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Green Winged & Scarlet Macaws~

Green Winged Macaws have green feathers on their wings and red feathers on their faces. They are red, green and blue, and live in South America.

Scarlet Macaws are red, yellow and and blue, with white faces.

Scarlets live in South and Central America and Mexico.

I was amazed to come upon this friendly scarlet in Costa Rica.

I couldn’t figure out why he was performing for me, until his mate turned up, and I realized they were feeding their chick in a nest in the hollow of this tree.

I have never seen nesting wild macaws so this was quite a thrill!

Macaw populations are scattered in the wild and rare to find.

Their numbers have been decimated by habitat destruction and the pet parrot trade.

Macaws are highly intelligent and mate for life.

Cheers to you from the incredible Macaws~

Patagonian Sea Lions~

Check out los lobos del mar playing in Peru!

This group was photographed in Los Islas Palominos off the coast of Lima.

They were quite curious about their unusual human visitors,

and kept popping up to get a better view!

This bull was hanging out near La Serena Chile.

Southern bulls are more massive and furry than their northern counterparts,

and they seem more threatening too!

These happy guys were playing around Islas Balestras near Pisco Peru.


I am only intermittently near functioning wifi so please excuse my absence, and cheers to you from Los Lobos del Mar~

Bird on a Wire~

Ospreys aren’t usually avid people watchers.

But this guy was!

He couldn’t hide his cross-eyed curiosity about the strange human looking up at him.

Eventually, he resumed more raptor-like disdain,

and went about the serious business of people ignoral.

He focused on anything but the nosy photographer.

Finally, my presence outlived his patience,

and off he flew in a rapturous huff!

Cheers to you from the people-watching osprey~

Local Feathers~

Stellar Jays live in the pine forests in Southern California’s mountains.

Oregon Dark Eyed Juncos are local birds and are related to sparrows.

Burrowing Owls are “a species of special concern,” in Southern California, where much of their natural habitat has been destroyed by development. Petitions are being submitted to the state to change their status to endangered.

This handsome jay was hanging out on a picnic table, waiting for a handout.

So, of course, I gave him one!

Juncos are quite tiny, and rather shy, so they are hard for me to photograph. This guy was unusually cooperative!

Burrowing owls nest underground to hide from raptors and raise their young. People and organizations all over California are setting up underground Burrowing Owl boxes to help shelter and protect these adorable owls. It is a rare thrill to see them out of the boxes curious about the human who is photographing them! These guys were being sheltered by The Big Bear Zoo & Rehabilitation Center.

Cheers to you from a few of our local feathers~

Red Shafted Flicker~

The Northern Flicker is a type of woodpecker.

In the western US, Flickers have red cheeks and tail feathers, but in the east they have yellow accents.

This guy was so relaxed around me, he started snoozing while I was photographing him,

and then hopped over for a closer look!

I photographed him in The San Bernardino Mountains, near Big Bear Lake California.


These photos were taken before the region was hit with five major storms, leaving several feet of snow and alleviating the drought.

Cheers To you from snowy & birdie, Southern California~

Wild Eyes~

When you look into these wild eyes,

what do you see?

I see,

wild hearts,

untamed,

yearning to be free.

These mountain lions were photographed at The Big Bear Alpine Zoo in Big Bear Lake California.

Big Bear Alpine Zoo is a rescue and rehabilitation facility that provides injured, orphaned and imprinted wild animals a safe haven, either temporarily as they heal, or permanently if they are unable to survive in the wild. 90% of the animals brought to the facility are released back into the wild.

There are 160 animals in the facility currently, comprising 60 different species. There is a golden eagle with one eye, a bear with three legs, a grizzly that was scheduled for euthanasia at Yellowstone, animals that were kept as pets and abandoned when they become too much to handle, and many more animals with sad histories.

A new zoo is under construction that will offer more spacious accommodation with glass enclosures. The zoo is owned by The Big Bear Department of Parks and Recreation and is staffed by county employees (Source: Big Bear Alpine Zoo).

Cheers to you from the gorgeous cats at The Big Bear Alpine Zoo~

For more information check out:

http://bigbearzoo.org/about/

Peeps~

Peeps are the world’s tiniest Sandpipers.

They weigh 3/4 of an ounce and stand just a couple inches tall.

They run speedily along the beach like frenetic tiny housekeepers, catching all sorts of little crabs to eat.

Here they are politely sharing a sandcrab lunch!

You can see how tiny they are in comparison to a Western Gull and a Godwit Sandpiper.

These peeps are Western Sandpipers.

They winter along the California coast and breed in Alaska and Siberia.

These constantly busy little birds are super entertaining to watch.

Cheers to you from California’s winter peeps~