Vögel - Birds

 Barred Owl, Burnaby, BC, Canada, May 2020 - F 6.3, 1/200 s, 1.5x 500 mm, ISO 1000

About three years ago I walked with my wife and my a few months old daughter in a carrier through a forest along a ravine. Suddenly an owl landed on a branch just above us and we noticed a second one only a little further. Some time after that we moved right next to this forest. I always knew that there are barred owls living in it, signs even warn that they might swoop at you, but I never saw them again, even though I go for walks here at least once a week. Then last week I saw some people staring into the trees and noticed that they were taking pictures of the owls. I was told that the owls can often be found around that area. Since then I have been there nearly every day, watched the owls and took pictures. A few days ago I woke up before 6 a.m., took my camera and went to check on my new friends. I took pictures of one of them for about half an hour before I spotted the other high up in a tree. At that moment a single beam of light filtered through the branches and illuminated just her. It was a magical moment. Later I was even lucky enough to see the other one disappear in a hollow tree which seems to be the nesting sight. And all that, just 10 minutes walk from home. Awesome!

 

 Starlings, Tsawwassen, BC, Canada, Feb 2020 - F 4, 1/1600 s, 1.5x 200 mm, ISO 500

While photographing eagles I saw this flock of starlings settling on a meadow. After stalking them for a while I got this shot when they all flew up after they noticed me emerging behind some blackberry bushes.

 

 Great Blue Heron Bracing against the Wind, Tsawwassen, BC, Canada, Feb 2020 - F 3.5, 1/2000 s, 1.5x 200 mm, ISO 500

After taking a few hundred eagle pictures on my birthday I decided to have a quick look at the close by dike to enjoy the view and have a look for some other birds. It was quite cold and windy when I spotted this Great Blue Heron on a pole bracing against the wind. I was amazed when looking through the pictures at home how many details I was able to capture in this photo.

 Juvenile Bald Eagle, Tsawwassen, BC, Canada, Feb 2020 - F 4.5, 1/1250 s, 1.5x 200 mm, ISO 500

This year for my birthday I decided to take a day off and go take eagle pictures. I went to the old military area in Tsawwassen that has guaranteed eagle sigthings and was impressed by the hundreds of eagles circling in the sky and sitting in the trees. They fly so close by that I was able to get this very clear shot using my 70-200 mm f/2.8 lens.

 Common Raven, Tofino, BC, Canada, July 2019 - F 4.5, 1/500 s, 1.5x 200 mm, ISO 500

I have always been facinated with ravens and crows often feeling that most people don't like them. But that's different here at the Pacific Coast of Canada. The raven is revered by the First Nations in British Columbia. He symbolizes among other things creation and is celebrated for his intelligence.
I was early in the morning on the beach while camping in Tofino when I saw this raven searching the surf for food. When he flew a few meters across a tidal creek I pictured the moment just before he touched down and spread his wings to slow his descent. What a beautiful sight.

 Bald Eagle, Comox, BC, Canada, July 2019 - F 8, 1/1000 s, 1.5x 500 mm, ISO 500

On vacation in Comox in July 2019 I was impressed by the amount of eagles and herons hunting for fish along the shore line. I spent hours slowly approaching the birds hoping to get close enough for a good shot when this eagle had enough of me and began lifting off. I quickly made a few shots and got this picture capturing the moment just before the eagle's claws left the ground.

 Great Blue Heron with Eel, Comox, BC, Canada, July 2019 - F 8, 1/800 s, 1.5x 350 mm, ISO 500

While stalking two bald eagles in Comox this summer I happened on this Great Blue Heron who was picking one eel after another out of the water. I was facinated as I have never seen such a successfull hunting spree. I watched it for a while and got a number of shots just before it swallowed its prey.

 Bald Eagle, Tsawwassen, BC, Canada, Dec 2018 - F 5.6, 1/1250 s, 1.5x 200 mm, ISO 800

Winter is the best time in Vancouver to see bald eagles. At some spots they accumulate in the hundreds during the cold season. One of these spots is close to the USA border in Tsawwassen on an old military facility. On this December day I spent a few hours watching eagles and taking pictures.

 

 Bald Eagle, Boundary Bay, Tsawwassen, BC, Canada, Dec 2018 - F 13, 1/640 s, 1.5x 200 mm, ISO 500

We went for a small family walk at the beach at Boundary Bay in Tsawwassen when I noticed this bald eagle perched on a pole. I carefully approached but he/she didn't seem to care. While taking pictures my daughter ran by the pole, around two meters below this magnificent raptor but the eagle just looked and stayed seated. I have never been so close to one of these in the wild. It was a beautiful end of year experience.

 

 Bald Eagle, Helliwell Provincial Park, Hornby Island, BC, Canada, July 2018 - F 6.3, 1/100 s, 1.5x 500 mm, ISO 400

On this hike on Hornby Island in the Helliwell Provincial Park I carried my 500 mm lens with me as I heard that you can sometimes see sea lions from shore. I didn't see sea lions but at least got this nice shot of a bald eagle.

 Bald Eagle, Hornby Island, BC, Canada, July 2018 - F 11, 1/500 s, 1.5x 200 mm, ISO 320

After two weeks of vacation on Vancouver Island it didn't take long to decide which of my around 3000 pictures first to edit to put on this website. On Hornby Island, just off the east side of Vancouver Island we stayed right on the waterfront where we spend hours searching the tidal pools for crabs and other marine life. On this day I took my new 70-200 mm F2.8 lens hoping to get a shot of the resident eagle. After a while I saw her circling overhead. Suddenly she dived and I was amazed to see her catch a fish out of the water right in front of me.

 Great Blue Heron, Delta, BC, Canada, Aug 2016 - F 8, 1/1000 s, 1.5x 200 mm, ISO 400

I took this photo in the Reifel Bird Sanctuary in Delta. Here you can find large numbers of birds. Next to a lot of waterfowl this area has many herons, sandhill cranes, raptors and other birds. After many attempts I was happy to finally be fully in focus for this shot.

 

 Pileated Woodpecker, Deer Lake Park, Burnaby, BC, Canada, Apr 2016 - F 8, 1/1000 s, 1.5x 500 mm, ISO 400

While the best way to find woodpeckers is usually to wait to hear their characteristic drumming sounds this one was kind enough to call out when I had nearly past it without noticing this beautiful bird. This female was carefully inspecting a dead tree in Deer Lake Park while I got a number of shots of her in perfect light.

 Nesting Blue Herons, Deer Lake Park, Burnaby, BC, Canada, Apr 2016 - F 8, 1/800 s, 1.5x 500 mm, ISO 500

Deer Lake Park is one of my favorite nature walks in Greater Vancouver. Surrounded by 20 storey buildings and smaller houses this park kept its very natural flair. After being here numerous times I finally found the place where the herons nest. With more than 100 nests it is impressive to see these majestic birds flying to the nearby trees to break off small twigs and continue building their perch. Here the returning bird hands some material over to its partner.

 Anna's Hummingbird, Deer Lake Park, Burnaby, BC, Canada, Apr 2016 - F 8, 1/1250 s, 1.5x 500 mm, ISO 500

Hummingbirds are so incredible fast that it is always a struggle to photograph them in mid-air. This Anna's Hummingbird was perched on some bare branches in Deer Lake Park. Every now and then it made short flights to hunt for insects or to defend its territory. Once my focus was fast enough and I managed to get this picture series.

 Steller's Jay, Tofino Hot Springs, BC, Canada, Sep 2015 - F 7.1, 1/100 s, 1.5x 380 mm, ISO 1000

After seeing this bird numerous times I finally took a nice shot after taking a plunge in the hot springs in Tofino. Curious and beautiful, it's no surprise it was chosen the provicial bird of British Columbia.

 American Dipper, Brackendale, BC, Canada, Feb 2016 - F 8, 1/500 s, 1.5x 500 mm, ISO 1600

I have never seen a bird like the American Dipper. It was dancing around a creek picking insects from the water. But suddenly it jumped, dived under the surface and started climbing along submerged branches to reach more food. And then it swam down to the next spot and started all over again. I definitely did not expect this considering it does not even have webbed feet.

  Bald Eagle with Salmon Carcass, Brackendale, BC, Canada, Nov 2015 - F 7.1, 1/400 s, 1.5x 500 mm, ISO 1600

  Mallard ducklings, Delta, BC, Canada, June 2015 - F 8, 1/400 s, 1.5x 190 mm, ISO 320

  Red-winged Blackbird, Delta, BC, Canada, March 2015 - F 8, 1/200 s, 1.5x 500 mm, ISO 320

  Sunday walk, Sandhill Cranes, Delta, BC, Canada, March 2015 - F 8, 1/320 s, 1.5x 450 mm, ISO 500

  Sandhill Crane, Delta, BC, Canada, March 2015 - F 8, 1/500 s, 1.5x 400 mm, ISO 400

  Scaup, Delta, BC, Canada, March 2015 - F 8, 1/160 s, 1.5x 270 mm, ISO 500

  Canada Goose, Burnaby Lake, BC, Canada - F 10, 1/400 s, 1.5x 135 mm, ISO 400

  Bald Eagle, Ladner, BC, Canada - F 8, 1/60 s, 1.5x 200 mm, ISO 640

  Canada Grouse, Jasper National Park, AB, Canada - F 5.6, 1/60 s, 1.5x 200 mm, ISO 200