Author: Jan Ramelli

American Kestrel

Article and Photos by Jan Ramelli, Wildlife Photographer      My favorite bird, the American Kestrel!  The Kestrel is the smallest falcon in North America.        The male and the female are close in size with the female being slightly larger.  The biggest difference is in the plumage.  The male has blue-grey wings with black spots and white undersides with black barring.  The female has dark brown barring, with the undersides being a cream color with heavy brown streaking.  They both have a white head with a bluish-grey top.     The Kestrel lifespan is relatively short, they typically...

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Golden Eagle

Article and photos by Jan Ramelli    The (Aquila Chrysaetos) is a beautiful raptor that is sometimes confused with an immature Bald Eagle.  You can correctly identify a Golden Eagle by it’s dark brown color with a “light golden-brown plumage” on their napes.  Sometimes in the right light, the feathers will look iridescent giving it the name “golden” eagle. An immature Bald Eagle is also dark brown and is not mature until 5 years when it will proudly display the recognizable white head.  During the maturity process the Bald Eagle will look mottled with lighter colors, and if you can glimpse the underside...

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Common Tern

Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) By Jan Ramelli I joke that photographing this bird is like trying to shoot snowflakes with a BB gun!  I enjoyed watching these birds in the Willow Creek Wildlife area where they fly with their heads pointed down at a right angle to their body; when they spot a small fish or tadpole, they will immediately dive into the water to catch their prey. They lay up to 3 olive-buff eggs in sand, shallow cup of dead grass, or even pebbly beaches or open rocky...

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Black-necked Stilt

Black-necked Stilt (Himantopus mexicanus) By Jan Ramelli I am so amazed in the beauty that you can find if you will allow yourself a little time to sit and “be still”.  Go for a drive, get out of the car, go for a walk, and take a few moments to stop, look, and listen!   This beautiful bird goes somewhat unnoticed, although many of us see it often!   This Black-necked Stilt was spotted in the Honey Lake Wildlife area where it feeds by probing and gleaning shallow water; in inland areas it feeds mainly on insects, larvae, small fish, and tadpoles. They...

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Muskrat Love

Photos and Article by Jan Ramelli I don’t know anyone who can’t say “Muskrat” without remembering the 1976 hit song by Captain & Tennille peaking at number four on the Hot 100 chart! The Muskrat is usually active at night but can be seen at anytime of the day, especially in the spring. They eat aquatic vegetation, freshwater clams, crayfish, frogs and fish. September is their breeding season and the female can produce up to 5 litters per year, with up to 7 kits in each litter. After the young reach 2 weeks they can swim and dive, and...

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