Images in black and white and sepia tone are pared down to their essence and rendered classic at the same time. Legendary photographers Ansel Adams and Edward Curtis were masters at using these tones in their portrayals of the American West and Native Americans.
Visiting the sea and walking the beach are known for bestowing therapeutic benefits. So much awaits one there - pelicans flying in unison, shorebirds feeding where waves meet the shoreline, gulls floating gracefully on an ocean breeze.
Four Brown Pelicans fly in perfect formation over Carmel Beach in California.
As sensitive indicators of the health of aquatic ecosystems, waterbirds are important bellwethers of our environment. Many birds are in this category, including shorebirds and ospreys, which I've placed in separate galleries. This gallery will show ducks, loons, grebes, herons, egrets, rails, and bitterns.
Loon on the Columbia
En route to its breeding grounds in Canada, a Common Loon floats in the reflected light of basaltic cliffs that rise above the Columbia River.
Raptors are birds of prey and include eagles, hawks, falcons, and owls. They are magnificent, although many people squirm at their choices of food - other birds, rodents, and fish. It is much harder to "make a living" than it is for birds that eat seeds and insects, and as a consequence, many young hawks and falcons don't make it past their first year. They deserve our respect and admiration.
A young Bald Eagle focuses on potential prey in the water below.
Game birds include quail, grouse, partridge, and pheasant. They are chicken-like, ground-dwelling birds that are usually secretive and are found in small flocks called coveys. They've also traditionally been hunted.
A male California Quail calls to his mate on a hot, summer's day.
I love the expanse of sagebrush country and the muted colors of sage and its bird inhabitants. The Sagebrush Sparrow is dependent on mature Big Sagebrush - Artemisia tridentata - which is becoming increasingly rare in the American West.
By creating homes for other birds and mammals, woodpeckers are so important in the grand scheme of nature that they are called a "keystone species." Their long bills and head structure are perfectly suited to this work, just as the long bills of kingfishers enable them to catch fish.
Given the probable extinction of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, the magnificent Pileated Woodpecker is the largest woodpecker in North America.