Merlin, Denali Highway, Alaska

Bird of the Week – Merlin


Here’s another falcon, slightly smaller than last week’s Peregrine Falcon. The Merlin is a remarkably fierce predator; WC has watched them kill and fly off with birds as large as a Lesser Yellowlegs. An adult female Merlin weighs  about 8.5 ounces; a Lesser Yellowlegs weighs about 3 ounces. That’s 40% of the Merlin’s weight. Merlins…

Sandhill Cranes and Rainbow, Creamer's Refuge, Alaska

Rainbow


We’ll finish messing with the spectrum with a few photos involving rainbows. Obviously, WC could go through a lot of other colors; tanagers alone offer an amazing range of stunning colors. But the queue of other subjects is starting to build up. So we’ll wrap this thread with rainbows for now. Just below Atigun Pass…

Common Redpoll, Fairbanks

Red


For red, we have to go further afield than Camas Prairie. For red, we’ll go (mostly) to Alaska. And use a pretty broad definition of “red.” The million-acre fires in the boreal forest in 2004 and 2006, between the Tanana River and the foothills of the Brooks Range, killed uncounted millions of Black Spruce. But the next…

A wildfire on May 3 forced the evacuation of the city of Fort McMurray in the heart of Alberta’s oil sands region. Credit CBCNews, via Reuters

Fort McMurray: Bitter Fruit


Alaska has had its share of wildfires. WC sympathizes with the residents of Fort McMurray and the surrounding area, whose homes and livelihoods have been destroyed by the huge wildfire there. More than 700,000 acres have burned, some 2,500 residences and with the fire moving north into the oil fields, the potential for still more…

Yellowheaded Blackbird, Camas Prairie, Idaho

Yellow


It’s not only blue that is an accent color in the Spring in Camas Prairie and around Bennett Mountain; there’s also yellow. The Arrowleaf Balsamroot competes with the Camas Lilies for fields of colorful flowers. But WC mostly photographs birds, not flowers. And there the yellows range from high drama to just a tinge or…

Male Mountain Bluebird, Camas Prairie, Idaho

Blue


WC and Mrs. WC made another trip to Camas Prairie, this time to see the Camas Lilies in bloom. And, of course, any birds we chanced upon. So the theme of this post is blue. It doesn’t get much more blue than a Mountain Bluebird. But the beautiful and beautifully named Lazuli Bunting comes pretty…