Tag Archives: wildlife

Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle

Of the seven species of living sea turtles found around the world, the most critically-endangered is the Kemp’s ridley (Testudines: Cheloniidae: Lepidochelys kempii). Although these turtles can be found all the way from Nova Scotia down through the Gulf of Mexico, … Continue reading

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Black Skimmer

Black Skimmers (Charadriiformes: Laridae: Rynchops niger) are relatively large and interesting birds that can be found from South America up through the Gulf of Mexico. These skimmers feed primarily on fish and are almost always found near bodies of water. … Continue reading

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Stretching for dinner

Last week I was out at Chiricahua National Monument in southeast Arizona.  One thing that caught my eye was this Arizona white-tailed deer (Artiodactyla: Cervidae: Odocoileus virginianus couesi).  After spotting me at some distance it seemed bashful and hid for a minute. Once … Continue reading

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Marmot Crossing

Last week I spent a couple of nights camping at Great Basin National Park in east-central Nevada. One point of interest was a stretch of road near Baker Creek that was crawling with yellow-bellied marmots (Rodentia: Sciuridae: Marmota flaviventris). So many … Continue reading

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Strut Your Stuff

Wild Turkeys (Galliformes: Phasianidae: Meleagris gallopavo) are found throughout large areas of the United States and Mexico, especially in the east. They are particularly common in the Cataloochee Valley of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Males turkeys begin courtship in … Continue reading

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Elk of the Cataloochee Valley

When most people think of elk (Artiodactyla: Cervidae: Cervus canadensis) they probably think of them as residents of the American west. From Colorado to Washington they live in large numbers, especially in protected areas like Rocky Mountain National Park, Grand Teton National … Continue reading

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Squirrels Protesting My Campsite Location

Earlier this month I spent a couple of nights camping in the Cataloochee Valley of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Upon my arrival I started setting up my tent and almost immediately received a very vocal protest from a resident American … Continue reading

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Great Blue Heron on the Hunt

The other day I made a break from our surprise eight inches (20 cm) of April snow here in southeast Michigan. In search of a warmer climate I drove nine hours south down to Great Smoky Mountains National Park along the border … Continue reading

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Guarding the Nest

Last week I happened upon this nesting Canada Goose (Anseriformes: Anatidae: Branta canadensis) keeping a watchful eye on a passing group of Ring-necked Ducks (Anseriformes: Anatidae: Aythya collaris). This particular goose chose to make her nest on top of a muskrat nest (Rodentia: Cricetidae: Ondatra zibethicus). … Continue reading

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Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

While many woodpecker species hammer their beaks against trees to get at the insects inside, some are after a different food source. Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers (Piciformes: Picidae: Sphyrapicus varius), like other sapsuckers, feed predominantly on the sugary juices of the trees themselves. Although known to … Continue reading

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Mute Swan

The other day I came across a lone Mute Swan (Anseriformes: Anatidae: Cygnus olor) in a small lake in southeast Michigan. Unlike Trumpeter Swans, Tundra Swans, and other large white waterfowl that are native to North America, these birds are … Continue reading

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Happy to Help

Last summer a US National Park Service employee contacted me about using one of my photos in an NPS publication. They were working on a new guide brochure for Mount Rainier National Park in Washington and stumbled across this photo from … Continue reading

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Tidepooling in the Gulf of California

The Gulf of California (also known as the Sea of Cortez) is one of the most biologically diverse marine environments on earth and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Known to some as “the world’s aquarium,” this sea is home to a … Continue reading

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Gray whales

Gray whales (Cetacea: Eschrichtiidae: Eschrichtius robustus) were once abundant throughout coastal waters of the northern Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Although hunted on a small scale for their oil, meat, and blubber for thousands of years, intensive commercial whaling in the late nineteenth century nearly … Continue reading

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Olympic National Park

It seems impossible to summarize the diversity of Olympic National Park in one photo. Spanning over 1441 square miles (3732 square km) in northwestern Washington, this park encompasses some of the most varied terrain in the entire US National Park … Continue reading

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Varied Thrush

Found throughout the Pacific Northwest, the Varied Thrush (Passeriformes: Turdidae: Ixoreus naevius) is a relatively common inhabitant of dense, wet forest understories. These birds live year-round in western Washington and Oregon. In the summer many migrate as far north as Alaska … Continue reading

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Steller sea lions

Steller sea lions (Carnivora: Otariidae: Eumetopias jubatus) can be found scattered along northern Pacific coastlines from California to Japan. These ocean-dwelling mammals often congregate for breeding, feeding, and socializing. They’re perhaps most often encountered resting together on rocks and shores, basking … Continue reading

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Avoiding Crowds at America’s National Parks

Of the 59 national parks in the United States many are well-known and heavily-traveled. About 20 of them see over one million visitors annually, and at times that can make traffic and crowds annoying to deal with. If you’re like me and have … Continue reading

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2014 Countdown: 20 Favorite Wildlife Photos

In the long and proud tradition of year-end countdowns, I thought I’d mark the end of 2014 with a few of my own. This first series is “20 Favorite Wildlife Photos.” Out of all the wildlife I managed to photograph this year, … Continue reading

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Bald Eagle

The Bald Eagle (Accipitriformes: Accipitridae: Haliaeetus leucocephalus) has been an iconic symbol throughout United States history. Long sacred to several Native American cultures, it was adopted as the national bird of the United States in 1782. Since then it has appeared on … Continue reading

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