2007, Animalblog by Terry Costales

Hooded Crow (Corvus cornix)
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I had never seen this kind of crow external link before. As soon as he noticed me he walked over the peak of the roof and out of sight.


(2007) Quay, Dublin, Ireland   •  Photo Posted Thursday, September 27, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Avocet in breeding plumage (Recurvirostra americana)
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This view shows the extent of the buff coloring avocets acquire on neck and chest in the breeding season. They stand about 15 to 20 inches tall and Wikipedia external link has more info on these birds if you're interested.


internal link (2007) Palo Alto Bird Sanctuary   •  Photo Posted May 20, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Breeding pair of Avocets
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Taken Early May, they are guarding a nest and looking lovely. Maybe next trip out there I can get a shot of some Avocet chicks.


internal link (2007) Palo Alto Bird Sanctuary   •  Photo Posted May 21, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Great Egret (Ardea Alba)
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These large egrets are graceful and breathtaking in flight. I watched this bird flying back and forth several times bringing nesting material back to it's mate.

There was only one pair that I saw amongst dozens of the smaller Snowy Egrets.


(2007) Palo Alto Bird Sanctuary   •  Photo Posted May 22, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Great Egret (ardea alba)
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This shows all the markings you would look for in identifying this bird in the breeding season. The lacy plumes on the back and the green/blue "mask" that extends from the base of the bill to the eye are only present during this time.

The Audubon Society came into existence to stop the extermination of great Egrets by plume hunters and has this bird as it's logo.

Great Egrets are found world-wide, even in Australia external link.


(2007) Palo Alto Bird Sanctuary   •  Photo Posted May 23, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Black-crowned Night Heron (nycticorax nicticorax)
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At the sanctuary, there is a group of palm trees next to the large pond that provides prime nesting spots. It is fenced off to ensure the breeding birds are not disturbed.

In late March, this was one of many night herons nesting amongst the snowy and great egrets. Its usually yellow legs are pink because it's breeding season.


(2007) Palo Alto Bird Sanctuary   •  Photo Posted May 24, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron
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Taken late March, this bird is probably a year or two old and has the yellow legs you see on both juveniles and non breeding adults. They get their full adult plumage in the third year.

If you look at this shot and the thumbnail below it, you can see they are roughly the same size and shape. Nice of them to pose for their comparison shots.


(2007) Palo Alto Bird Sancutary   •  Photo Posted May 25, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Nesting Night Heron
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This nest was not in the fenced off area near the pond but next to the picnic tables. The herons are used to seeing and hearing people and seem quite tolerant of being ogled and photographed.


(2007) Palo Alto Bird Sanctuary   •  Photo Posted May 26, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Fledgling Night Heron
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This was taken in early May and shows a fledgling night heron that has fallen out of it's nest. It took shelter next to a fence that was only a few feet from a path.

I hope everyone knew to leave it alone. Its parents would care for it where it is, but it was quite vulnerable there.

This picture is being considered for inclusion in a training manual to be used by the Toronto Wildlife Centre external link. If you have any photos you would like to submit, here is the original article external link with additional details.


(2007) Palo Alto Bird Sanctuary   •  Photo Posted May 27, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Fledgling Night Heron
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This picture was taken early May. The nest was in a very shady area and it was overcast, but luckily there was a brief break in the clouds which provided enough light for me to get a decent shot.

This fledgling night heron managed to stay in the nest despite what looked like a precarious perch.


(2007) Palo Alto Bird Sanctuary   •  Photo Posted May 28, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Young Night Herons
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This picture was taken in early May and these two seem a little older than the other fledglings I saw. They have gotten big enough to come out of the nest and perch on the branches nearby.


(2007) Palo Alto Bird Santuary   •  Photo Posted May 29, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Young Night Heron
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This photo was taken early in May. There were 4 or 5 young ones about this size on the ground all within the fenced in area. Sometimes one of them would clamber up into a bush, but mostly they sat quietly on the ground.

This little night heron actually flew a short distance to explore the edge of the nearby pond. He made a few jabbing motions with his bill and managed a couple of times to pick up a twig

I felt quite privileged to have witnessed and recorded these birds and their behavior. Here are more of my favorite pictures internal link of these birds.


(2007) Palo Alto Bird Sanctuary   •  Photo Posted May 30, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Snowy Egret (Leucophoyx thula)
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This picture was taken in late April of this year and shows this gorgeous Snowy Egret bringing a twig back to the nest as an offering to his mate.

Their distinguishing marks are the black legs, yellow feet and lacy plumes. The breeding season causes more plumes to develop on their backs and the area in front the eyes (the lores external link) to change from yellow to pink, then red at the height of the season.

The only thing not beautiful about these birds are their voices. A gurgling "wogga, wogga, wogga." As if Donald Duck was imitating a drowning turkey.


(2007) Palo Alto Bird Sanctuary   •  Photo Posted May 31, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Nesting Snowy Egret with young
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This picture was taken in late May. There were mother egrets in the colony still sitting on eggs while others, like the one above, were taking care of their small chicks. Many mother egrets were feeding larger chicks. Many larger fledglings were out on the branches but not yet flying. Quite an advance in procreation from my visit a month earlier.


(2007) Palo Alto Bird Sanctuary   •  Photo Posted June 1, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Young Snowy Egrets
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These 3 birds are all siblings but one is quite smaller than the rest. I kept expecting it to get shoved aside, or even knocked out of the nest, but it really held it's own. The mother would fly up to feed them and the little one was always in the front making the most noise and waggling its outstretched wings up and down in a frantic "feed me" dance.

The young don't have the black legs or yellow feet like their parents, just a green that changes gradually to the adult colors as they grow.


(2007) Palo Alto Bird Sanctuary   •  Photo Posted June 2, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Snowy Egret Feeding Her Young
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This is the trio of nestlings from yesterday's blog. Mom swoops in, holds on to the nest with her feet, uses her wings to stay balanced and feeds them on the fly, as it were.

They set up a clamor when they see her nearby. "C'mon Mom, we're starving here!"

Here are more photos internal link of Snowy Egrets.


(2007) Palo Alto Bird Sanctuary   •  Photo Posted June 3, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)
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This picture was taken late May of this year. This is a very active bird so I was surprised and delighted to see it perch long enough for me to photograph it.

The Barn Swallow is the only American swallow that has that deeply forked "swallow-tail".


internal link (2007) Palo Alto Bird Sanctuary   •  Photo Posted June 4, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Barn Swallow
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This picture was taken moments after the one I posted yesterday. It's a small bird, about 7 inches long, and was singing its little heart out. I only saw a couple of barn swallows that day, but there were almost a hundred cliff swallows nesting under the eaves of the Interpretive Center.

The name barn swallow derives from the fact that their nests are usually found inside barns. The nestexternal link is an open cup made of mud mixed with grass.


internal link (2007) Palo Alto Bird Sanctuary   •  Photo Posted June 5, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Cliff Swallow in Flight (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota)
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This picture was taken just after the swallow had gathered a mouthful of mud to add to its nest. It plainly shows the tail shape that helps to distinguish it from the Barn Swallow.

This is the kind of swallow that returns each year from Goya, Argentina to the San Juan Capistrano external link mission each March.


(2007) Palo Alto Bird Sanctuary   •  Photo Posted June 6, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Cliff Swallows Gathering Mud
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These two swallows were among dozens gathering mud on the bank of an inlet close to their colony. They landed and scooped up mud with their wings held high and fluttering. Once they got a good beakful they zipped back to their nests.

This group established themselves under the eaves of the Interpretive Center internal link located in the Palo Alto Baylands Preserveexternal link.


(2007) Palo Alto Bird Sanctuary   •  Photo Posted June 7, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Cliff Swallow in its nest
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This is a close-up of a typical nest with the adult peering out. Mud gathering has made its bill appear lighter than it actually is.


(2007) Palo Alto Baylands Preserve   •  Photo Posted June 8, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Baby Cliff Swallows
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This photo was taken the last day of May. Nine days earlier there were no visible signs of chicks, although you could hear them peeping. On this day there were many little heads framed in the openings of nests.

I wonder what another nine days will bring?


(2007) Palo Alto Bird Sanctuary   •  Photo Posted June 9, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Canada Goose
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This goose is very widespread and commonly found in the wild, and at almost any park that has a pond, lake or marsh.

There are many other species of ducks internal link, shorebirds internal link, and terns internal link found at the Palo Alto Sanctuary. Because of the wealth of bird species there it is also a favorite place for many bird and nature photographersexternal link.


(2007) Palo Alto Bird Sanctuary   •  Photo Posted June 10, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Canada Goose and Goslings
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This is a real Mother Goose external link watching over a few of her very large brood.

Mother Goose as a person in literature has been around for a very long time. There is even a Mother Goose Society external link and did you know May 1st is Mother Goose Day? I wonder who you send cards to?

More info can be found about real Canada Geese at Wikipediaexternal link.


(2007) Palo Alto Bird Sanctuary   •  Photo Posted June 11, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Canada Goose Gosling
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A gosling is so darn cute when it's little. It's hard to believe that there is an entire industry devoted to the task of making them go away. When large flocks of adult geese show up in a "wrong locations" external link they are considered by some to be a nuisance.

Would you want them in your swimming pool? Your Koi pond? Your child's playgroundexternal link? It's really a matter of make peace or make them go away. There's always a choice.


(2007) Palo Alto Bird Sanctuary   •  Photo Posted June 12, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Young Canada Geese
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Yesterdays picture was taken of a gosling that was only a few days old. Today's photo was taken three weeks later. Now you should definitely be able to see that they are becoming adult geese.

These goslings have lost their cute baby fuzz, but don't yet possess the handsome markings of an adult. But such is the bane of all adolescents.


(2007) Palo Alto Bird Sanctuary   •  Photo Posted June 13, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Parade of Canada Geese
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Mom is leading her brood from the duck pond, across the road and into the marsh. This is not an uncommon sight and one of the reasons there is a 15 MPH speed limit at the santuary.


(2007) Palo Alto Bird Sanctuary   •  Photo Posted June 14, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Bullock's Oriole (Icterus bullockii)
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This oriole was named for William Bullockexternal link, a British amateur naturalist.

In all my visits to this bird sanctuary, this was the only time I've seen this bird. I was very lucky to get some photos of it.


(2007) Palo Alto Bird Sanctuary   •  Photo Posted June 15, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Bullock's Oriole (Icterus bullockii)
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The Bullock's Oriole external link is the western version of the Baltimore Oriole which is found east of the Rockies.

This photo was taken late May and what a great pose he gave me.


(2007) Palo Alto Bird Sanctuary   •  Photo Posted June 16, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Bullock's Oriole (Icterus bullockii)
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Here is the Oriole perched on a barbeque grill in the picnic area. He and several blackbirds had just chased a crow that dared to enter their territory. Crows are a threat to them because they will eat the young of these smaller birds.

There are several species of birds found at the sanctuary. There are sparrows internal link, blackbirds and crows internal link, and many other perching birds internal link.


(2007) Palo Alto Bird Sanctuary   •  Photo Posted June 17, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)
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This female Killdeer is standing over eggs in its "nest." Three eggs are actually present but only one is clearly visible. Even the clearly visible one is very well camouflaged.

It is reputed their call sounds like "kill deer" and thus the name. I don't hear it myself but maybe that's just me.


(2007) Palo Alto Bird Sanctuary   •  Photo Posted June 18, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Killdeer eggs
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This is a photo of three very well camouflaged eggs in a Killdeer "nest." Because Killdeer often lay their eggs on gravelexternal link, the parking lot at the sanctuary had become a favorite nesting spot for them. Unfortunately a parking lot is a dangerous place for eggs, which leads to much failure for the Killdeer who lay eggs there.


(2007) Palo Alto Bird Sanctuary   •  Photo Posted June 3, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)
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The female Killdeer in this picture is adopting a wounded bird pose and making a distress call. She is trying to lure me away from her nest by convincing me she is easy prey. Luckily for her I only wanted her photo.


(2007) Palo Alto Bird Sanctuary   •  Photo Posted June 20, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina)
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I took this photo April 4th of this year while in London. I didn't know what it was at the time but I knew I had never seen this duck before. I was quite taken with the brilliant gold of it's head. When the sun shone on its head there was an amazing metallic sheen which really has to be seen in person to be appreciated.

These pochards external link are not found in the United States.


(2007) Hyde Park, London, England   •  Photo Posted June 21, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Eurasian Coot
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The most obvious difference between the Eurasian Coot and the American coot is the larger white face shield. The coots were very numerous in Hyde Park internal link and seemed to behave just like the coots I'm familiar with here in California.

This shot shows the face shield, the greenish feet and the lobed toes. They are fascinating little birdsexternal link.


(2007) Hyde Park, London, England   •  Photo Posted June 22, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)
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The Grey Heron is very similar to the larger Great Blue Heron we have in California. This one seems to be in full breeding plumage. It was the only heron I saw in Hyde Parkinternal link and was standing on one leg near several mute swans. He didn't seem in the least bothered by all the people that were around.

He actually has a very long neck but they sit with it pulled in and folded against the chest. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has a nice page on these herons where you can see the long neck and even hear it's callexternal link.


(2007) Hyde Park, London, England   •  Photo Posted June 23, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)
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The moorhen external link is a very commonly found bird in England, Europe and the States. Even so, I had never seen one before this day in Hyde Park.

Moorhens are related more to Coots than to ducks. Moorhens and Coots both have greenish feet with lobed toes which allows them to walk over water-plants and mud.


(2007) Hyde Park, London, England   •  Photo Posted June 15, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
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Something about a swan. I see one and I feel like I am getting a small glimpse into a fairy tale. Swans conjure images of fairy princesses, enchanted lakes and talking animals. I almost expect to turn my head and see a unicorn come to drink at the edge of this pond.

A more realistic approach to these birds is not to just admire them but protect them as well. The population of swans had declined in the UK external link due to habitat loss and lead poisoning, but their numbers are rising again.

The Mute swan is not natively found in the US and is not actually mute at all.


(2007) Hyde Park, London, England   •  Photo Posted June 15, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Pochard (Aythya ferina)
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When I first saw this duck I thought it was a Canvasback internal link. Later, I realized only its basic coloration was the same.

The Pochard external link is not found here in the States. It's closest relative, in England, is the Red-crested Pochardexternal link. Both species were present in Hyde Park the day I took this photo.


(2007) Hyde Park, London, England   •  Photo Posted June 15, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
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This is a photo of a duck with a "crazy hairdo". I had never before seen a picture of a Tufted Duck, and was quite startled to observe this unusual species. Looking at the photos on our return home I identified it as a Tufted Duck and found out these ducks are quite common in England and Europeexternal link.


(2007)Hyde Park, London, England   •  Photo Posted June 15, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Wood Pigeon (Columba palumbus)
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Of course England has it's fair share of "flying rats". For some reason this one in Hyde Park seemed more like an actual bird to me than just feathered verminexternal link.

I'm sure if I was there long enough they would become just as annoying as pigeons are here at home.


Animalblog internal link Pigeon Collection   •  Wood Pigeon internal link   •  (2007) Hyde Park, London, England   •  (Photo posted Thursday 28 June 2007)   •  (Photo taken in 2007)   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Jackdaw (Corvus monedula)
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When I took this photo I thought it was a common crow. That was in April. I processed this photo recently and discovered it was actually a jackdawexternal link.

A Jackdaw is a type of crow but has a grey head and pale eyes. Some people associated the Jackdaw with the children's nursery rhyme "See Saw, Margery Daw"external link.


(2007)Canal du Midi, France, EU   •  Photo Posted June 15, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
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This is a photograph of a pair of Mallards nesting on a concrete outcropping that is part of this canal lockexternal link. The roar of the water as it leaves the lock and close proximity to boats going by doesn't seem to faze them.

The female Mallard is sitting on the nest a few feet behind the male and is very well camouflaged.


(2007)Canal du Midi, France, EU   •  Photo Posted June 15, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
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This is a photo of the female mallard from yesterday's posting internal link. Even though the nest is visible to people in boats and the towpath, it's quite well protected by it's inaccesability.


(2007) Canal du Midi, France, EU   •  Photo Posted July 1, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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European Starling (sturnus vulgaris)
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Finally a European starling where it belongs: in Europe.

I have observed large flocks of Starlings since I was a kid. Sometimes I've seen enormous groups making, what I like to call, "flock circles" in the sky. When they do this it's very unnerving. The first time I saw this phenomenon it was in the skies over San Francisco about 15 years ago. I thought perhaps the birds could sense an impending disaster, perhaps an earthquake. If so, what was I doing in SAN FRANCISCO? Home of the big one that's always overdue.

I found out later this was normal behavior for starlings. The Wikipedia article external link on European Starlings says "Large roosts (exceptionally up to a million birds) can form in city centres, causing a great deal of mess from their droppings. Flocks are also noted for forming a tight sphere-like formation in flight, then expanding and contracting and even changing shape, all seemingly without any sort of leader."

Even knowing this is normal for Starlings and nothing supernatural, I still get the heebie-jeebies. Though I'll never admit it.


(2007) Canal du Midi, France, EU   •  Photo Posted July 2, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Domesticated Swan Goose (Anser cygnoides)
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This is a photo of a domesticated Swan Gooseexternal link, originally called a Chinese goose.

I've seen geese like this in California, Washington and France. Clearly they must adapt easily to many different climates.


(2007)Canal du Midi, France, EU   •  Photo Posted July 3, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Mute Swan (Cgnus olor) and white dove
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Our boat was moored on the Canal du Midi and the four of us aboard all commented on the picturesque red and blue boat internal link tied up across the way.

When the swan swam near the boat I saw a photo op I couldn't resist. Only now, months later, did I notice that I had also photographed a white dove perched on the edge of the rowboat.

The white dove is a symbol of peace and, on this July 4th, seems the most appropriate wish for this nation and the world.


(2007) Trebes, France, EU   •  Photo Posted July 4, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Red-eared Slider
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There are hundreds of these turtles in Stow Lake. If the little pet turtle external link you had as a kid ever lived long enough to outgrow its little plastic dish (the one with the fake palm tree) it would've become an adult Red-eared slider external link like this one.

I wonder how many of those little pets ended up in Stow Lake?


(2007)Stow Lake, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA   •  Photo Posted July 5, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Soft-shelled Turtle (Trionyx ferox)
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This is a photo of a soft-shelled turtleexternal link. Unlike the numerous red-eared sliders, this was the only soft-shelled turtle I saw that day.


(2007) Stow Lake, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA   •  Photo Posted July 6, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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French Donkeys
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Just west of the Louvre are wonderful gardens called Jardin des Tuileriesexternal link. The gardens contain outdoor cafes, fountainsinternal link, scattered statuary, chestnut trees, formal flower beds and trimmed hedges.

But, to my surprise, there was also a children's playground, carousel and pony and donkey ridesexternal link.

The photo above is of one of the donkeys, or âne in French.


(2007) Paris, France, EU   •  Photo Posted July 7, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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White Horse
(51 of 126) (84957 views)

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Hyde Park internal link is a large London park with much to offer visitors. Kids played soccer on the lawns. People paddled boats. Couples strolled the many paths in and around the Serpentine internal link

This photo is of a very dignified, white, police horse.


(2007) Hyde Park, London, England, EU   •  Photo Posted July 8, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Horses at dawn
(52 of 126) (84786 views)

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Backlit at dawn, two horses in the Northwest are a calm and beautiful sight. Almost everything looks better when the light internal link is special.


(2007) Otis Orchards, Washington   •  Photo Posted July 9, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Parade Horse
(53 of 126) (84926 views)

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The face of a horse can be very fascinating. Such a large animal, capable of such force and power, yet with such gentle eyes it just makes one sigh.

This picture is a Police horse external link patiently waiting for the parade to start. I have wondered if being part of the Mounted Police in San Francisco external link is a position with status within the Police Force. Actually it is such an honor, in fact, that some officers wait years to join.


(2007) St Patrick's Day Parade, San Francisco, CA, USA   •  Photo Posted July 10, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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French Bulldog puppy
(54 of 126) (85013 views)

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These are just the cutest external link but strange little dogs. Owners of French Bulldogs call their dogs Frenchies and I actually saw quite a few in France.


(2007) Coastal Trail, San Francisco, CA, USA   •  Photo Posted July 11, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Irish Dog
(55 of 126) (84889 views)

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They say everyone is Irish on St Pat's Day and I guess that includes the animal kingdom. Our dogs are eager to accompany we humans on all of our crazy endeavors. Whether it's dogs on motorcycles external link or skydiving external link or just wearing a bit o'the greenexternal link.


(2007) St. Patrick's Day Parade, San Francisco, CA   •  Photo Posted July 12, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Dog with orange ball
(56 of 126) (84843 views)

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This is a happy dog. He's getting exercise, interacting in the park with his human companion. And that's a nice orange ball!

I've been watching the Dog Whisperer external link lately and exercise is a hugely important factor in a dog's physical and mental health. I always thought that a big back yard eliminated the need to take your dogs on walks. Boy, was I wrong. Leave your dog in the backyard all day, wrongly thinking it will get exercise, and you will just create a very bored dog. A bored dog full of unspent energy develops behavior problems.

So take a walk. Take your dog with you. And do it every day!


(2007) Hyde Park, London, England   •  Photo Posted July 13, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Caged Tiger
(57 of 126) (84961 views)

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This photo was taken August 13th, 2006, which was my first day with my new camera. The tiger rapidly paced her cage, back and forth, revealing an occasional silent snarl. I waited in front of the enclosure for a good shot but in all my photos the tiger was out of focus or out of frame. Except for this one.

This photo isn't the greatest I've ever taken, but I love it anyway. I caught that exact second our eyes met and for that breath-catching moment I was potential prey.


(2007) San Francisco Zoo, San Francisco, CA   •  Photo Posted July 14, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Two Red-tailed Hawks
(58 of 126) (84863 views)

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I took this photo before the fog had burned off yesterday. These two aerial acrobats had a good time swooping and clowning around. After this display they landed on top of a cypress tree and then sat peacefully side by side.


(2007) The Presidio, San Francisco, CA   •  Photo Posted July 15, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Zoe the Vizsla
(59 of 126) (84977 views)

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Today I met a very nice young woman and her beautiful dog Zoe. I learned a lot about the Vizsla breed external link and am looking forward to finding out even more.


(2007) Palo Alto Bird Sanctuary   •  Photo Posted July 16, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Harbor Seal
(60 of 126) (90073 views)

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This photo of a Harbor Seal was taken very near the Lucy Evans Interpretive Center internal link at the bird sanctuary. I was very surprised to see it but the ranger verified that they have been known to occasionally appear.


(2007) Palo Alto Bird Sanctuary   •  Photo Posted July 18, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Mother Coot and Young
(61 of 126) (84809 views)

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On July 16th I was surprised to see a young coot with its parent. I hadn't been to this location in a while and I had missed seeing the coot chick when it was small. That's one of the attractions of birding. You never know what you will see on any given day. Usually it's not what you expect.


(2007) Palo Alto Bird Sanctuary   •  Photo Posted July 20, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Crow
(62 of 126) (84737 views)

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Long to soar,
Long to fly away.
Leave it all behind?
Or rush forward to start anew?
Wind and feathers obey the heart.


(2007) Palo Alto Bird Sanctuary   •  Photo Posted July 23, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Weezy the Rooster
(63 of 126) (84756 views)

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Weezie was supposed to be a hen. He was picked at random out of bin of Barred Plymouth Rock chicks, 90% guaranteed to be female.

As you can see Weezie turned out to not be female. He grew up to terrorize the dogs, kids and even me. He would approach to see what goodies I might have then, even when indulging, he would forget he was glad to see me and sneak in a few vicious kicks. Now that I'm in San Francisco with no chickens, I don't miss him at all. Not one little bit.


(2007) Otis Orchards, Washington   •  Photo Posted August 1, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)
(64 of 126) (84780 views)

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Taken August 23rd, this is a Grey Heron hunting for food in a Dublin canal. This bird is a year round resident throughout England and Ireland. But I didn't expect one to be found downtown! Fifteen feet above this heron was the morning commute rushing over a bridge!

I also saw one other Grey Heron internal link in Hyde Park, London in April of this year.


(2007) Dublin, Ireland   •  Photo Posted September 2, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Elephant reaching for food
(65 of 126) (84897 views)

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The largest elephant in the group reached up to pull down some hay. The elephants in this zoo had a very large enclosure with varying terrain. The Dublin Zoo external link seems to be doing an excellent job of caring for these great animals.


(2007) The Dublin Zoo   •  Photo Posted September 3, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Baby Elephant
(66 of 126) (84857 views)

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This is a baby Asian Elephant external link that is only a few months old. It drew a huge crowd of admirers and everyone wanted its picture.


(2007) Dublin Zoo, Ireland   •  Photo Posted September 4, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Tiger
(67 of 126) (84819 views)

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To me the tiger is the most awe inspiring animal I have ever seen. So majestic and powerful I could watch them forever, but in zoos they don't tend to do much whenever I'm around.


(2007) Dublin Zoo, Ireland   •  Photo Posted September 5, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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British Pied Wagtail (Motcilla alba yarrellii)
(68 of 126) (84982 views)

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This little bird was fast and wary and did not want its picture taken. Persistent stalking wins the day (and the photo).


(2007) Dublin Quay, Dublin, Ireland   •  Photo Posted September 6, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus)
(69 of 126) (85326 views)

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All the Black-headed gulls external link I saw in Dublin were all in winter plumage. What a great excuse I have now to go back and get photos of them in their fancy summer outfits.


(2007) Dublin, Ireland   •  Photo Posted September 8, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Bongo
(70 of 126) (84849 views)

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It was difficult to get a shot through the fence of the Bongoexternal link. This close-up was the only one that turned out well enough to post.


(2007) Dublin Zoo, Dublin, Ireland   •  Photo Posted September 9, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Celebes macaque
(71 of 126) (84781 views)

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Monkeys and apes aren't my favorite animals but this guy looked interesting. Cool hairdo.


(2007) Dublin Zoo, Dublin, Ireland   •  Photo Posted September 10, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Flamingo
(72 of 126) (84829 views)

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I love this close-up of a flamingo on its nest. I never realized their eyes were so pale.


(2007) Dublin Zoo, Dublin, Ireland   •  Photo Posted September 11, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Red-ruffed Lemur (Varecia variegata rubra)
(73 of 126) (85077 views)

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The red-ruffed lemur is a pretty big animal. I love watching them interact with one another. This one looks like he was wringing his paws with glee after stealing a tasty treat.


(2007) Dublin Zoo, Dublin, Ireland   •  Photo Posted September 12, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Meerkat (Suricata suricatta)
(74 of 126) (84901 views)

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Here is a meerkat external link enjoying a good scratch and, as you can see, he has the nails for it.

Meerkats have been popular since the movie "The Lion King" external link which had a meerkat as a funny side-kick character with the voice of Nathan Laneexternal link. Now there is even a tv show called "Meerkat Manor" external link where you can learn more than you ever wanted to know about the life of this desert mongoose.


(2007) Dublin Zoo, Dublin, Ireland   •  Photo Posted Thursday, September 13, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius)
(75 of 126) (84668 views)

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The hippos external link I've seen in other zoos have been rather lethargic. But the two hippos in this pool were very active, swimming, diving with a great splash, surfacing again, over and over. They attracted quite a crowd and were fascinating to watch.


(2007) Dublin Zoo, Dublin, Ireland   •  Photo Posted Friday, September 14, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus)
(76 of 126) (86515 views)

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This snowy owl external link at the Dublin Zoo was very quiet but, if it had spoken, it would have had an unusual voiceexternal link.


(2007) Dublin Zoo   •  Photo Posted Saturday, September 15, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Peafowl
(77 of 126) (84882 views)

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This female peafowlexternal link, called a peahen, was well camouflaged. She was just off the paved path and dozens of people passed within two feet of her and never realized she was there. I noticed her because I was looking for local birds while admiring the captive inhabitants. Just as at many zoos, peafowl are set loose to wander the grounds as they wish.


(2007) Dublin Zoo, Dublin, Ireland   •  Photo Posted Sunday, September 16, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Goeldi's Monkey
(78 of 126) (84706 views)

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As I have mentioned before, monkeys are not my favorite animals. That said however, this guy was little, cute and the afternoon sun made for a shot I couldn't resist.

Goeldi's Monkeys external link live in the tropical rain forests of South America.


(2007) Dublin Zoo, Dublin, Ireland   •  Photo Posted Tuesday, September 18, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Avocet non-breeding plumage
(79 of 126) (90908 views)

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This photo was taken late March of this year and many birds were still in just black and white. For courting and breeding the necks and chest acquire a rusty or tan color.

They really seem to enjoy their mud-flats.


internal link (2007)Palo Alto Bird Sanctuary, Palo Alto, CA   •  Photo Posted May 19, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Jackdaw
(80 of 126) (85226 views)

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The Jackdaw external link is another type of crow common to Europe. Smaller than the Hooded crow from yesterday's posting internal link and much less shy.


(2007) Belfast, Northern Ireland   •  Photo Posted Friday, September 28, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Magpie (Pica pica)
(81 of 126) (84894 views)

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Flying shots are hard to get. The bird external link was on the path when I lifted the camera but I managed to get this photo without cutting off any part of its body, just barely.


(2007) Dublin, Ireland   •  Photo Posted Saturday, September 29, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Snoozing Rhinocerous
(82 of 126) (85084 views)

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What a face. A puppy and a kitten sleeping together in a basket couldn't be cuter than this!

Visit the San Francisco Zoo external link whenever you can.


(2007) San Francisco Zoo, SF, California   •  Photo Posted Sunday, September 30, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Flamingo (Phoenicopterus chilensis)
(83 of 126) (84924 views)

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The flamingos external link were just waking up, looking beautifully exotic in the morning light.


(2007) San Francisco Zoo, SF, California   •  Photo Posted Monday, October 1, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Zebra (Equus burchelli boehmi)
(84 of 126) (87452 views)

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A beautiful Zebra external link with gorgeous long lashes. I would love to see Zebras in California fields alongside the horses, sheep and cows. We have Ostriches and Llamas, why not Zebras?


(2007) San Francisco Zoo   •  Photo Posted Sunday, October 7, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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White Pelicans
(85 of 126) (90006 views)

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Taking photos from a boat was a new experience. I was able to get much closer to this flock of Pelicans before they took flight.

These appear to be Australian Pelicans external link because of the pink bills. Or do American White Pelicans have pink bills in the winter? Further research needed.


(2007) Delta waters near Oakley, California   •  Photo Posted Tuesday, October 9, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)
(86 of 126) (88399 views)

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Yesterday I thought these birds might be Australian Pelicans internal link but with further research I found they are American White Pelicans external link in non-breeding plumage.

I'm glad that's settled.


(2007) Delta waters near Oakley, California   •  Photo Posted Wednesday, October 10, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)
(87 of 126) (85291 views)

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I went out on my brother's boat last Monday and saw many Great Blue Heronsexternal link. Twice I saw one noisily chase away a Great Egret internal link that he thought was encroaching on his fishing spot.


(2007)Delta waters near Oakley, California   •  Photo Posted Thursday, October 11, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Great Blue Heron
(88 of 126) (84842 views)

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This is a photo of the heron taking off as the boat got too close for comfort.


(2007) Delta waters near Oakley, California   •  Photo Posted Friday, October 12, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Great Egret and Pheasant
(89 of 126) (88399 views)

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I didn't see a pheasant when I looked at this tree, only the Egret. As the boat drew nearer to the tree the pheasant burst out, startling the egret and me. I tried to get a shot of them as they flew past, but I was much too slow. It wasn't until I looked at the photos at home that I had the pleasure to see I had gotten a shot of the pheasant after all.


(2007) Delta waters near Oakley, California   •  Photo Posted Saturday, October 13, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Black-crowned Night Heron
(90 of 126) (87208 views)

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The bird on the left is a young adult who won't achieve the look of the mature bird on its right for another year.


(2007) Delta waters near Oakley, California   •  Photo Posted Monday, October 15, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Red-shouldered Hawk
(91 of 126) (85425 views)

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There are many hawks living in the Delta, doing their part to keep the circle of life rolling.


Red-shouldered Hawk external link   •  Delta waters near Oakley, California   •  (Date Photographed: in 2007)   •  (Date Published: Tuesday 16 October 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
(92 of 126) (84760 views)

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The namesake tail.


(2007) Delta waters near Oakley, California   •  Photo Posted Wednesday, October 17, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Great Egret flying
(93 of 126) (88497 views)

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To get a shot of a graceful bird flying is always a coup.


(2007) Delta waters near Oakley, California   •  Photo Posted Thursday, October 18, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)
(94 of 126) (87319 views)

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Seeing a bright red eye on a bird, to me, is quite startling. Although the heron external link appears to be standing one-legged, the other leg is actually stretched out in front, grasping another branch.


(2007) Delta waters near Oakley, California   •  Photo Posted Saturday, October 20, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Great Egret
(95 of 126) (88330 views)

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I got this shot just as the egret was landing. Look closely and you can see the feet haven't quite come to rest on the pipe.


(2007) Delta Waters near Oakley, California   •  Photo Posted Sunday, October 21, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Great Egret
(96 of 126) (88467 views)

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I think I am addicted to taking shots of flying egrets.


(2007) Delta waters near Oakley, California   •  Photo Posted Monday, October 22, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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English Sparrow
(97 of 126) (85444 views)

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I don't usually photograph English Sparrows because it is common knowledge what this introduced species looks like. I like this shot not so much for the subject, but for the shot itself. The narrow area of focus lends the bird a softer and more delicate appearance.


(2007) Riverfront Park, Spokane, Washington   •  Photo Posted Tuesday, October 23, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)
(98 of 126) (85267 views)

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This photo caught a sleepy juvenile external link unaware of the camera. Like yesterday's photointernal link, I love the narrow field of focus.


(2007) Riverfront Park, Spokane, Washington   •  Photo Posted Wednesday, October 24, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Otter (Lutra canadensis)
(99 of 126) (84953 views)

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This is a North American River Otter external link having a scratch and a yawn. There were two in the exhibit and their cute faces and playful antics drew quite a crowd.


(2007) San Francisco Zoo, California   •  Photo Posted Thursday, October 25, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Sumatran Tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae)
(100 of 126) (84912 views)

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I hate to give away the secret behind this shot but, in actuality, this ferocious tiger external link is merely yawning.


(2007) San Francisco Zoo, California   •  Photo Posted Friday, October 26, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Magellanic Penguin (Speniscus magellanicus)
(101 of 126) (85230 views)

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When the brown and white penguin external link is done molting it will become black and white, just like its companion.


(2007) San Francisco Zoo, California   •  Photo Posted Saturday, October 27, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Male Lion Sleeping
(102 of 126) (87159 views)

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Here is a photo of a lion external link doing what a lion does best.


(2007) San Francisco Zoo, California   •  Photo Posted Sunday, October 28, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Boxer Puppy
(103 of 126) (84960 views)

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This little guy external link was as sweet as Halloween candy and was like velvet to the touch. You can tell he is well cared for and loved.


(2007) San Francisco, California   •  Photo Posted Wednesday, October 31, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Double-crested Cormorant
(104 of 126) (85249 views)

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Here is a cormorant external link in its classic drying off pose.

The name "double-crested" is insired by the tufts of white feathers over the eyes that only appear in breeding season.


(2007) San Francisco, California   •  Photo Posted Thursday, November 1, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Western Grebe
(105 of 126) (84800 views)

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An adult Western Grebe external link amid ripples and bubbles.


(2007) San Francisco, California   •  Photo Posted Friday, November 2, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Small Shorebird
(106 of 126) (84807 views)

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A small shorebird, about 4-6 inches long, was perched on a rock. I don't know what kind it is.


(2007) San Francisco, California   •  Photo Posted Saturday, November 3, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Tortoise
(107 of 126) (88862 views)

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These two large tortoises ambled about and were not as sluggish as one might expect. I dont know which species of tortoise this is because I forgot to photograph the sign.


(2007) Dublin Zoo, Dublin, Ireland   •  Photo Posted Sunday, November 4, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License #Dublin_Zoo
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Flamingos
(108 of 126) (84847 views)

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This photo reminds me of peach colored roses in a garden, ready to unfurl.


(2007) San Francisco Zoo, California   •  Photo Posted Monday, November 5, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Black Swan (Cygnus atratus)
(109 of 126) (85237 views)

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The face of an Australian bird external link which is odd, but compelling.


(2007) San Francisco, California   •  Photo Posted Tuesday, November 6, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Great Egret
(110 of 126) (88452 views)

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I was fascinated to watch this egret hunt external link. He moved very patiently and slowly, then his head would dart into the shallow water and he would come up with a little fish. It must take a lot of little fish to fill such a large bird.


(2007) Palo Alto Bird Sanctuary   •  Photo Posted Thursday, November 8, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Bonaparte's Gulls (winter plumage)
(111 of 126) (85361 views)

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I generally prefer to photograph individual birds or pairs. But sometimes the flockexternal link can prove just as beautiful.


(2007) Palo Alto Bird Sanctuary, California   •  Photo Posted Friday, November 9, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Great Egret
(112 of 126) (88532 views)

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The Great Egret has just caught a small fish.


(2007) Palo Alto Bird Sanctuary, California   •  Photo Posted Saturday, November 10, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Ring-necked Pheasant
(113 of 126) (85378 views)

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This gorgeous male pheasantexternal link was much too tame for its own good. It came right up to me looking for hand-outs.


(2007) Palo Alto Bird Sanctuary, California   •  Photo Posted Sunday, November 11, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus)
(114 of 126) (85327 views)

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In all my visits to this area over the past year, I finally captured a decent shot of a Harrierexternal link. Up until now, they have always been too distant and too fast.


internal link (2007) Palo Alto Bird Sanctuary, California   •  Photo Posted Monday, November 12, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Sparrow
(115 of 126) (84974 views)

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A well camouflagedexternal link bird in the bush.


(2007) Palo Alto Bird Sanctuary   •  Photo Posted Tuesday, November 13, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Canada Geese in a California Sky
(116 of 126) (85523 views)

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When Canada Geeseexternal link trumpet their arrival while flying directly overhead, no-one could possibly pass up the opportunity to photograph them.


(2007) Palo Alto Bird Sanctuary   •  Photo Posted Thursday, November 15, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Killdeer in Flight
(117 of 126) (87511 views)

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Killdeerinternal link are a shy and fast bird. Consequently I rarely get a good shot of one. I was lucky this day to get that elusive shot.


(2007) Palo Alto Bird Sanctuary, California   •  Photo Posted Friday, November 16, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Mr and Mrs Dieter Welte
(118 of 126) (84895 views)

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I know this should be the Animalblog, but my only son, Dieter, got married this Sunday!

Here is Dieter with his beautiful wife, Lizzy. My Congratulations and Best Wishes to them both.


(2007) Los Angeles, California   •  Photo Posted Tuesday, November 20, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Warthog
(119 of 126) (87971 views)

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The profile of a warthogexternal link is not handsome. Neither is any other view.

They do have their niche in nature, but they just don't look good filling it.


(2007) San Francisco Zoo, California   •  Photo Posted Wednesday, November 21, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Hawk with Prey
(120 of 126) (85177 views)

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This hawk unaware that it was Thanksgiving morning, none the less, enjoyed the holiday while helping the city lessen its vermin problem.


(2007) Main Street, San Francisco, California   •  Photo Posted Saturday, November 24, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Hawk
(121 of 126) (84705 views)

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Disturbed by photographer, the Thanksgiving hawkinternal link fled to higher ground.


(2007) Main and Fulton, San Francisco, California   •  Photo Posted Sunday, November 25, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Savannah Sparrow
(122 of 126) (85209 views)

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Fall colors provide a wonderful background for this little sparrow.external link


(2007) California Delta, California   •  Photo Posted Saturday, December 1, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Polar Bear (Urus maritimus)
(123 of 126) (86420 views)

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What a face.external link And under all that gorgeous white fur is black skin. All the better to absorb heat and keep the bear warm.


(2007) San Francisco Zoo, California   •  Photo Posted Sunday, December 2, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Sparrow in Pickleweed
(124 of 126) (84812 views)

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Pickleweed makes even a little sparrow look good.


(2007) Palo Alto Bird Sanctuary   •  Photo Posted Friday, December 7, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Reindeer
(125 of 126) (84881 views)

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The quintessential Christmas animal.external link


(2007) San Francisco Zoo, California   •  Photo Posted Saturday, December 8, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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Anna's Hummingbird
(126 of 126) (84837 views)

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A female hummingbird on a stick.external link


(2007) San Francisco, California   •  Photo Posted Sunday, December 9, 2007   •  © 2007 Terry Costales Creative Commons License
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