Kristi's Photographs and Observations

Nature and Photography
Kristi is a naturalist and photographer who grew up on Lake O' the Pines where she still lives.  You will find her much of the time on or near the lake, camera in hand as she photographs birds and other natural objects.  She is an active member of the Cypress Basin Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalists.

Eaglet Update - Independence

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As we had hoped they would, Liberty and Freedom are staying close to the nest - and to each other - as they gain independence and learn to fend for themselves.  When you look at these big, strong birds, it is hard to imagine that they were hatched the first week of March! 

As immatures, they are harder to spot because they blend into the surroundings easily; what stands out are their very powerful and bright yellow talons.  It has been so amazing to be able to witness the very attentive parents nurturing and watching over these two, and it's encouraging to see the Bald Eagle population increase at Lake O' the Pines. We've had more sightings on the Big Cypress River, as well, which may be one of the positive effects of all the extra water this past year.  

The coolest thing is that Freedom and Liberty will mature and grow and stay in this area, and one day we may be able to watch them raise their families.  In the meantime, we'll share photos as they hunt and soar and thrive over Lake O' the Pines, adding to a community that is simply awe-inspiring!

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Eaglet Update - Flying Lessons

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At last check, both Liberty and Freedom were flying well and becoming independent. In fact, we were able to watch Liberty eat a rather sizeable fish that he'd caught on top of a stump. He pulled and picked at it, and during all of the adjusting to stay atop, he dropped a large portion over the side into the water.  He watched it fall and as he looked around, you could just imagine from the expression what he was thinking!  Meanwhile, Freedom was closer to the nest, and both parents were nearby.  We left for a while, and when we circled back by before sunset, Liberty and Freedom were sitting side by side and shoulder to shoulder, close to the nest. What a heartwarming sight! 

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Michael Mathews
Oh, they grow up fast. I think Liberty looks just like his dad, sans the white feathers.
Monday, 30 May 2016 20:53
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Eaglet Update - An Empty Nest

Eaglet Parents
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As storm clouds were moving in and the sky was getting dark, we were able to make a quick check of the nest one day last week.  It was disconcerting because for the first time, we were only able to see one eaglet.  We thought we could also hear Liberty, but were not sure. Both parents were perched and watching from a nearby branch.  Freedom was shrieking, alone in the nest, and I believe that we witnessed one of her first flights.  Seemingly uncomfortable, and as if being coaxed, she finally flew to a nearby dead pine tree, mouth open and screeching the whole way.  Mom followed and sat on the other side, as if to offer moral support. Nature in action is such a beautiful thing.  

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Michael Mathews
First, I want to thank you for letting me be a part of the eagle watch. I loved the times I went with you and got photography Lib... Read More
Sunday, 22 May 2016 12:52
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Eaglet Update - Out on a Limb!

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We were able to check on Liberty and Freedom on May 12th; as they are going into their twelfth week, they should be fledging at any time now!  In fact, they were sitting further out on a limb, and in some of the photos seemed to be looking down and at each other as if to say "why don't YOU just go first?"  Mom was sitting close by, as usual, in the top of a dead pine tree.  Two Scissor-tailed Flycatchers were tormenting her unmercifully, as she was clearly invading their territory.  She finally got tired of it and took off, with both of the little flycatchers in tow.  What a sight!  

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New Friends, New Birds

Black throated Green Warbler
Northern Parula

Bob Haynes and Dr. Marnie Rout conducted and led the training sessions this past weekend on Ornithology and Taxonomy for the current Cypress Basin Texas Master Naturalist trainees, and what a great weekend it was!  I unfortunately couldn't attend all of the training, but the handouts are so informative and Saturday's bird walk was exciting and productive.  Bob and Marnie are going to be contributing and sharing their knowledge on the ETN site when they can, so that is wonderful news, and Lee Eisenberg has come on board and we will be so fortunate to be hearing from him, as well.  Photos follow of just two of the birds that we were able to see at the Refuge.  The first is a Black-throated Green Warbler, and the second is of a Northern Parula. 

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Michael Mathews
I was browsing through my feed drinking my coffee when I saw the photo of the Black Throated Green Warbler. My first thought was ... Read More
Sunday, 08 May 2016 08:55
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