Red-headed Woodpecker in Flight - Image 662947 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 12-4-20

  Seen Only Due to Action Frozen  Over the years, beginning long before I was shooting pictures, I have watched red-headed woodpeckers. In the old days the very colorful birds seemed to be much more plentiful. I don’t know if the numbers have been reduced due to loss of habitat or competition from other birds …

Juvenile Bald Eagle in Flight - Image 662854 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 12-3-20

  So Much Effort, So Much Disappointment  Today a good number of people combined efforts using their various skills to assist a public safety department with a response effort. A buddy and I spent hours on a river searching for clues as many others worked hillsides. After eight miles of paddling and hours on the …

Great Blue Heron - Image 662853 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 12-2-20

  Still Here and Monolith Mystery  Even with most of our still water converted to hard water (aka ice), the lone great blue heron I have been watching is still around. Apparently the bird moves to other areas to feed and then returns to its favorite log. Maybe this heron will stay all winter like …

Juvenile Bald Eagle Release - Image 662819 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 12-1-20

  Juvenile Bald Eagle Release  Several months ago my wife and I, along with a Bremer County Deputy, rescued an injured juvenile bald eagle. Somehow the young bird had sustained a wing fracture that required splinting and time to heal. Today was the special day when that bird was released to fly wild in the …

Rough-legged Hawk Hovering Over Ditch - Image 662752 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 11-30-20

  Hovers Like a Kestrel, Flies Like a Kestrel, Is NOT a Kestrel While driving down a highway today a large hawk hovering over a ditch caught my attention. The bird remained in one place, except for flapping its wings, as its eyes focused on any possible prey habitat that may have been in hiding …

White Birch Trees - Close - Image 662679 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 11-29-20

  I Cannot Decide My personality is such that things are almost always black or white. Very seldom is there a gray middle ground. As a result, on those occasions when there might be multiple “correct” choices, I struggle to decide my preference. Today I created a decision-making challenge when I saw my favorite species …

Full Moon Paddle - Image 0611 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 11-28-20

  Last Full Moon Paddle for 2020? Due to the weather forecast I had to make an executive decision this afternoon regarding my monthly “Full Moon Paddle” – a time when I paddle on the Wapsipinicon River under the light of a full moon. A sheet of ice covered the much of the river this …

Saw-whet Owl - Image 662260 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 11-27-20

  While We Are Sleeping While we are sleeping things are happening in the natural world. Activity does not stop and there may actually be more action than we see during the day. For example, many birds migrate in darkness and the predator/prey relationship is carried out with regularity. I will provide a few examples …

Bald Eagle in Tree Along Wapsipinicon River - Image 662020 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 11-26-20

  Thanksgiving 2020 – Social Distancing Style Happy Thanksgiving to All! Due to the virus we opted to social distance for this holiday. Some did not agree with our decision, but it was a choice we made based on our concerns. We stayed away from people today and that resulted in a very unusual Thanksgiving …

Barred Owl on Gray Day - Image 661967 (© Kip Ladage)

Kip’s Comments 11-25-20

  Barred Owl in Great Gray Habitat Here in Northeast Iowa we are very unlikely to see a wild great gray owl. Their range is hundreds of miles from us which minimizes the probability of great gray owls being observed in our backyard. It is possible a great gray owl has been within our borders, …