It took me a little while to ID this bird above, but I’m pretty sure it’s the female Red Winged Blackbird.  She looks nothing like her male counterpart pictured below that has the red epaulets .  I love how she’s straddling the branches that have new Spring buds on them.  These images are from Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge in Delaware.  Red Winged Blackbirds are great singers!

I was so excited to visit Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge for the first time over the weekend.  Bombay Hook is in Delaware, is a nationally recognized birding spot along the Atlantic flyway, and is a refuge and breeding ground for birds and other wildlife.  It is the most wonderful place!  Mostly tidal salt marsh mixed with upland habitat, the refuge attracts birders from across the country!  I added a few species to my life list and the weather could not have been more perfect for an afternoon of birding and photography!  I will definitely be going back and hopefully will see more wading birds like this Great Blue Heron!

I found a subtle sign of Spring in my garden last weekend.  These tiny Crocus’ popped through last Fall’s leftover leaves to add some color to the otherwise drab winter scenery.

Last week I wrote about photographing a Great Horned Owl in flight for the first time ever and being disappointed in not having the entire bird in the image.  I had an opportunity to visit the family of owls again over the weekend and was determined to have another go at it.  It was a long wait.  Mommy owl spent the afternoon perched high in a tree where she had a clear view of the nest and surrounding area.  I know nothing about owl behavior, but it seemed like she wanted her babies to get used to being alone for a bit.  Or possibly it’s just getting a bit too crowded in the nest for mom and her two offspring.  Weeks earlier she sat in the nest with them all day long.  I had to wait until after 7:00 PM to see mommy owl fly from her perch in the tree.  As she did last week, she flew down and right past the nest and into another tree for a little while before returning to her babies.  The image on the left shows her arrival at the nest.  Finally I was able to photograph her beautiful wings.  It was nearly dark and I was using a slower shutter speed than I would have liked due to the poor light so there is a little bit of blur.  Once she arrived at the nest, she went inside and pulled out what appeared to be a rabbit.  (see image on the right)  I assume it was in the nest all day for the owlets to eat.  Shortly after coming out of the nest with the rabbit, she dropped the animal and flew away again.  Maybe she was going to hunt for some fresh dinner for her babies!  These are not the best images quality wise, but it was interesting to watch and challenging to photograph!

I have never met a kitty that doesn’t love a little scratch in front of their tail!

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