Tag Archives: Bald Eagle

A Canoeing Adventure at The Biggest Week

When I signed up to go to The Biggest Week in American Birding, the field excursion “Birding by Canoe” caught my eye. There aren’t many places to go canoeing in New Mexico, and in fact my one experience in a canoe had been at Disneyland when I was ten years old. My excitement about a canoe trip was slightly tempered by apprehension when Kimberly Kaufman told me that CBS Sunday Morning would be filming during the trip. I had visions of my New Mexico derriere being filmed disappearing into the water. To be on the safe side, I left my DSLR at the cottage and took a point and shoot with me.

We met at the designated place at 6:00 a.m. We stood around chatting and waiting for the film crew to arrive. It looked as if it would be a gorgeous morning.

The Biggest Week in American Birding

Biggest Week Birders await the canoe trip.

When we reached the canoe launch site, we were instructed to choose life jackets.

The Biggest Week in American Birding

Prospective canoeists choose life jackets

We watched as the Sunday Morning crew made their preparations.

The Sunday Morning film crew makes their preparations.

The Sunday Morning film crew makes their preparations.

The Sunday Morning crew set off down Green Creek, and Kimberly Kaufman spied something on the stream bank: an Eastern Phoebe.

CBS News Sunday Morning

The CBS crew sets off in a canoe

We paddled toward the bay in the calm waters.

Tom Kashmer, a naturalist with Sandusky County Parks, and Serena enjoy the scenery

Tom Kashmer, a naturalist with Sandusky County Parks, and Serena Altschul with CBS News enjoy the scenery

Kimberly Kaufman and Katie Anderson show fine form

Kimberly Kaufman and Katie Andersen show fine form

The film crew had a boat with a small motor. The rest of us provided our own power.

News crew, with motor

News crew, with motor

We saw Bald Eagles throughout the morning, and I discovered that it is very difficult to take photos from a moving canoe.

Bald Eagle nest

Bald Eagle nest

Bald Eagle photo from a moving canoe

Bald Eagle photo from a moving canoe

We paddled out into the bay and listened as Tom Kashmer told us about the history of the area.

Paddling out into the bay

Paddling out into the bay

Tom Kashmer relates the history of the area

Tom Kashmer relates the history of the area

Kimberly Kaufman and CBS Sunday Morning Contributing Correspondent Serena Altschul were kind enough to allow me to take their photo.

Kimberly Kaufman, Serena Altschul

Kimberly Kaufman and Serena Altschul

It was a delightful and interesting trip with wonderful people, as are all of the adventures at The Biggest Week. What a wonderful festival!

CBS Sunday Morning will air a story on birding on May 26, 2013. The Biggest Week in American Birding will be featured in that segment. Be sure to watch!

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Filed under Ohio bird photography, The Biggest Week in American Birding

An Autumn Visit to Bosque del Apache

Last weekend I was fortunate to have birding friends from Colorado come to New Mexico to visit. One place I always enjoy taking visiting birders is the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, which is located southeast of Socorro, New Mexico. Fall is a particularly lovely time to visit the refuge.

We arrived to find the bosque cottonwoods in full fall color.

Cottonwoods showing fall colors at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Cottonwoods showing fall colors at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

The pond at the north end of the refuge held thousands of Snow Geese.

Snow Geese at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Snow Geese at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.


Snow Goose at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Snow Goose at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.


Snow Geese at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Snow Geese at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge showing color morphs.

It was lovely to watch the Snow Geese against the fall colors.

Snow Geese flying past the cottonwoods at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Snow Geese flying past the cottonwoods at Bosque del Apache.


There were hundreds of Northern Pintails in the pond with the Snow Geese.
Female Northern Pintail, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Female Northern Pintail.


Male Northern Pintail, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Male Northern Pintail.


Male and female Northern Pintail, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Northern Pintail pair.

A Bald Eagle would occasionally circle the pond, causing the Snow Geese and Northern Pintails to take to the air amid a flurry of honking and quacking.

Bald Eagle takes flight at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

Bald Eagle takes flight, disturbing the ducks and geese.


Snow geese take flight at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

Snow geese take flight after being disturbed by a Bald Eagle.


Northern Pintails take flight at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

The Northern Pintails were disturbed by the Bald Eagle too.


Sandhill Cranes were in many of the shallow ponds in the refuge …
Sandhill Cranes and Northern Pintails at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Sandhill Cranes wade in a shallow pond as Northern Pintails fly by.

… and we watched them fly over our heads for most of the day.

Sandhill Cranes at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

Sandhill Cranes flew overhead for most of the day.

As we drove over to the crane pools to watch the evening fly-in, we saw a variety of birds.

American Kestrel at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico

American Kestrel hovering.


Greater Roadrunner at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

Greater Roadrunner surveys the terrain.


Lilian's Eastern Meadowlarks at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

Lilian's Eastern Meadowlarks singing in the trees.


White-tailed Kite at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

White-tailed Kite, almost out of camera range.

As evening drew near we drove to the crane pools to watch the evening fly-in. There were not huge numbers of cranes there yet, but still, it is a wonderful spectacle.

Sandhill Cranes, evening fly-in at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

Sandhill Cranes, evening fly-in.

Sandhill Cranes, evening fly-in at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Sandhill Cranes coming in for a landing at the crane pools.


Sandhill Cranes, evening fly-in at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

Sandhill Cranes circle in against the fading light.


As we left Bosque del Apache after a wonderful day, we watched a new moon set over the mountains to the west.
New moon at sunset north of Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

New moon at sunset.


It was a wonderful day!

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Filed under Bosque del Apache, New Mexico birds