusively fish eaters. The adults brought fish to the nestlings from the nearby river. Apparently one of those fish had broken free from a fisherman and still had a hook and some fishing line in it's mouth. When the nestling ate the fish it also swallowed "most" of the fishing line. If you look closely you can see the line coming out of the bird on the right's mouth.

 

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I caught this Snowy Egret catching lunch while I was on vacation in Northern California in 2011 and named the image "Fly Fishing". The Columbia Council of Camera Clubs gave it an "Award of Merit" which qualified the image for an over-all year end award. It received an "Honorable Mention". "Fly Fishing" also earned an "Honorable Mention" during the Boise Camera Club 2011 Year End Awards competition.

 

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On a trip to Northern California I chased down this Great Egret and named the photo "Feather Light". The Columbia Council of Camera Clubs gave it an "Award of Merit" and then, during the year end finals, it was awarded Third Place over all. This image was recognized in the "Top 250" Audubon Society of Greater Denver 2012 "Share The View" international competition.

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Wood ducks are some of the most beautiful birds I have ever seen. This portrait of a dominant male earned a perfect score (27, my first ever!), during a Boise Camera Club Projection Night and was forwarded to the April 2013 Columbia Council of Camera Clubs Regional Competition where it was awarded an Honorable Mention. "Red Eye" got an Honorable Mention in the 2013 Idaho Statesman "Outdoor Idaho" photo contest as well as a "Top 250" award in the "Share The View" International Photo Contest.

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One of the major projects being conducted by The Peregrine Fund is the American Kestrel Partnership. As a volunteer for The Peregrine Fund I photographed many baby Kestrel banding events and met several people who monitor Kestrel nesting boxes. One couple, who were also PF volunteers, invited me to come shoot at their home. Their box was well located for photos, so I did. I have returned each year for the past six years and one thing I learned is that Kestrels are creatures of habit. When the eggs have hatched the female stays home and protects the chicks while the  male goes grocery shopping. There is a lot of grocery shopping required. When the male returns from a hunt the female meets him at an agreed location and the groceries are delivered. I have a lot of prey exchange photos and almost all were taken of the birds on the same branch of the same tree. Creatures of habit. This branch works well for them. I could have distributed the "branch" images throughout this group, but I thought viewers might recognize the branch and think they had seen the image before. So, all the prey exchange images are in this "branch" of the page. Hey, stick with what's working!

Marital Bliss PID BMarital Bliss PID B

These two American Kestrels are displaying "Marital Bliss". The female (and I) had been waiting for an extremely long time for the male to return with food for the 5 nestlings. When he finally did return his talons were empty. BUT, he had blood on his beak, chest and talons. That's like lipstick on the collar for humans! This image is one of a series of 9 that show the furious female giving the male hell.

2023: The lover's earned a spot in the "Top 250" in the "Share The View" photo contest

2019: They also earned an Honorable Mention in Summer Columbia Council of Camera Clubs quarterly competition.

Prey For FoodPrey For Food

Kestrels have a very broad diet, as you will see if you continue to view these long branch images. Here a lizard is delivered. "Prey For Food" earned an Award Of Merit from the Columbia Council of Camera Clubs Summer 2021 QEID competition.

 

Jim Shane.Air Mouse.FinalJim Shane.Air Mouse.Final Mice and Voles are also very popular with the nestlings. "Air Mouse" earned an Honorable Mention in the 2017 Raptors At Risk International Photo Exhibition, Projected Image Section.   

Jim Shane.Mouse Delivery.Nature webJim Shane.Mouse Delivery.Nature web

Poppa Kestrel looks pretty proud of the mouse he caught for Momma Kestrel and the chicks in "Mouse Delivery" which earned a First Place blue ribbon, as well as a Special "Shoot, Share and Conserve" award in the Professional Birds of Prey category at the 2017 W Idaho Fair.

Offering Fly through Service pidOffering Fly through Service pid By now (if you have been sticking with me) you know what's going on in "Offering Fly Through Service". This image earned a PSA Honorable Mention in the 2019 PSAChina Special Theme International exhibition.  It was also selected as a "Top 250" image out of 2114 entered in the 2019 "Share The View" contest. 

Is That All You Got For My BirthdayIs That All You Got For My Birthday It looked to me like she was asking, "Is That All You Got For My Birthday?" when the brave hunter returned with only a grasshopper. A Grasshopper? Columbia Council of Camera Clubs gave it an Award of Merit in the Fall QEID Traditional Category.

Jim Shane.You Could Share.PIDJim Shane.You Could Share.PID Both this image, and the one below, are award winning images, but in the creation of this new page the information about what awards they won got lost. Yep, fat fingered Jim must have deleted it. Who would've thought? 

Jim Shane.Lizard For Lunch.NatureJim Shane.Lizard For Lunch.Nature

If you would like to see an enlarged version of any/or all of these award winning photos, you can do so in the "Award Winning Images" galleries.

If you haven't already, and this page didn't wear you out, you can see the "Wildlife Award Stories" and/or "Non Wildlife Awards".

AND, Thank you for looking.

Jim Shane