I’ve spent most of my time with a camera in hand wandering cities, but lately I’ve been able to enjoy getting out into nature.  A trip to Yellowstone provided some fantastic photo ops, but here on Long Island we have a surprising wealth of wildlife, too, even in my own backyard (a scene I mostly ignored until recently, but one filled with birds, rabbits, raccoons, squirrels…always squirrels…and who knows what else…deep in the heart of suburbia!).  Trips to Florida and elsewhere have given me some enjoyable wildlife photo opportunities, also.

NOTE: Hovering over and clicking will expand any image.

The Old Man.  Yellowstone National Park, September 2017

Double-Crested Cormorant.  Connetquat River, Long Island NY.  March 20, 2018

Hooded Merganser takes flight!  Holbrook Country Club, Long Island NY.  March 19, 2018

North American Robin.  Holbrook Country Club, March 19, 2018

White Breasted Nuthatch.  Hecksher State Park,  Long Island NY March 16, 2018

Red Bellied Woodpecker.  Hecksher State Park, Long Island NY March 16, 2018

Great Horned Owl.  Long Island NY March 11, 2018  This owl was perched in an Osprey’s nest.  The Osprey will soon be returning from their long winter migration to South America, at which point the owl will be forced to move on.  He may look to be scanning the sky for the Osprey’s arrival, but in fact he was tracking a drone!

Female Northern Cardinal.  One of many birds that wintered in my yard, but a particularly pretty one!  March 13, 2018

Deer in the Lens.  Fire Island National Seashore (FINS).

The Admiral surveys His Fleet.  There is a large colony of Harbor Seals that move into the Great South Bay from the Atlantic every winter.  They are joined by an array of sea birds (in this case Red Breasted Merganser ducks) and other sea life including whales just offshore, a busy and populous world close by of one of the world’s largest cities, and mostly blissfully ignored by humans.

Peek a Boo Sparrow.  A very common sparrow but I love this shot!

Eyelashes!  This pretty doe gave me time to change lenses for her close-up!  I was only a few feet away and she was completely unperturbed.  The deer population on Long Island, particularly on the Fire Island barrier beaches, is large and often regarded as a nuisance to summer home owners.  But this land was theirs before we came along and I think they are beautiful creatures.

Pronghorn Yellowstone.  A beautiful animal.  My son and I tracked a large herd in the brush (which was fun – they watched us as we watched them), but only to discover a smaller herd right next to the road.

Rutting Bison, Yellowstone.  September 2017. This was an amazing scene to witness, two massive bison butting heads violently with the cracking sound splitting the air and dust being kicked up into a storm.

Osprey Takes Flight!  Bayard Cutting Arboretum, April 2017.  The Osprey, otherwise known as a sea hawk, is a magnificent bird with a wingspan that can reach 6′ and one of the longest migratory routes in the animal kingdom.  Our Long Island birds winter in South America but return to the same nests the following spring.

Juvenile Ospreys.  These two were in a nest about 100′ on top of a tree.  This complicated nest was not man-made as some others are (or at least start out using a man-made platform).

Pin Tail Ducks.  These incredibly cute little guys are diving ducks, feeding on mollusks, small fish and other sea creatures.  They can dive to 60′ down and, based on my observation, can stay down quite a long time…often popping no where near where I expected and pointed the camera!

Female Cardinal.  Yard bird, November 2017

Mourning Dove.  Yard bird.  I find the Mourning Doves that visit my yard to be very difficult to photograph.  They are skittish and take off with that distinctive whistling sound the minute they sense a person approaching; perhaps especially a person with a large camera rig!

Yard Squirrel.  Yep, these fluffy tailed rodents are generally pests, stealing the food out of the bird feeders and sometimes getting into my shed and really tearing things up (I reinforced the shed and that hasn’t happened since).  But they are undeniably cute.

Mockingbird.  Yard bird.  I have a Mockingbird couple that return to my yard every winter, it seems.  I can’t honestly say they are the same pair but they appear to be.  A handsome bird!

Blue Jay and Cardinal in the winter snow.  We had quite a bit of snow in December and January of 2017-18 and with my bird feeders established at the base of a large evergreen I was able to get some nice yard bird pictures out the window of my home.

Great Egret all in a Cypress Tree.  These beautiful birds are a dime a dozen in southwest Florida, but that doesn’t make them anything less interesting.

Whales off Cape Cod.  July 2016.  How can anyone not be amazed at the creatures we share this planet with?  Although the smallest can be remarkable, the largest – whales – are simply astounding.  We were lucky to find a large pod feeding off of Provincetown, Cape Cod, when we went on a whale watching trip.