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This webpage shows some popular images.

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More images in the galleries above – each gallery has at least 20 images

Every image is available as a high quality archival print. I use acid-free satin finish paper and archival inks. Many of the photographs are available as 12″ x 18″ prints (or a very close size). I make prints at a variety of smaller sizes. For example, I mostly print warblers at the 8″ x 10″ size (or 7″ x 10.5″) because they are very close to life-size in the print.  Many photographs can be printed at sizes larger than 12″ x 18″.  Each image is labeled below the image with the size of prints that are available.  Not every image is available as a large print because, at times, factors at the time of image capture do not allow for an excellent quality large print.  I never sell a print unless it is of excellent quality.  If an image is marked at 12″ x 18″ or 11″x 14″ smaller prints are available, but larger prints are not.

All images are available for internet use, pamphlets, etc.

I have done PowerPoint presentations for a variety of groups and can prepare a presentation for your group.

Contact me and I will address your inquiry.

Email Paul Rossi at pwaynerossi@gmail.com

NEW BOOK

BEAUTIFUL BIRDS OF MICHIGAN’S EASTERN UPPER PENINSULA

See book website:   https://beautifulbirdseup.wordpress.com/

This limited edition book is a culmination of rare opportunities. It is a hard bound museum quality “coffee table” book (11″ x 11″) with approximately 120 pages and 105 photographs and their interesting narratives.  All of the images on this webpage are in the book.  Many of the other images in the book are within galleries on this website.

ALL IMAGES DISPLAYED HERE ARE

LOWER RESOLUTION IMAGES FOR WEB DISPLAY.

harrier-drop

Northern Harrier Prey Drop

12″ x 12″ or larger

Catch a glimpse of one of the most spectacular events in the world of North American birds. Two or three days after taking their first flight juvenile Northern Harriers chase their father for a meal.  The winner is about to catch the prize – a nestling bird captured in the early morning, and dropped in mid-air by the grey-white adult male.  He appeared just over the treeline directly in front of me, and swooped down to an open area, where his offspring waited on the ground and flew up.   He never saw me because the low angle sun (just after sunrise) was behind me, pointing straight at him.  During the drop another sibling complains, close on the winner’s tail.  My camera and lens struggled to gain focus on the adult male (because of the trees in the nearby background) and the moment focus was “locked on” I took one photo,  the luckiest I have ever taken to date.  Yes, the catch was successful, and the unfed juvenile accepted the result and had to wait for its meal, which arrived about 30 minutes afterward from Mom.    August 2, 2016

sunrise-reflection-beavertail-cove

 Spectacular Sunrise Reflection on Beavertail Cove

12″ x 18″ or larger

male-golden-winged-warbler-in-flowering-crabapple

Male Golden-winged Warbler in Flowering Crabapple

8″ x 10″     11″x 14″

The Jordan River Valley of Michigan’s northwestern lower peninsula has some clearings with numerous small crabapple trees, most likely “planted” by birds, such as Robins and Cedar Waxwings.  These clearings also have lots of small bushes and shrubby tangles, providing the perfect habitat for Golden-winged warblers.

female-harrier-landing

Female Northern Harrier Landing

11″ x 14″

This bird landed into a slight wind, flaring its wings and tail very briefly.

     Hooded Merganser Group Courtship

Hooded Merganser Group Courtship

9″ x 15″

This photo was taken on a creek in the EUP in late March.  During this period, in the early morning, Hooded Mergansers often perform courtship rituals on ice-free water, where the wind is calm or light.   Initially there were 4 individuals feeding.  Another small group flew in and landed nearby, and feeding ceased immediately.  There was a spectacular transformation to courtship behavior.  The female with her tail up was the center of attention, with seven males vying for her attention.

Great Horned Owl Family

Great Horned Nest Cavity

12″ x 18″ or larger

When I found this nest, only the ear tufts of the female parent were barely visible within the nest. I returned in the evening, just before sunset, the family was “waking up” and preparing for the night hunt. When mom leaves the nest, the young wait at the edge of the cavity.

Male Blackburnian Warbler in spruce

Male Blackburnian Warbler

8″ x 10″     11″x 14″

The Eastern Upper Peninsula (EUP) of Michigan is home to many beautiful birds during various parts of the year. The male Blackburnian Warbler pictured is one of 26 warbler species that either breed in the area every year or pass through during migration. Warblers are small (typically 5-6 inches in length) but by far the most numerous species of birds that breed in the area. The dawn chorus of a local forest in spring is testament to their numbers. Many of the males in breeding plumage have beautiful colors and patterns unmatched by any other group of birds in the EUP. So I have chosen a male Blackburnian Warbler as the cover photo of my book to represent the beauty of EUP birdlife.

Female Common Merganser with chicks

Female Common Merganser with Chicks

12″ x 18″ or larger

This photo was taken along the shoreline of Caribou Lake in Chippewa County of the EUP. I saw the family skirting the shoreline so I got into position a few hundred yards ahead of them, hiding behind a cedar. The ducklings usually follow behind the mother in the water, but they detected me and gathered as close to mom as possible while mom boldly guided them past me.

Male White-winged Crossbill in hoarfrost

Male White-winged Crossbill

8″ x 10″    11″ x 14″

In a winter when White-winged Crossbills found the abundant crop of spruce cones here in the EUP, a humid night had produced hoarfrost. That did not stop this bird from feeding out in the open the next morning. It also saw that I was certainly no threat after a slow approach in chest-high snow.

Male Snowy Owl Camoflouge

Male Snowy Owl Camouflage

12″ x 16″  or larger

This bird wintered for a few years in the Rudyard area of the EUP, but was very difficult to find. I imagined that one day he would appear roadside, and I looked for those eyes. The photo was taken on a side road where a few cars passed by the well-camouflaged owl; but I stopped and the owl still never moved.

Cape May warbler in flowering maple

Male Cape May Warbler in Flowering Maple

8″ x 10″     11″ x 14″

On a cold, early May morning (about 35 degrees F), this warbler that normally feeds exclusively on insects when it arrives on its breeding grounds in the northern spruce forests, reverted back to its habit of feeding on nectar, which it does during its winter in the tropics. There were no insects to be found that morning after a frost the previous night.

Common Loon with chick

Common Loon with Chick

12″ x 18″ or larger

When I discovered this loon at cranberry flooding in Chippewa County, she had a chick not more than two days old.

BOHEMIAN WAXWING IN CRABAPPLE

Bohemian Waxwing in Crabapple Tree

8″ x 10″    11″ x 14″

Some years, Bohemian Waxwings arrive in the EUP in late fall or early winter. They often arrive in large flocks and feed on a variety of berries. A group of over one hundred birds found this crabapple tree soon after this photo was taken; within two days all of the berries were eaten.

Hooded Merganser with chicks

Female Hooded Merganser with Brood

10″ x 18″ or larger

When a female Hooded Merganser raises her brood, she chooses a protected waterway called a nursery. This female chose a pond full of reeds, adjacent to a causeway where people would often walk. In the early morning, she would often take the brood for a trip through the only open section, which allowed this photograph.

Boreal Owl day hunt

Boreal Owl

9″ x 12″     12″ x 18″

As I was driving on a very cold winter morning, this little owl (about 9-10″ tall) flew across my windshield into a tree in a friend’s field, here in Chippewa County. Normally nocturnal, it was day hunting – a rare occurrence. I approached it slowly through almost waist-high snow. It showed absolutely no fear. I then left it, just as slowly, to continue its hunting. The Boreal owl is a rare winter visitor to the Great Lakes states.

 

Foxes moms tired

Foxes – Mom’s Tired

9″ x 12″

I took this photo right after sunrise, just outside of the town of Pickford. The family group was completely unaware of my presence. I safely pulled my car into position on a back road, with the sun directly behind me as I edged past a line of shrubs. They heard the shutter of my camera, but could not see me.

 

Male Black-throated Blue Warbler

Male Black-throated Blue Warbler

8″ x 10″    11″ x 14″

Some of the more colorful birds in the EUP are called Neotropical migrants because they spend the summer in their breeding range in North America but migrate to Central or South America for their nonbreeding range in winter. Most of these birds migrate at night.
If humans had to migrate yearly from one spot on the globe to another more than a thousand miles away, and return only at night, most wouldn’t make it. Yet migratory birds do this every year. And, amazingly, they make it back to the exact spot on their breeding grounds in the spring; many times, the same tree.
Here is an example of an individual Neotropical migrant, the Black-throated Blue Warbler that winters in the Caribbean area or Central America. It has returned for three years in a row to the exact same spot in a mature mixed forest along the North Huron Birding Trail.

 

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK ON FENCE POST

Rough-legged Hawk on Post

12″ x 18″ or larger

During this day in November, it rained on the hay fields of Rudyard after a dry period. This forced voles out of their underground tunnels, and migrating Rough-legged Hawks took advantage of the opportunity. Many hawks perched on posts along back roads, and many were unwary.

Great Grey Owl landing

Great Grey Owl Hunting

12″ x 18″

The Great Grey Owl is a rare winter visitor to the EUP. As is common for this species, this owl was hunting by sonar. Very focused, it used its facial disc to “hear” a vole almost two feet under the snow. The vole caught the owl’s attention when it was perched much higher and about 40 feet farther away from the stump. The owl flew to the stump and landed, all the while maintaining its concentration on an area about 10 feet from the stump. Soon after, it flew and then dove through the snowpack to successfully capture the vole.

Pileated Woodpecker nest

Pileated Woodpecker nest

9″ x 12″      11″ x 14″

For three years, a pair of Pileated woodpeckers would cross the road near my home, and in the early morning they would infrequently call from a particular location back in the woods. These are clues to a nesting area, which is used year after year. So I did a search one morning in early May and luckily the female was poking out of the nest hole. I waited until the young bird was over a week old, photographing from a blind.

Canada Warbler in maple sapling

Male Canada Warbler in Maple Sapling

8″ x 10″

In the moist thickets on the edges of certain private hardwood forests of the EUP (with the owner’s permission), if there is a dry period during mid-May I might set up a water drip and small pool. I use the following: a noiseless submersible pump, a bucket, a concave dish, flexible tubes, and my imagination. I also use a powerful, rechargeable battery to power the pump. At the time this photograph was taken, the trees had not fully leafed-out and the forest understory had colorful, emerging saplings (maple pictured here). On the calm morning, the sound of the water had attracted this shy resident.

Male American Kestrel at nest #1

Male American Kestrel at Nest Hole

9″ x 12″

Kestrels are very wary and secretive birds, especially around their nest. I have found nests by observing an adult bird carrying an item of prey directly into a forest. Then I search for old woodpecker holes in the area where it seemed to land. Initially I was not sure this cavity was a nest, but I soon observed some fine wood chips spurting out from the nest and knew it was. Complete concealment in a blind, and entering the blind well before sunrise, are both necessary to photograph a Kestrel nest.

ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK HUNTING

Rough-legged Hawk Hunt Flight

9″ x 12″      12″ x 16″

This arctic tundra breeding species of hawk goes south for the winter, and often many individuals stop to spend a good portion of November hunting the fields of Michigan Eastern Upper Peninsula.  If voles are abundant some will stay the entire winter. This bird was hunting the open fields just off a back road, with the bare trees faintly visible in the far background.

Male Northern Parula in spruce cones

Male Northern Parula in Spruce Cones

8″ x 10″    11″ x 14″

In mid-May on a very cold morning, this small bird (4.5″ tail tip to beak tip) foraged very deliberately for insects in this spruce that was in the early stages of cone development.

Hawk Owl straight ahead

Northern Hawk Owl Straight Ahead

12″ x 16″

This individual wintered at a forest edge overlooking a large prairie along the North Huron Birding Trail in Michigan’s Eastern upper Peninsula that harbored a large population of voles.  He became used to my presence and would sometimes fly in my direction while going after prey.

Male Hooded Warbler

Male Hooded Warbler

8″ x 12″       10″ x 15″

In specific dry hardwood forests of Michigan’s southern lower peninsula I would set up a water drip and small pool in early May.   On this day the sound of the water attracted this shy resident who perched before bathing.

juvenile-northern-harrier-landing

Juvenile Northern Harrier Landing

Only two or 3 days after its first flight this juvenile seems scared as it struggles to land correctly, and it screams. The fear is short-lived, as its learning curve is phenomenal.  It will be an expert in a few days.

female-norther-harrier-landing2

Female Northern Harrier Landing 2

As this bird lands it reveals its legs, which seem almost human.  Adult Norther Harriers sometimes walk on the ground for quite a distance around the nest, so as not to reveal its location.  They also hide in vegetation waiting to pounce on prey.