Thursday, July 22, 2021

Owls Can't Move Their Eyes Like We Do

 Here's A Closeup Look 


This Northern Boobook (Ninox japonica) is an owl photographed in Okinawa, Japan.

The Japanese would call it (アオバズク) Aobazuku. 





It's a medium-sized owl that's a subspecies of the Brown Hawk Owl.

Notice it has a round-shaped head without any ear-tufts sticking out of it.

Bright yellow eyes, some folks think are comical (not me), and yellow talons are noticeable.

Other identifying marks are the dark brown feathers with brown and white streaks upfront.

The bird also has a distinctive black beak.



Hang on for the Eyeball Part!




It took a while for me to get proof from National Geographic that owls can't move their eyes.

They have to swivel their heads around because their eyeballs aren't in sockets like ours.




Here's an animation, made from several photos, of the bird looking around for prey.

It was the morning before a typhoon so, things are kind of misty and windy.

These birds are found in China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan.

They hang out in wooded areas and forests up to 1700 meters in elevation.

The bird is a raptor that catches insects in flight and that's not all they eat.

They've been known to grab smaller birds, lizards, and bats.


See more about this Northern Boobook at:





Thursday, July 8, 2021

Chasing the Cinnamon Bittern of Kin Town

 Okinawa's Rainy Season Ended


Heat and humidity have me getting up and out with the camera before sunup.


My air-conditioned room is usually about 30% humid.  Outdoors it's over 90% after sunrise.




Each morning I hike to an area where two of these birds hang out.

Getting into position before 6:30 gives me time to stretch, exercise, and drink coffee.

Birds aren't on any kind of schedule. They might appear anytime between 7 and 9 AM.





They really don't come just to pose for the camera. They stretch and wiggle around a bit.

It doesn't do much good to cuss and talk to them but, I do anyway.





And, I get this look like, "Is there a problem Mister?"

Nobody wants pictures of stupid-looking birds so, I move on.





This Cinnamon Bittern had a better attitude and a terrific background.

The time was 7:19 AM and the hike home would be over before ten.

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

The Black-crowned Night Heron in Flight

 Just A Second



Here are three photos of this bird taken at 6:55 AM today.







My camera was mounted on a tripod and equipped with a 300 MM lens.







Getting ready to hike farther down the road, I folded the tripod before the bird appeared.

It's a fast mover. I was on auto-focus and used the tripod as a monopod.







In less time than it takes to let out a good sneeze, the bird disappeared.

End of Story

Thursday, May 27, 2021

May 2021 Supermoon Over Okinawa

 Cloudy Skies Didn't Stop the Moon from Showing


They just made it a bit challenging for photographers and moon viewers.

Here are 4 photos depicting this month's Full Moon, an eclipse, and the Supermoon setting.




It was 8:39 PM on May 26th when this eclipse photo was taken.





It would be 9:59 PM before an almost cloudless image of the moon could be captured.






At 4:56 AM on May 27th the moon shined brightly setting over Kin Bay.





At 5:29 AM a parting shot was taken of the moon before it disappeared again.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Supermoon APR 2021 Over Okinawa

 Some Call It a Pink Moon



It wasn't exactly pink but, we're glad it made an appearance.








To catch the moon rising over the ocean, we spent a few hours on the east coast of the island.

Heavy clouds interfered with that plan but gave the rising moon some decorative colors.

It was 7:22 PM when this scene was captured.

More dense weather rolled in and the decision was made to leave the wind and beach behind.



Back Home the Moon Made Another Appearance








On the roof of my house, this scene was composed at 8:54 PM.

Too tired to process the day's photos, this old man went to bed.

The plan was to wake up early and hike to somewhere the moon could be seen setting.




The Morning After









By the time I reached the destination where the moon could be captured setting I groaned.


A thick wall of clouds, off to the west, made it impossible to see the setting moon.


All of a sudden I looked towards the Kin powerplant and there it was.


No longer a Full Moon but, a smokestack covered the part that was missing!



End of story.