Category Archives: Wildlife

Harpy Eagle

“The largest and most powerful raptor found in the Americas.”

Arguably the largest of the Eagles in the world and therefore the biggest predatory bird living today, the  Harpy Eagle (Harpia harpyja) is a Neotropical species of eagle. It is sometimes known as the American Harpy Eagle to distinguish it from the Papuan Eagle which is sometimes known as the New Guinea Harpy Eagle or Papuan Harpy Eagle.  It is the largest and most powerful raptor found in the Americas, and among the largest extant species of eagles in the world.  It usually inhabits tropical lowland rainforests in the upper (emergent) canopy layer. Destruction of its natural habitat has seen it vanish from many parts of its former range, and it is nearly extirpated in Central America. In Brazil, the Harpy Eagle is also known as Royal-Hawk (in Portuguese: Gavião-Real).

Captive Harpy Eagle
Harpy Eagle

Although the Harpy Eagle still occurs over a considerable range, its distribution and populations have dwindled considerably. It is threatened primarily by habitat loss provoked by the expansion of logging, cattle ranching, agriculture and prospecting. Secondarily, it is threatened by being hunted as an actual threat to livestock and/or a supposed one to human life, due to its great size.  Although not actually known to predate humans and only rarely a predator of domestic stock, the species’ large size and nearly fearless behavior around humans reportedly make it an “irresistible target” for hunters. Such threats apply throughout its range, in large parts of which the bird has become a transient sight only: in Brazil, it was all but totally wiped out from the Atlantic rainforest and is only found in numbers in the most remote parts of the Amazon Basin; a Brazilian journalistic account of the mid-1990s already complained that at the time it was only found in numbers, in Brazilian territory, on the northern side of the Equator.  Scientific 1990s records, however, suggest that the Harpy Atlantic Forest population may be migratory. Subsequent research in Brazil has established that, as of 2009, the Harpy Eagle, outside the Brazilian Amazon, is critically endangered in Espírito Santo,  São Paulo and Paraná, endangered in Rio de Janeiro, and probably extirpated in Rio Grande do Sul and Minas Gerais  – the actual size of their total population in Brazil is unknown.

Globally, The Harpy Eagle is considered Near Threatened by IUCN  and threatened with extinction by CITES (appendix I). The Peregrine Fund until recently considered it a “conservation-dependent species”, meaning it depends on a dedicated effort for captive breeding and release to the wild as well as habitat protection in order to prevent it from reaching endangered status but now has accepted the Near Threatened status. The Harpy Eagle is considered critically endangered in Mexico and Central America, where it has been extirpated in most of its former range: in Mexico, it used to be found as far North as Veracruz, but today probably occurs only in Chiapas in the Selva Zoque. It is considered as Near Threatened or Vulnerable in most of the South American portion of its range: at the Southern extreme of its range, in Argentina, it’s found only in the Parana Valley forests at the province of Misiones.  It has disappeared from El Salvador, and almost so from Costa Rica.                                                                                                                                      (From Wikipedia)

 

Squirrels

I guess I’ve been feeling a little squirrelly lately.  Squirrels are the one animal I commonly see when I’m out taking photographs, so I thought I would share some of the photos I’ve taken over the past few years. You can click on the first image to see a slideshow.  To see more of my images, check out my Flickr site : http://www.flickr.com/photos/100215148@N05/ or connect with me on Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/christopher.nelson.5891 and https://www.facebook.com/christophernelsonimages?ref=hl

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to All!

Hanging Out by Christopher L. Nelson. DSC_8205 by CHRISTOPHER L.NELSON. DSC_8171 by CHRISTOPHER L.NELSON. DSC_8165-Edit by CHRISTOPHER L.NELSON. DSC_8096 by CHRISTOPHER L.NELSON. DSC_7785-Edit by CHRISTOPHER L.NELSON. DSC_5721-Edit by CHRISTOPHER L.NELSON.

Pronghorn (Antilocapra americana)

Here are some images of several Pronghorns I took recently on a trip through Wyoming and Montana. We saw a lot of them, though most were to far off to get any good shots. Until I started writing this post, I was under the impression that Pronghorns were antelope; however, researching them a bit has revealed that they are not really Antelope but an artiodactyl mammal often known colloquially in North America as the prong buck, pronghorn antelope, or simply antelope, as it closely resembles the true antelopes of the Old World.  They live predominately in grasslands but also bush-land and deserts. This was a mixed herd but mostly males.

DSC_6763 by CHRISTOPHER L.NELSON. DSC_6764 by CHRISTOPHER L.NELSON. DSC_6765 by CHRISTOPHER L.NELSON. DSC_6769 by CHRISTOPHER L.NELSON. DSC_6772 by CHRISTOPHER L.NELSON. DSC_6776 by CHRISTOPHER L.NELSON.

 

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North American beaver (Castor canadensis)

Beaver are typically nocturnal; however, this one was busy feeding in the late afternoon in Montana when I photographed him.  He was so busy feeding, in fact, that he didn’t seem to mind me being in such close proximity to him at all.

Did you know…In the 17th century, based on a question raised by the Bishop of Quebec, the Roman Catholic Church ruled that the beaver was a fish (beaver flesh was a part of the indigenous peoples’ diet, prior to the Europeans’ arrival) for purposes of dietary law. Therefore, the general prohibition on the consumption of meat on Fridays during Lent did not apply to beaver meat.  The legal basis for the decision probably rests with the Summa Theologica of Thomas Aquinas, which bases animal classification as much on habit as anatomy.  This is similar to the Church’s classification of the capybara, another semi-aquatic rodent.

Hope you enjoy!

DSC_6924 by CHRISTOPHER L.NELSON. DSC_6936 by CHRISTOPHER L.NELSON. DSC_6942 by CHRISTOPHER L.NELSON. DSC_6944 by CHRISTOPHER L.NELSON.

 

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Deer Drive-by

I rarely get the chance to see 1 fawn, let alone 3, so I was fortunate to come along this family of deer as they were dining in a bean field one evening.  As usual they didn’t stick around to long once they saw me, heading farther into the field. It was quite a treat!

DSC_6496 by CHRISTOPHER L.NELSON.
3 Whitetail deer grazing
DSC_6494 by CHRISTOPHER L.NELSON.
Whitetail deer and fawns
DSC_6491 by CHRISTOPHER L.NELSON.
Whitetail deer notice me nearby taking pictures of them
DSC_6490 by CHRISTOPHER L.NELSON.
3 Whitetail Fawns
DSC_6487 by CHRISTOPHER L.NELSON.
3 Doe closely watching me with their fawns nearby
DSC_6476 by CHRISTOPHER L.NELSON.
This Doe quickly decides I’m to close for comfort

 

Meet Mr. Bobolink

I’d never seen a Bobolink before so I was pretty excited to get these pics. This is an adult male who was kind enough to give me several poses and even bend down so I could see the white markings on his back.   The Bobolink is the only American bird that is black underneath and white on the back.  They are extraordinary migrants, traveling thousands of miles each autumn.  Bobolinks are also one of the few songbirds that undergoes two complete molts each year.  Please click on the images to view them larger.

DSC_5846 by CHRISTOPHER L.NELSON.

 

DSC_5853 by CHRISTOPHER L.NELSON.

 

DSC_5841 by CHRISTOPHER L.NELSON.

Canadian Goose

I recently took advantage of Nik Software’s price reduction on the entire collection and am really liking it. This is the first time ever using any of Nik Software’s products and I must say I’m impressed. This photo of a Canadian Goose reflected in water  was processed with Nik Software Color Efex Pro 4.  Please click on image to view larger.

DSC_6346-Edit by Christopher L. Nelson.

 

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