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PORTFOLIO >> TRAINING | MARKETING | ENGINEERING | EVENTS | NATURE | PETS | TIME LAPSE | MUSIC
     
   
  NATURE VIDEOS
 
  River Otter Catches and Decapitates Fish as Crabs Look On
(
3 min)
 
     
WalkingStick

The crabs were lucky! They didn't get eaten and were probably able to pick up a few scraps of fish for themselves after the kill. Notice the crabs scurrying about in the rocks. By decapitating the fish, the otter ensures that it won't get away.

This otter was filmed at the Point Reyes National Seashore, Marin County, CA. at the Sir Francis Drake bridge over Schooner Creek near the unusual “Historic Life-Saving Station Cemetery” sign as shown at the end of the video.

 
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  Kamikaze Pelicans in SloMo
(
1.5 min)
 
     
WalkingStick

During their high-speed dives, a fraction of a second before hitting the water, the 15 diving Brown Pelicans in this 10 second clip all twisted their bodies left to assume an upside-down position while maintaining their heads right-side up! The actual real time 10 second clip is shown at the end of the video. I first noticed this upside-down crashing into water while reviewing footage one frame at a time.

Why would pelicans crash at high speed into the water back-first instead of belly-first? Why would they keep their heads right-side up, while flipping their bodies 180° on their backs before impact? Interestingly, all these birds rotated left when flipping over! Why didn't they ever rotate right? After hours of web research, I don't have all the answers. Here are my findings and some additional ideas. Perhaps you can help figure this out!

 
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  Kamikaze Pelicans in SloMo
(
1 min)
 
     
WalkingStick

This slow motion video shows brown pelicans break-neck diving into schools of spawning herring in San Francisco Bay at Point Richmond, California. The birds are very fast-even though this footage is slowed down to 40% of actual.

 

 
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  Spawning Salmon in Marin
(
1 min)
 
     
WalkingStick

Recent rains triggered the coho salmon spawning season. The female appears to be the fish on the lower right laying eggs in the gravel which are fertilized by the male behind her. At about 30 inches long, the salmon were in Lagunitas Creek near the Shafter bridge in Lagunitas, CA near Samuel P. Taylor State Park.

 

 
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  Do Owls Enjoy Sunsets?
(
1 min)
 
     
WalkingStick

These Great Horned Owls watch helicopters, planes, and other flying objects at sunset. Sometimes I wonder if they enjoy sunsets for their beauty, or if they are just anticipating the night out. What do you think?

These owls were filmed at Miller Knox Regional Park in Richmond, Ca. overlooking the San Francisco Bay Trail.

 

 
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  WEIRD: Owl Shakes Head in Slow Motion
(
38 sec)
 
     
WalkingStick

The bird's head seemed to have disappeared! It also reminded me of a bird's equivalent of having a bad-hair day. I knew that owls can rotate their heads much as 270 degrees, but I didn't expect to see this image while editing my series of videos on Great Horned Owls. I decided to slow down the footage to help demonstrate this effect. I slowed it down to 2% of normal speed in the slow motion portion of this video.

In the second part of the video, which plays at normal speed, you can see how fast owls can shake their heads. Since they cannot move their eyes, owls hve developed the uncanny ability to rotate their heads to see what is behind, and on either side, of them. I imagine that their neck muscles are very strong from this behavior, and may explain how they can rotate their heads so rapidly. Why this owl was rotating its head, I cannot say. Perhaps it caught a flea from the skunk it ate the night before, and was trying to shake it off.

 
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  Adolescent Owls Hold "Hands" & Prepare for a Night Out
(2 min)
 
     
WalkingStick

This is Part I of a series of short videos I am making about a Great Horned Owl family that lives in my neighborhood. It documents 2 young Great Horned Owls having a hard time waking up after a hard-day's sleep. Then it follows them as they gradually become very active and fierce as darkness falls.

These adolescent owls are probably about 4-5 months old at the time of filming. They are excellent flyers and I suspect that they are capable of catching prey. Typically, in the field, size is used to tell a male from a female Great Horned Owl. Males weigh about 15% less than females. So, in the video, where the two young owls are "holding hands" I suspect that the larger one on the right is a female, and the other one its male sibling.

 
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  Heron Kills Four Gophers in a Row
(4 min)
 
     
WalkingStick

Ever wonder why fish-eating herons and egrets are often seen standing in fields? This video provides some clues. This Great Blue Heron caught and killed four gophers in a row without a miss! Two gophers were swallowed and two were left uneaten. The first gopher was quite large and took some effort and lubrication from a water puddle to swallow. Herons have been known to choke to death while trying to swallow large prey, but not this time.

I was surprised to see the heron continue to hunt and kill more gophers than it ate. I suspect that it enjoyed hunting for fun as well as for food. I filmed the heron for about 90 minutes in the late afternoon. I don't know how many gophers the heron may have caught before I arrived at the scene.

 
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Spider Web Construction in Slow Motion
(2 min 27 sec)

 
     
Spider Web Construction in Slow Motion

This is a slow motion and normal speed close-up movie of a common garden spider building a web. I thought the web-building process was amazing before I grabbed my camera--but even more so after I slowed down the footage to 10% of normal speed! So fast and efficient is this spider as it extracts silk from its abdomen, shifts its grip on the silk fibers from claw to claw, measures distances, and creates just the right amount of tension to keep the web taut. And the third leg from the front on the spider's left side appears to be missing it's foot! Of great interest to me was how the spider attached the silk fiber at each junction.

In case you are wondering what the white stuff that the spider is chewing on at the end, it is pieces of silk that it cleaned up from the old web that it is recycling.

 
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  Egret Struggles to Swallow Big Gopher
(2 min, 40 sec)
 
     
WalkingStick

This egret failed to swallow the gopher on its first attempt. It took about 9 minutes to completely swallow the large gopher that it caught. This video condenses the struggle to about 3 minutes. It doesn't show the last 3 minutes where the bird mainly still and rested from the struggle. It used gravity very well to help move the gopher towards its stomach. The dark circular marks on the egrets stretched throat at 1;44 - 2:05 appear to be the front and hind feet of the gopher!

 
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  California's Largest Wildfire: 3 Weeks after
(4 min)
 
     
WalkingStick

These images were recorded three weeks after the Cedar Fire of October, 2003 in Harbison Canyon, one of many locations hit hard by the fire. Currently, the Cedar fire is the largest wildfire in recorded California history. It damaged or destroyed 2,820 buildings including 2,232 homes, and killed 15 people. I happened to be in the area on a trip, and decided to explore the impact of the fire. As I took the photos, tears were often running down my face as I witnessed the destruction and imagined the sudden losses of so many people. The images you see are just a fraction of the damage that resulted from the Cedar fire.

 
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Catching Tons of Herring in the SF Bay
(6 min)


 
     
WalkingStick

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the SF Bay herring run "is the last urban fishery in the United States in which people can actually sit on shore and watch commercial boats haul in the squiggling fish" (http://tinyurl.com/ltqpfg8). I was very lucky to film the fishermen close-up from only a few feet away along the SF Bay trail in Richmond, Ca. This video documents the commercial herring fishermen during the 2013 fishing season. It records how the nets are set; how predators compete for the fish, and what happens on the boats during a successful harvest.

 
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Gulls Gone Wild: Point Richmond, CA Herring Run
(6 min 30 sec)

 
     
Gulls Gone Wild: Point Richmond, CA Herring Run

This music video is an initial attempt to document the beauty, exuberance, and chaos of this natural history experience along the Bay Trail in Miller/Knox Regional Shoreline in Point Richmonc, CA. The herring first came to Point Richmond on (or shortly before) February 4, 2011 to spawn after commercial roe fishing boats reached their limits allowing successive runs throughout the month. Harbor seals and sea lions came to eat the herring; then the gulls and diving ducks came to feast on the carpets of eggs that covered the kelp, eelgrass, pier pilings, and rocks along the shore. This documentary covers about 10 days of the event.

Click Caviar for the Birds to view still photography of the event.

 
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Close-up of Walking Stick Insect
(40 sec)


 
     
WalkingStick

Here are some video and close up images of the Walking Stick Insect I photographed in Pt. Richmond, California. It was about 5" long. Walking Stick insects are fairly common in our neighborhood but hard to see due to their camouflage. They remind some people of Praying Mantises; however, unlike the former, Walking Sticks are herbivores. For more info check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phasmatodea. Here is a great link to a close up video of a different kind of Walking Stick feeding: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQKsLyKA05s.

 
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Close-up of Sea Otter Eating Live Crab
(50 sec)


 
     
OtterEatsCrab

I was walking along the Coast Guard Pier in Monterey, Ca. when I filmed this amazing site with a Panasonic Lumix FZ35 point and shoot camera from about 15' away. I felt sorry for the crab being eaten alive, but such is natures way.
This pier is an amazing place to watch a huge variety of wildlife including herons, pelicans and seals. The sound is ambient as recorded on the pier.

 
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Egret Catches and Manipulates Fish in Slow Motion
(1.5 min)


 
     
Western Bluebird

This egret is a finely-tuned killing machine! Over the past few months I've seen it catch and eat gophers, a lizard, and lots of fish. Whether on landscapes or in water, it rarely misses its prey with its dagger-beak! Patience and laser-like focus knows no bounds while stalking its doomed prey.

In this footage recorded at the Miller Knox Regional Park in Point Richmond, CA, the egret happens to line-up with extraordinary lighting conditions during the magic-hour of late afternoon. Bright bands of reflected light from ripples shimmer up and down its body reminding me of the color tricks that octopus and squid display on their bodies. The shimmering beauty of this unexpected natural light show is yet another example of the many rewards and benefits of hiking and observing nature along the San Francisco Bay trail.

 
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Western Bluebird

Blue Birds & Hair
(1.5 min)

The woman with blue hair walked by as I was filming bluebirds! Over the years I would occasionally spot Western Bluebirds on sunny afternoons in Miller Knox Regional Shoreline Park in Point Richmond on my frequent walks. However, I had a difficult time consistently locating them. They are small birds--about the size of a sparrow. This winter, I decided to make a concerted effort to locate them and film them. After several hikes, I found a small flock of about eight Bluebirds spending the late afternoon in an off-limits fenced in area between the Ferry Point fishing pier and the picnic area. That is where I was able to get most of the video shots for this movie. I am continually amazed with the immense diversity and beauty of the wildlife that live in the Point Richmond area.

 
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Red Fox Along the Bay Trail in Richmond, CA
(1 min)

 
     
Red Fox Along the Bay Trail in Richmond, CA

I encountered this red fox while walking around the Landfill Loop Trail at Garbage Mountain. I was surprised to see the fox out in mid day. It appeared to be hunting for rodents such as gophers and mice.

The Landfill Loop Trail incorporates fantastc views of San Pablo Bay, Wildcat and San Pablo Creeks with remarkable examples of industrial water conservation and reuse, resource recovery, electrical generation, recycling and recreation.

Click for a trail guide and additional information.

 

 
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Frog Play

Frog Play
(2 min 15 sec)

This frog was obsessed with attacking a flower at the BioPark in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I used to play this game with frogs when I was fishing as a kid. Goofing on a frog was one way to pass the time while waiting for the fish to bite. I am amazed at how far a frog will go away from the water when chasing a small wiggling object that it is programmed to think is food. The frog in this video chased the flower about 5' onto dry land.

 

 
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  Will Juggle for Food!
(1 min)
 
 
Will Juggle for Food!

This immature Black-crowned Night Heron juggles a small fish with its beak to separate the meat from the moss. The bird was hunting at dusk in the lake in Miller Knox Regional Park along the San Francisco Bay Trail, Point Richmond, CA. Several adult Black-crowned Herons roost in the trees in nearby downtown Point Richmond. Play video in High Definition for best detail.

 
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  The Spider and the Fish
(10 sec)
 
 
The Spider and the Fish

This is a story about a spider and a fish.

 
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All Content Copyright © 2014 by Michael Bukay & Associates, Point Richmond, CA, Email: bukaym@gmail.com