Wayne Beauregard Photography

Snow Leopard

The snow leopard, known for its beautiful, thick fur, has a white, yellowish or soft gray coat with ringed spots of black on brown. The markings help camouflage it from prey. With their thick coats, heavy fur-lined tails and paws covered with fur, snow leopards are perfectly adapted to the rugged and snowy highlands of Central Asia with China holding 60% of the population.

The image was taken at the Toledo Zoo.

Great Egret during Breeding Season

The pristinely white Great Egret gets even more dressed up for the breeding season. A patch of skin on its face turns neon green, and long plumes grow from its back. These birds were hunted nearly to extinction for their plumes in the late nineteenth century, sparking conservation movements that resulted in some of the first laws to protect birds.

The image was taken at Gatorland in central Florida.

Blue Jay

The Blue Jay is known as a loud and aggressive bird. Its cries are used to warn other birds and animals of danger, but are also often used for no apparent reason. Its unique crest is used as a communication tool to convey the bird’s mood. When the crest is erected, making a prominent peak, the bird is excited, surprised, or aggressive. If the jay is frightened, the crest bristled out in all directions. If the bird is relaxed, the crest is laid flat on the head. The jay here is attentive, checking its surroundings before proceeding to the feeder.

Bird in the Hand

Beech Forest in Provincetown, MA (Cape Cod), is a popular spot for hand feeding the numerous song birds in the area. After a few minutes of quiet waiting with a hand full of bird seed, the action begins with one bird after another landing in your hand to feast on the food. It is incredible to see how fearless these birds are of humans. It is a true experience for bird lovers to be this close to the animals. Although this interaction has been going on for years, it may be coming to an end soon. The Cape Cod National Seashore would like to end this tradition as they see it as possibly harmful for the birds and illegal under federal law. So if this human-bird ineraction is on your bucket list, head to Beech Forest soon.

The image below is the hand of my wife feeding a chickadee.

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park is located in southwestern Utah. It is known for the largest collection of hoodoos (odd-shaped pillars of rock left standing from the forces of erosion) in the world. Bryce Canyon became a national park in 1928. Although the name implies it is a canyon in fact it is not. It is a series of more than a dozen amphitheaters, each of which is carved at least 1,000 feet into the chromatic limestone of the Paunsaugunt Plateau. The erosional force of frost-wedging and the dissolving power of rainwater have shaped the limestone rock of the Claron Formation into bizarre shapes including slot canyons, windows, fins, and spires, collectively known as hoodoos.

The image was taken during sunrise at Sunrise Point.