Kirsten Tucker: Blog en-us (C) Kirsten Tucker (Kirsten Tucker) Tue, 06 Feb 2018 17:23:00 GMT Tue, 06 Feb 2018 17:23:00 GMT Kirsten Tucker: Blog 120 80 You Know You're a Birder + Photographer When... peruse the TEXBIRDS Facebook page during the Superbowl shout "No way!", share your excitement about a rare bird with your spouse who looks back at you like you grew a third head bring up a map and giggle with glee that it's only a 2.5 hour drive rise at 0-dark thirty and consume two caffeinated beverages within an hour of hitting the road walk 20+k steps and climb the equivalent of 48 flights of stairs looking for the bird spend ALL day 1) waiting for the bird to show up then 2) waiting for the bird to return to get photos are still smiling the next day at what you saw

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the way out of range, female Elegant Trogon of New Braunfels, TX (2/5/18)! Low light so a bit of ISO noise, but what a treat!

Flicking tail


Bug snack!

Pretty bird!

Note the white eye mark.

Batting eyelashes (actually, she's looking for bugs).


]]> (Kirsten Tucker) bird elegant trogon kirsten tucker photography new braunfels texas Tue, 06 Feb 2018 17:00:45 GMT
2017 Seventeen It's that time of year when photographers post their 2017 favorites. Here's my take on that: Kirsten's 2017 Seventeen! - a selection of 2017 images that make me smile, in no particular order. Yea, there are a lot of birds... I like birds!

Here's to another year of adventure, memories and pixels!

]]> (Kirsten Tucker) adventure kirsten tucker kirsten tucker photography travel Fri, 29 Dec 2017 17:50:04 GMT
Trans-Siberian Orchestra 2017 When I logged in for the fan club ticket presale, I about jumped out of my skin when it offered me front row seats. Buy! buy! buy!

The show finally arrived last night. While you can't take in a big camera, cellphone pics are okay. Thank you, TSO, for that!

True showmen and amazing talent!


]]> (Kirsten Tucker) concert holiday houston iphone kirsten tucker photography texas trans-siberian orchestra Fri, 22 Dec 2017 19:16:41 GMT
2017 Birds It's that time of year again! A sampling of the 903 avian species I saw over 4 continents in 2017.

Can't wait to see YOUR birds!

Joy & Peace this holiday season,



]]> (Kirsten Tucker) bird kirsten tucker photography Tue, 19 Dec 2017 01:18:51 GMT
Let it Snow! This past Friday, it snowed! If you reside in a northern climate, you're now thinking, "So, what?" But I've lived in Houston over 20 years now, and this is only the third snowfall I've seen here.

Alas, our magical winter wonderland was very short-lived.

]]> (Kirsten Tucker) houston kirsten tucker photography snow texas Mon, 11 Dec 2017 21:28:13 GMT
Chihuly Garden in Seattle I've always loved art glass. I cherish my grandmother's red glass pieces that were given to me when she passed away.

As a child, I fondly remember watching glass blowers create shiny beautiful paperweights at the Corning Museum. As a young adult, I bought my first piece of art glass at Corning's store - a cattail and dragonfly piece by Victor Meyer.

So when I was recently in Seattle, I made time to visit the Chihuly Garden. I could have spent all day there. It's so beautiful. You should visit.


]]> (Kirsten Tucker) chihuly glass kirsten tucker photography seattle travel Tue, 31 Oct 2017 19:15:35 GMT
BioBlitz at Kleb Woods Tucked away in Tomball, TX is my birding home away from home - Kleb Woods.

Yesterday, there was a BioBlitz, a day devoted to biological surveying in an attempt to record all the living species within the area. We still birded but we also ran around photographing plants, insects, fungus and everything that would stay still long enough. I can't wait to find out the results of the effort!

]]> (Kirsten Tucker) bioblitz kirsten tucker photography kleb woods texas tomball Thu, 05 Oct 2017 19:55:51 GMT
Choo-Choo!! We took a ride on the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad last weekend. Most of the day was quite rainy but it was still a lovely ride with the aspen trees beginning to change colors in the mountains.

I was also reminded how difficult it is to photograph on a bumpy moving steam train!


]]> (Kirsten Tucker) autumn colorado cumbres & toltec kirsten tucker photography new mexico train travel Wed, 27 Sep 2017 17:26:18 GMT
2017 Solar Eclipse In spite of abundant clouds and not being able to travel to the totality zone, I captured my first solar eclipse photos. I can't wait for the next eclipse in 2024!


"Totality" - 67% in Houston




]]> (Kirsten Tucker) eclipse houston kirsten tucker photography solar eclipse texas Tue, 22 Aug 2017 21:48:23 GMT
Point Reyes National Seashore I am a big fan of our nation's national parks. When I spent a day and half last month at Point Reyes National Seashore in northern California, I became an even bigger fan! It's chock full of wildlife and photo ops. I definitely will be returning!

If you'd like a guide to maximize your time and photo targets, contact Daniel Dietrich at Point Reyes Safaris. You will not be dissapointed.

California Quail

American Badger



Western Gull

Tule Elk




]]> (Kirsten Tucker) american badger bobcat california california quail jackrabbit kirsten tucker photography point reyes point reyes safaris travel tule elk western gull Thu, 10 Aug 2017 15:44:13 GMT
Baltic Cruise I've been off on adventures and am about to leave on another. But, before I do, I wanted to share a few photos from a recent cruise around the Baltic Sea.

Fancy chess pieces in the Rosenborg Castle museum in Copenhagen, Denmark

Iris Blooms in Copenhagen, Denmark A look up within the Spilled Blood Church in Saint Petersburg, Russia. It's all mosaics!


]]> (Kirsten Tucker) Baltic Denmark Houston Kirsten Tucker Photography Saint Petersburg Mon, 26 Jun 2017 20:10:04 GMT
Spring Babies There have been many many baby and fledgling birds to enjoy the last couple of weeks!

Loggerhead Shrike

Blue Jay

Carolina Chickadee

]]> (Kirsten Tucker) Blue Jay Caroline Chickadee Kirsten Tucker Photography Loggerhead Shrike Texas bird Wed, 03 May 2017 15:30:00 GMT
Great Horned Owlets, 2017 Edition, Part III Owlets doing some bug-watching. One week later, one owlet "branched", climbed from the nest, and explored a tree limb. The second owlet was not so sure this branching thing was a good idea. What walks out on a limb must walk back down the limb; it's a delicate balancing act!

When I last visited, only one owlet remained. The other had fledged and flown off. Owlets tend to remain in the nest area for a while, so there's a chance I may get another photo or two.

What a thrill it's been to watch them grow!


]]> (Kirsten Tucker) Great Horned Owl Kirsten Tucker Photography Texas bird owl Tue, 25 Apr 2017 23:27:16 GMT
Featherfest 2017 The first weekend of April I attended Featherfest, an annual birding and nature festival in Galveston, TX.

I'd signed up for few photo sessions and given myself plenty of time on my own to push myself "out of the box" photographically.

I think I had some success!

What do you do to shake things up for yourself?

]]> (Kirsten Tucker) Featherfest Galveston Kirsten Tucker Photography Texas Tue, 18 Apr 2017 16:55:32 GMT
Great Horned Owlets, 2017 Edition, Part II Spent a couple more hours with the Great Horned owlets. They are simultaneously shy and curious. And, they are growing so fast! They actually have a few real feathers now.

Some Bluejays came by to squawk at them; they didn't like that very much. I wouldn't like it either.

]]> (Kirsten Tucker) Great Horned Owl Kirsten Tucker Photography Texas bird owl Thu, 06 Apr 2017 01:00:00 GMT
Great Horned Owlets, 2017 Edition I am fortunate again this year to be able to watch a Great Horned Owl nest. Got my first views of the owlets yesterday.

I named the female owl "Minnie", so I guess you can call these guys Mini Minnies!



]]> (Kirsten Tucker) Great Horned Owl Kirsten Tucker Photography Texas bird owl Wed, 29 Mar 2017 00:52:56 GMT
Valley Specialties There are a number of birds that, if you'd like to see them in the U.S., you generally need to venture to south Texas into the Rio Grande Valley. Spring and fall are the best times of year to do this as migrants may also be moving through and the temperatures are still tolerable.

Some of my favorites spots are:

Some of the "Valley Specialties" you may see:

Common Pauraque Curve-billed Thrasher

Olive Sparrow Plain Chachalaca

Great Kiskadee Long-billed Thrasher

White-tipped Dove Green Kingfisher

What specialty birds have you seen in Texas?


]]> (Kirsten Tucker) Kirsten Tucker Photography Rio Grande Texas bird travel valley Sat, 25 Mar 2017 21:11:59 GMT
Maps and Mummies The Houston Museum of Natural Science held one of their fabulous Pixel Parties on Sunday night. I love these events! They give a chance to shoot in a very different environment (subjects don't generally fly or run away in museums!) and to shoot things that many people are not permitted to photograph.

We had access to a small but impressive collection of maps, covering 400 years of Texas history.

And, there was the "Mummies of the World" exhibit. Wow, just wow!

Egyptian objects A baron who must've really loved his boots! This Peruvian mummy - I was captivated by how the mummy seemed to be smiling but the reflection was entirely terrifying. Honored ancestors A family of mummies - I won't give the story away! And, after all that, I strolled through Wildlife Photographer of the Year and was impressed and humbled.

Hope I'm in town for the next Pixel Party !

]]> (Kirsten Tucker) HMNS Kirsten Tucker Photography Mummies of the World Pixel Party Texas Wildlife Photographer of the Year map mummy museum Mon, 27 Feb 2017 19:09:00 GMT
Happy Valentine's Day 2017 Smile and do something joyful today!

~ Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, October 2016

]]> (Kirsten Tucker) Kirsten Tucker Photography New Mexico balloon heart love travel Tue, 14 Feb 2017 13:26:26 GMT
The Merlin You get up really early, drive an hour and three-quarters to find some lovely birds at Anahuac NWR, and it's foggy. And, it stays foggy for hours.

Your photos are all grain because of the moisture in the air. The Burrowing Owl you went to find is not there. You've seen photos/heard tales of a Merlin that likes to perch on a post, but with the luck you're having... You are seriously bummed out.

I almost drove past him. I had about 30 seconds before he flew off.

Day redeemed. All is right with the world.

]]> (Kirsten Tucker) Anahuac NWR Kirsten Tucker Photography Merlin Texas bird falcon Sun, 15 Jan 2017 16:24:30 GMT