Virginia Animal Portraits

Virginia fauna have long been of special interest to me. I have an extensive history of working with Virginia animals both as a photographer and as an experienced wildlife rehabilitator. I was also long-time president of the Williamsburg S.P.C.A. Board of Directors and a past-president of the Virginia Federation of Humane Societies. Over a twenty-year span of time I raised many wild orphans for eventual release back to the wild: baby birds, raccoons, possum, squirrels, wild cottontails, and more. My camera was (and still is) always within reach.

Enjoy these of portraits of some of my four-footed or feathered friends from those years gone by.

It was one of those hazy, lazy, steamy days of summer when the only good thing to do was to sit by a cooling pond to watch the world go by. I was thinking about packing up my camera gear when I noticed three white Mallards swimming towards me from across the pond. What the heck, I decided to watch them as they approached with my finger on the shutter button, you know, just in case...suddenly all three went bottoms up right in front of me and luckily I was ready! CLICK!

Anas platyrhynchos


Leicester longwool sheep are part of Colonial Williamsburg's rare breeds program. I lived in Williamsburg at the time and regularly visited this pasture during birthing season. On this particular day I watched with curiosity as a newborn lamb painstakingly climbed up on 'Dad' while he was lying in the grass. I held my breath as 'Dad" jerked and stood up. I was able to catch this single frame of that KODAK moment. CLICK!

Ovis aries


I encountered this mating pair of Canada Geese early one foggy morning on the scenic Colonial Parkway near Williamsburg. I stopped and grabbed my tripod-mounted camera, then stepped out of my car into the middle of the road. Luckily the rest of the world was still asleep! CLICK! I was able to get this single frame before the KACHINK of my Nikon broke the foggy silence and triggered flight.

Branta canadensis


A male Eastern bluebird takes a turn at feeding a juvenile in a nest box. Talk about a mid-air lunch! The mating pair were used to me. As soon as I realized that a Bluebird family was in the making I set up a presence including a tripod and camera with a big black telephoto lens mounted on it. I positioned myself 50 ft or so from the box for days and hours on end, waiting patiently for interesting things to happen. Luckily this setup was in my own backyard. CLICK!

Sialia sialis


Very few people get to see these wonderous creatures so close up. I rescued this orphaned Eastern cottontail from the ravages of a lawnmover. He was a mere two and a half inches tall at the time this photograph was taken. Within 24-hrs he was already too wild to 'sit' for such a portrait! A real Beatrix Potter, this one... CLICK!

Sylvilagus floridanus


There is nothing quite as endearing as baby squirrels, in this case two Eastern grey squirrels. They were orphaned and in rehabilitative care, and thus were temporarily docile enough to pose (oh, so briefly) in a nearby wine goblet. CLICK!

Sciurus carolinensis


This tiny White-tailed fawn was still unstable on his feet, having been born just a few hours earlier. He was about as big as a minute as you can see from the size of the weeds at his feet. CLICK! Someone picked up the fawn and brought it to me, thinking that it had been abandoned by its mother. In reality, its mother was probably hidden in the nearby shadows...watching. This little guy was raised to maturity by experienced rehabilitators and eventually released to the wild.

Odocoileus virginianus


I hand-raised this orphaned Flying squirrel along with two of his siblings. They were found in a nest on the ground after a hurricane. They are nocturnal creatures, so encounters with them in the wild are rare. I had a small screened porch for them that I filled with large tree branches, and I designed a nest box made with successively smaller boxes inside each other to deter snakes and other such predators. These speed demons are very difficult to photograph! CLICK! Once they were ready for release, I transported them inside their nest box to a pre-selected spot in an old growth forest; and with the help of a friend, mounted their box high up in a towering Oak tree. We watched as they ventured out and happily flitted about in the emerging darkness.

Glaucomys spp.


At maturity, House wrens are 4-5-inches in length. They generally produce two clutches per season, each with an average of six eggs which the mother incubates for about 12 days. See the partially open eye? That means it won't be long before they fledge. CLICK! The chicks all leave the nest within hours of each other.

Troglodytes aedon


This large American Milking Red Devon male was curious about what I was doing on the other side of his 6-ft tall fence. He is part of Colonial Williamsburg's acclaimed rare breeds program...and a 'big' part of it at that (weighing in at approximately 1,600 lbs). The breed was brought to North America in the 17th century. I was standing on a step ladder when this was taken. CLICK!

B.p. taurus


This is an unlikely pair! Cat Chessie was basking in the sun on her favorite window sill when along came a house guest who was being hand-raised for eventual release to the wild. The 'guest' is a juvenile Eastern bluebird that was practicing swooping and flying at the time, and building up strength, who suddenly flew far afield of her prescribed practice area. Cat Chessie was not the least bit concerned about this ump-teenth animal visitor in the household (yawn). A KODAK moment for sure...CLICK!

Blue Bird Sialia sialis


Cat Chessie says this is more like it. CLICK!


Return to Travel Galleries



This site is copyright-protected

The images, text and style of this site are licensed for viewing on your computer through your Internet browser during your visit. No rights to down load, save, copy, print, redistribute or use in any other manner or method are allowed or implied without the prior written consent of the copyright owner. Any unauthorized use of the images or literary content herein is a violation of federal and international copyright laws.