Boiling Springs Birds In Winter

Winter is a great time to photograph birds as they gather into flocks and the lack of leaves makes for more unobstructed views. The following images were made in Boiling Springs State Park from January ninth through March first, 2016.

Click on an image to make them larger and sharper.

Red-shouldered Hawk Pair
Red-shouldered Hawk Pair
Carolina Wren
Carolina Wren
Carolina Wren
Carolina Wren
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

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White-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch
Male Red-bellied Woodpecker
Male Red-bellied Woodpecker
Female Red-bellied Woodpecker
Female Red-bellied Woodpecker
Male Downy Woodpecker
Male Downy Woodpecker
Female Downy Woodpecker
Female Downy Woodpecker
Male Northern Cardinal
Male Northern Cardinal

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Female Northern Cardinal
Female Northern Cardinal

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Carolina Chickadee
Carolina Chickadee

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Barred Owl
Barred Owl

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Yellow-shafted Northern Flicker
Yellow-shafted Northern Flicker
Male Pileated Woodpecker
Male Pileated Woodpecker
Dark-eyed Junco
Dark-eyed Junco

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Female Yellow-rumped Warbler
Female Yellow-rumped Warbler

The Swift Fox

The swift fox is small, weighing only five to seven pounds fully grown and gets it name from its ability to run up to 30 mph. There is some confusion about its relationship to the kit fox, which is slightly smaller, but is almost identical in appearance. Some mammalogists consider them to be separate species, while others consider the kit fox to be a subspecies of the swift fox. To add to the confusion, the term “kit fox” is used to describe the young of any fox species. The swift fox inhabits the Great Plains region from the Texas panhandle northward into Canada, while the kit fox, resides in the desert southwest.

To view images larger and sharper, just click anywhere in a photo and click on sides to move through them. 

Adult swift fox, on the left, and young which are born in March and April and remain with parents until fall.
All of these swift fox photos are of the same family group photographed near their den on the Rita Blanca National Grassland in the northwest corner of the Texas panhandle.
These interesting and beautiful animals were close to extinction in the 1930's due to predator control efforts aimed at wolves and coyotes.
These interesting and beautiful animals were near extinction in the 1930’s due to predator control efforts aimed at wolves and coyotes. They have since recovered nicely and are no longer threatened.
Siblings engaging in a little playful fighting.
Siblings engaging in a little playful fighting.
Unlike most foxes, swift foxes use dens year-round. The dens have several openings, making it easier to escape coyotes, their primary predator, by diving underground.
Unlike most foxes, swift foxes use dens year-round. The dens have several openings, making it easier to escape coyotes, their primary predator, by diving underground.
They are primarily nocturnal, particularly in hot weather, when they may leave their dens only in the evening and return in early morning. In cooler weather they may exit their dens for short periods during the day. They often stretch after exiting their dens as shown in this photo.
They are primarily nocturnal, particularly in hot weather, when they may leave their dens only in the evening and return in early morning. In cooler weather they may exit their dens for short periods during the day. They often stretch after exiting their dens as shown in this photo.
Swift foxes are omnivorous and will eat small mammals, birds, insects, lizards, grasses and fruits.
Swift foxes are omnivorous and will eat small mammals, birds, insects, lizards, grass and berries.
Swift fox pups are born in March or April and stay with their parents until fall.
Swift fox pups are born in March or April and stay with their parents until fall. The warm color in several of these photos results from late afternoon light. This and the preceding images were made on October 8th, 2015, this one just before sunset.
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Swift foxes have very large ears and have excellent night vision. This and the following photos were made mid to late afternoon on October 9th, 2015.
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Even though they have sharp teeth and are themselves predators, they sometimes become prey of larger predators like coyotes, which usually don’t eat them, but probably kill them because they compete for much of the same food.
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Swift foxes usually mate for life, but only live three to six years in the wild. They have been known to live up to 14 years in captivity.

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Stretching And Yawning

All images on this site are copyrighted ©Larry D Brown and may not be used in any manner without permission.

Birds And Butterflies

Birds and butterflies photographed from March through mid September 2015, in Oklahoma and presented in chronological order.

To view images larger and sharper, please click on one to bring up light-box viewer.

Male Northern Cardinal, Selman Ranch, Harper County
Male Northern Cardinal, Selman Ranch, Harper County
Male Red-bellied Woodpecker, Selman Ranch
Male Red-bellied Woodpecker, Selman Ranch
Osprey, Ft.Supply Lake
Osprey, Ft.Supply Lake
White-faced Ibis, Ft. Supply Lake
White-faced Ibis, Ft. Supply Lake
Male Lesser Prairie Chicken Courtship Display, Selman Ranch
Male Lesser Prairie Chicken Courtship Display, Selman Ranch
Common Tern, Ft. Supply Lake
Common Tern, Ft. Supply Lake
Common Nighthawk, Harper County
Common Nighthawk, Harper County
Yellow-headed Blackbird, Ft. Supply Lake
Male Yellow-headed Blackbird, Ft. Supply Lake
Male Northern Bob-white Quail, Cooper Wildlife Management Area
Male Northern Bob-white Quail, Cooper Wildlife Management Area
Black Swallowtail Butterfly on Wavy-leaf Thistle, Cooper Wildlife Management Area
Black Swallowtail Butterfly on Wavy-leaf Thistle, Cooper Wildlife Management Area
Fledgeling Northern Cardinal, Ft. Supply Lake
Fledgeling Northern Cardinal, Ft. Supply Lake
Killdeer, Ft.Supply Lake
Killdeer, Ft.Supply Lake
American Kestrel Chasing Red-tailed Hawk, Cooper Wildlife Management Area
American Kestrel Chasing Red-tailed Hawk, Cooper Wildlife Management Area
Dark Morph Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Boiling Springs State Park
Dark Morph Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Boiling Springs State Park
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Boiling Springs State Park
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Boiling Springs State Park
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Boiling Springs State Park
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Boiling Springs State Park
Dark Morph Eastern Tiger Swallowtail and Two Eastern Tiger Swallowtails, Boiling Springs Stare Park
Dark Morph Eastern Tiger Swallowtail and Two Eastern Tiger Swallowtails, Boiling Springs State Park
Two Dark Morph Eastern Tiger Swallowtails and Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Boiling Springs State Park
Two Dark Morph Eastern Tiger Swallowtails and Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Boiling Springs State Park
Monarch Butterfly on Rocky Mountain Bee Plant, Selman Ranch
Monarch Butterfly on Rocky Mountain Bee Plant, Selman Ranch

Western Oklahoma Wildflowers

The wildflowers of western Oklahoma have been waiting four years for the drought to break and it happened this spring.  They burst forth with a tremendous display of color and beauty. These photos were made between May 21st and June 27th, 2015 and are presented in chronological order.

Click on an image and then on left or right to see them larger and sharper. 

Gaillardia/Indian Blanket, State Wildflower of Oklahoma
Gaillardia/Indian Blanket, State Wildflower of Oklahoma
Purple Poppy Mallow/Wine Cup. Cooper Wildlife Management Area
Purple Poppy Mallow/Wine Cup, Cooper Wildlife Management Area
Pale Purple Coneflower, Harper County, Oklahoma
Pale Purple Coneflower, Harper County, Oklahoma
Pale Purple Coneflower, Harper County, Oklahoma
Pale Purple Coneflower, Harper County, Oklahoma
Upright Prairie Coneflower, Harper County, Oklahoma
Upright Prairie Coneflower, Harper County, Oklahoma
Gaillardia/Indian Blanket And Honeybee, Harper County, Oklahoma
Gaillardia/Indian Blanket And Honeybee, Harper County, Oklahoma
Spiderwort, Fort Supply Wildlife Management Area
Spiderwort, Fort Supply Wildlife Management Area
Gaillardia/Indian Blanket, Near Gage, Oklahoma
Gaillardia/Indian Blanket, Near Gage, Oklahoma
Indian Paintbrush, Wichita Mountains National Wildlife  Refuge
Indian Paintbrush, Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge
Spectacle Pod, Cooper Wildlife Management Area
Spectacle Pod, Cooper Wildlife Management Area
Goat's Rue, Cooper Wildlife Management Area
Goat’s Rue, Cooper Wildlife Management Area
Gaillardia/Indian Blanket, Cooper WMA
Gaillardia/Indian Blanket, Cooper WMA
Pale Purple Coneflower, Harper County, Oklahoma
Pale Purple Coneflower, Harper County, Oklahoma
Upright Prairie Coneflower, Cooper WMA
Upright Prairie Coneflower, Cooper WMA
Lemon Monarda, Cooper WMA
Lemon Monarda, Cooper WMA
Tree Cholla, Cooper WMA   Note: This cactus does not commonly occur this far east and this one may have been transplanted before this area was acquired by the state.
Tree Cholla, Cooper WMA
Note: This cactus does not ordinarially occur this far east and this one may have been transplanted before this area was acquired by the state.
Prairie Lilly, Gloss Mountains State Park
Prairie Lilly, Gloss Mountains State Park
Purple Prairie Clover, Gloss Mountains State Park
Purple Prairie Clover, Gloss Mountains State Park
Prairie Coneflower/Mexican Hat
Prairie Coneflower/Mexican Hat, Cooper WMA

Spring Shorebird Migration

These shorebird photos were made between April 17th and May 12th, 2015 at Fort Supply Lake, Oklahoma. None of them stay at the lake for long, but stop for a few days to rest and re-fuel before continuing northward to their nesting grounds.

To see these images larger and sharper, click anywhere on one and advance using arrow keys or click on sides. 

The beautiful and graceful American Avocets have been visitors to the lake for the last few years.
The beautiful and graceful American Avocets have been visitors to the lake for the last few years.
This male is presenting his courtship display in preparation for the upcoming nesting season.
This male is presenting his courtship display in preparation for the upcoming nesting season.
Avocets feed by sweeping their bills side to side to catch crustaceans , aquatic insects and seeds.
Avocets feed by sweeping their bills from side to side to catch crustaceans , aquatic insects and seeds.
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In winter, the rust colored head and neck area becomes gray.
Avocets have been known to nest in this area, but this flock moved on, probably farther north.
Avocets have been known to nest in this area, but this flock moved on, probably farther north.
Willets are some of the larger members of the sandpiper family.
Willets are some of the larger members of the sandpiper family.
They look similar to the greater  yellowlegs, but have gray legs and their bill is thicker.
They look similar to the greater yellowlegs, but have gray legs and their bill is thicker.

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They can be identified in flight by the black and white wing markings which the yellowlegs lack.
They can be identified in flight by the black and white wing markings which the yellowlegs lack.
Smaller than the willet, the Wilson's phalarope is another member of the sandpiper family.
Smaller than the willet, the Wilson’s phalarope is another member of the sandpiper family.
Believe it or not, this is a female and the bird in the previous photo is a male.
In most bird species the male is the more colorful, however the Wilson’s phalarope is an exception. The more colorful and boldly patterned bird is the female.
After laying eggs, the female Wilson's phalarope deserts her mate and leaves him to care for the young while she seeks another mate and lays more eggs.
After laying eggs, the female Wilson’s phalarope deserts her mate and leaves him to care for the young while she seeks another mate and lays more eggs.
While feeding, they spin in circles to create a whirlpool in the water which draws food to the surface.
While feeding, they spin in circles to create a whirlpool in the water which draws food to the surface.

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The Baird's sandpiper travels an amazing distance during migration. They winter in South America and nest in the high-arctic. Many individuals make the 9,300 mile trip in as little as little as five weeks.
The Baird’s sandpiper travels an amazing distance during migration. They winter in South America and nest in the high-arctic. Many individuals make the 9,300 mile trip in as little as little as five weeks.

Ducks

The following photos were made in March of 2014 at Ft. Supply Lake in Oklahoma. Ducks are some of the fastest flying birds in the world and are a challenge to photograph in flight.

To see images larger and sharper, just click anywhere in the first one and then click on right side to advance through them. 

Green-winged Teal
Green-winged Teal
This and the following five photos are of American widgeons.
This and the following eight photos are of American widgeons.
The duck in front is a male and the one behind a female American widgeon.
The duck in front is a male and the one behind a female American widgeon.
Although these ducks are still migrating and haven't yet reached their nesting grounds, they are preparing by what are called courtship flights.
Although these ducks are still migrating and haven’t yet reached their nesting grounds, they are preparing by what are called courtship flights. In courtship flights, one female (at top in this photo) and several males fly together and the female ultimately chooses the one she is most impressed with as her mate.

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The male is in the  foreground and the female behind.
The male is in the foreground and the female behind.
Male American Widgeon
Male American Widgeon

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This and the following five photos are of northern pintail ducks.
This and the following five photos are of northern pintail ducks.
The duck at top center is a female, the others are males.
The duck at top center is a female, the others are males.
Male Northern Pintail
Male Northern Pintail

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Male and female mallard ducks. Mallards are sometimes called green heads because of the males head which looks bright green when the light is at certain angles.
Male and female mallard ducks. Mallards are sometimes called green heads because of the males head which looks bright green when the light is at certain angles.

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All photographs on this site are © copyrighted by Larry D. Brown and may not be used in any form without permission.

 

Boiling Springs Bucks: November and December 2014

The 2014 white-tail rut didn’t seem to have as many bucks with impressive racks as in the last couple of years, possibly because of the drought this area has experienced the last few years. These photos were captured between November 15th and December 2nd, 2014, in Boiling Springs State Park, Oklahoma.

To see images larger and sharper, just click on one and then on the right side to move through them. 

During the rut, bucks will often stick out their tongue to aid their sense of smell.
During the rut, bucks will often stick out their tongue to aid their sense of smell.

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The frost hadn't yet melted in the shady foreground area, resulting in a different color from he sunny background.
The frost hadn’t yet melted in the shady foreground area, resulting in a different color from the sunny background.

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Note the mangled ear and broken antler tine on this one, no doubt resulting from a fight with a competing buck. During the rut, bucks sleep very little and expend so much energy pursuing does and fighting other bucks that they lose a considerable amount of weight.
Note the mangled ear and broken antler tine on this one, no doubt resulting from a fight with a competing buck. During the rut, bucks sleep very little and expend so much energy pursuing does and fighting other bucks that they lose a considerable amount of weight.

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Note the blood on his antler. It more than likely was deposited there from a buck which lost a battle for dominance with this guy.
Note the blood on his antler. It more than likely was deposited there from a buck which lost a battle for dominance with this guy.

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Fall Color In Oklahoma And Arkansas

These photos were made from October 29th through November 4th, 2014 and are presented in chronological order.

To see images larger and sharper, please click anywhere in a photo and scroll through them by clicking on sides. 

Smooth Sumac, Fort Supply Lake, Oklahoma
Smooth Sumac, Fort Supply Lake, Oklahoma

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Red Maples, Talimena National Scenic Byway
Red Maples, Talimena National Scenic Byway, Oklahoma
Red Maples, Ouachita National Forest, Oklahoma
Red Maples, Ouachita National Forest, Oklahoma
Devil's Den State Park, Arkansas
Devil’s Den State Park, Arkansas
Sassafras Leaves, Devil's Den State Park, Arkansas
Sassafras Leaves, Devil’s Den State Park, Arkansas
Ozark National Forest near Chester, Arkansas
Ozark National Forest near Chester, Arkansas
Sunrise Near Wister, Oklahoma
Sunrise Near Wister, Oklahoma
Shortly After Sunrise Ouachita National Forest, Oklahoma
Shortly After Sunrise Ouachita National Forest, Oklahoma
Talimena National Scenic Byway, Oklahoma State Highway 1
Talimena National Scenic Byway, Oklahoma State Highway 1
Maple-leaved Oaks, Mount Magazine State Park, Arkansas
Maple-leaved Oaks, Mount Magazine State Park, Arkansas
Red Maples, Mount Magazine State Park, Arkansas
Sugar Maples, Mount Magazine State Park, Arkansas
Sassafras Leaf, Mount Magazine State Park, Arkansas
Sassafras Leaf, Mount Magazine State Park, Arkansas
Caddo Maples, Red Rock Canyon State Park, Oklahoma
Caddo Maples, Red Rock Canyon State Park, Oklahoma
Caddo Maples, Red Rock Canyon State Park, Oklahoma
Caddo Maples, Red Rock Canyon State Park, Oklahoma
Caddo Maples, Red Rock Canyon State Park, Oklahoma
Caddo Maples, Red Rock Canyon State Park, Oklahoma

Early Autumn In The Wichita Mountains

A selection of photos made from late September through mid October, 2014 in Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge.

To see photos larger and sharper, please click anywhere in an image and click on sides to move through them. 

White-tailed Doe Before Sunrise on September 24th
White-tailed Doe Before Sunrise, September 24th
Bull Elk
Bull Elk
Bull Elk Bugling Shortly After Sunrise
Bugling Bull Elk, Shortly After Sunrise, September 24th
Elk Cow At Sunrise On September 25th
Elk Cow At Sunrise, September 25th

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Bull Elk, early Morning October 3rd
Bull Elk, Early Morning, October 3rd
Lone Bison Bull, Late Afternoon, October 3rd
Lone Bison Bull, Late Afternoon, October 3rd
Near Sunset, October 3rd
Near Sunset, October 3rd
Granite Boulders Just After Sunrise, October 4th
Granite Boulders Just After Sunrise, October 4th
White-tailed Buck, Early Morning October 4th
White-tailed Bucks, All Early Morning, October 4th

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Bull Bison, Morning, October 4th
Bison Bull, Morning, October 4th
Maximillian Sunflowers, Mid-morning, October 4th
Maximillian Sunflowers, Mid-morning, October 4th
French Lake Before Sunrise, October16th
French Lake Before Sunrise, October16th
Bull Elk, Early Morning, October 16th
Bull Elk, Early Morning, October 16th

Blue Sky and Blue Sage

Photos made between June 21 and September 13, 2014 on Cooper Wildlife Management Area. The Hal and Fern Cooper Wildlife Management Area covers 16,080 acres in Woodward and Harper Counties. It is comprised primarily of upland mixed-grass and sagebrush prairie with 4,500 acres of river-bottom. The area is managed by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation and an Oklahoma hunting license, fishing license or wildlife conservation passport is required for entry.

To see images larger and sharper, please click anywhere in a photo and use arrows to scroll through them. 

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Blue Sky
Gray Hairstreak Butterfly on Texas Frogfruit
Gray Hairstreak Butterfly on Texas Frogfruit
Spotted Ground Squirrrel
Spotted Ground Squirrel
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Slender Dayflower
Female Northern Bobwhite Quail
Female Northern Bobwhite Quail
Male Northern Bobwhite Quail
Male Northern Bobwhite Quail
Spectacle Pod
Spectacle Pod
Cassius Blue Butterfly
Cassius Blue Butterfly on Texas Frogfruit
Sensitive Briar
Sensitive Briar
Silvery Nightshade
Silvery Nightshade
Prickly Poppy
Prickly Poppy
Prickly Poppy
Prickly Poppy
Bush Morning Glory
Bush Morning Glory

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Blue Sage

 

Nature and Wildlife Photography