Friday, May 22, 2015


Lioness (Panthera leo)

A Lioness resting in her habitat at Disney's Animal Kingdom in Orlando, FL. This image was taken while on a Safari on a bumpy road in a truck, with my Canon 6D and Tamron 28-300 mm VC lens. The 28-300 is my go to lens for travel and for just walking around with no particular capture in mind. It's the perfect lens.

Lions (Panthera leo) are one of the five big cats second in size to the Tiger. They are called King of the Jungle for their beauty and strength. The males are easily recognized by their manes that surround their neck, head, and face, which protects them during fights with other males. The female has no mane and looks similar to Panthers. 

They are carnivores and their diet consists of other animals such as, Wildebeests, Giraffes, Buffalo, Hogs and sometimes Rhinos and Hippos. When food is scarce, they have been known to attack Elephants. They will also eat smaller animals occasionally. 

The Lion population has halved since the 50's and are considered vulnerable at this time. Their range is in southern and eastern Africa and the southern Sahara Desert. 

Lions are the only social member of the cat family and live in Prides with up to 15 related females or Lionesses with maybe 2 or 3 males. Males are territorial like most cats. Females do the hunting and will hunt in groups to ambush their prey. Lions inhabit grassy plains, savannahs, open woodlands and scrub country. This allows them to hunt stealthy and hide in the long grasses. 

Males grow to about 4 ft tall and 5-8 ft long. They weigh 330-500 lbs with females being a bit smaller. They live 10-14 yrs and have a top running speed of 50 mph for short distances.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)

The other day, while I was photographing the Osprey nest, I think this guy got a bit jealous or maybe he was just curious. He came right over to me and hung around very close as if to say, "photograph me; I want to be famous, too". It was a great opportunity to oblige him, don't you think?

Great Blue Herons can be found all over the United States; anywhere water is; they are not fussy, they like both salt and fresh water. They are tall, stately birds that move slowly and deliberately when stalking their prey. When they decide the time is right, they strike with lightning speed. They are similar to cats on a hunt. The Great Blue Heron's diet consist mainly of fish, but they'll eat anything, snakes, lizards, rodents, other birds and small mammals.

Great Blue Herons hunt alone and it is rare to see more than one of them in the same place. However, they nest in colonies. There may be as many as 100 nests in one tree. They are monogamous during a season, but find new mates every year. 

These birds are very long (38-55 inches) with a wing span of 66-79 inches. Despite their size, they only weigh about 5 or 6 pounds, due to hollow bones that enable them to fly.

Sunday, May 17, 2015



The Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) is one of the 5 big cats. They are carnivores that grow from 4 to 6 feet in length. Their tails are 25 to 31 inches. They weigh between 77 and 143 pounds.  They live 10-12 years. Their status is Vulnerable.

Cheetahs are the fastest land animals, and a record has recently been set at 100mph. Cheetahs can hit 0-60mph in 3 seconds. These cats are day hunters and blend easily into the tall grasses just before they sprint to catch their prey. They especially like Antelopes and Hares.

Cheetahs range in eastern and southern Africa.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Ospreys Nesting

Ospreys Nesting

I posted a photo of this family on April 26, if you want to see how much they've grown. I believe the one on the left is one of the chicks and the parents are in the middle and on the right. They only thing that leads me to believe that this is the chick is the one on the left has yellow eyes, while the other two have orange eyes. In the other post, there were 2 chicks and they were both still fuzzy at the time. Now this chick is nearly the same size as his/her parents. I have no idea where the other one is, maybe it's fledged???

Ospreys (Pandion halliaetus) are raptors in the Hawk and Eagle family. They are rather large birds with a wing span of 5ft, 6in and they are 23 inches in length from tail to head. The dark line through their eye is a  good identifying factor. They hover just before they dive for a fish and can be seen flying with the fish head first in their talons, once they catch their fish.

They are resident year long in Florida and can be found near any body of water where they can fish for food. Their diet consists almost exclusively of fish.