Hi. My name is Steve Siegel, and I am the chief videographer for Raven On The Mountain.
Over the years we have accumulated a lot of wild bird video. This is the place where you can see some of the best of it. Some is narrated, some has music, some is just ambient
sound. You will see some artistic experiments in the "Monet" series. I hope that these
videos complement your birding experiences and memories, because video lets you get
closer to birds than any other medium. Enjoy.
Western Grebe and Clark's Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis; A. clarkii). The famous rush where the birds run on the water, and the display that leads up to it. Watch for the preliminary display if you don't want to get caught flat-footed on the rush. It all happens pretty fast. 2013. 5:01.
Northern Gannet (Morus bassanus). These are the birds of Cape St. Mary, Newfoundland. They are easy to reach, but the weather is so often bad, that actually seeing them through the fog is a priviledge. It's the same fog that hid the iceberg from the Titanic. The grace of these gannets is belied by their vicious infighting. I suspect that some of them must be blind. 2015 3:28.
American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus). A short film features a skulking bittern. 2013. 1:05.
American Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber). These birds historically lived in South Florida. In recent memory they were only reliably found at Snake Bight in Everglades NP. You needed a great scope or a canoe to see them. Or you could go to the Hialeah Race Track for a domesticated flock. Over the past few years they have been found at a local water conservation area, where these were filmed. This material was seen in 2016 on the Today Show. Watch with music. 2016 3:02.
Tundra Swan (Cygnus columbianus). This video was shot in 4K with a little Panasonic camcorder the size of your hand. It is capable of 120 frames per second, which is why the slow motion is so smooth. Amazing little instrument. Amazing birds. 2015. 2:45.
Tundra Swan (Cygnus columbianus). "Monet's Swans" presents a new editing technique where ordinary video can be made to look like a moving painting. Feather detail is removed and replaced by what amounts to acrylic paint. Light is accentuated, as a painter would do. Look especially at the pair of flying swans, and dare anyone to tell you that these birds don't care about each other. I hope you like it. 2016. 2:46.
Snow Goose (Chen caerulescens). Shot at Bosque Del Apache, New Mexico in November. This video also features
a few Sandhill Cranes. The massive take-off, for which this refuge is famous, is best seen on a large screen. Some computers
can't handle the movement in this scene. Please be patient if it pixellates on you. Or better still, go there and feel your heart stop. 2013. 4:15.
Snow Goose (Chen caeruslescens). There are a number of Snow Goose spectaculars all over the US. This one isn't the biggest, but it's really pretty, tucked away in the tidewater of North Carolina. Although the geese are more numerous, Tundra Swans add to the spectacle. Watch how the water drips off their feet as they take off. This video was shot in 2008 and earlier. Notice how the technology, and the quality, has changed in the more recent Tundra Swan footage above. Seiurus Video is our old name (after the Ovenbird). 2008. 5:44.
Bachman's Sparrow (Aimophila aestivalis). The signature bird of southern pine flatlands, whose beautiful, canary-like song rings through the pines the way Baird's Sparrow's does over the prairie. 2013. 1:08.
Reddish Egret (Egretta rufescens). Despite running around like a drunk, this bird catches its share of fish. 2013 1:14.
Northern Pintail (Anas acuta). Another "Monet" film. The star of this little video is the russet band above the speculum on the male bird. The field guides barely show it, and you can never see it in a real-time moving duck. 2016. 1:35.
Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus). A plucky male Hooded Merganser finds his breakfast among scads of American Avocets. White Pelicans are in deeper water. A celebration of early morning light at Merritt Island NWR, Florida.
Snail Kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis). This bird was filmed while waiting for flamingos to show up. It seems to have one of the large, exotic snails that have invaded South Florida. They are bigger than the native ones, and hard to handle, but the kites seem to be eating them OK. The limpkins adore them. 2015. 1:55
Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii). This film represents the rare opportunity to capture a family of hawks over time. Communication, handling of prey, and family life are all there. The closest thing I have done to a real "nature film". 2017. 9:59.
Ornate Hawk Eagle (Spizaetus ornatus). This tropical raptor is one of the terrors of the rainforest. It hunts from ambush, like an Accipiter. Quetzals are always on the menu. 2013 1:00.
Sooty Grouse (Dendragapus fuliginosis). The deep hooting of the Sooty Grouse is hard to hear. You almost feel it
rather than hear it. The neck sacs are well-displayed in this stoked bird. The female is not far away. 2010. 1:15.
Sharp-tailed Grouse (Tympanuchus phasianellus). The bird that displays with stomping. It is said that this bird brought dance to the first Americans. Shot from the cab of a pickup truck, we were able to get close. 2013. 4:13.
Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis). Taken at Bosque del Apache at the same time as the annual Snow Goose invasion. In fact the local festival commemorating this migration spectacular is named for the cranes, not the geese. This little film shows why it is worth getting up for the early light to do your video. 2014. 1:39
Black Skimmer (Rynchops niger). Baby birds are always cute, and a little skimmer is no exception as it tunnels under its parent for some shade and protection. Skimmers have some of the longest wings for their size in the bird world, and one demonstrates flight precision worthy of a hummingbird. 2012. 1:21
Atlantic Puffin (Fratercula arctica). The puffin's tiny wings are a compromise. Just big enough to fly in air. Just right to fly under water. They aren't exactly graceful, but in the beautiful place they call home, they make a captivating scene. 2015. 3:37.
Monet's Hummingbirds. Several species of Central American hummers in slow motion and with the "Monet" painting treatment. 2016. 2:33.
Resplendent Quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno). One of the world's most beautiful birds. Being in the rainforest, one of them is wet. It enhances his colors. 2013. 1:16
Vermilion Flycatcher (Pyrocephalus rubinus). A little bit of color lights up a world of boring fields and rusty wire. 2013. 1:09
Pacific Wren (Troglodytes pacificus). If our best thrush singers can be likened to wind instrument soloists, this tiny bird offers up a whole symphony. You will be amazed at just how much continuous sound can come out of one bird. If you look carefully you might think he is singing out of both ends at the same time. In the east, the Winter Wren is similar, but I think this song is a bit more complex. 2010. 1:10.
American Dipper (Cinclus mexicanus). The little bird that walks under water, and bobs incessantly. This film is mostly about the water and surroundings where dippers live. If you find a spot like this west of the Great Plains, you will almost certainly find dippers there. 2015. 1:17.
Carolina Forest Jewels. Included here because a collection like this needs to have a few Wood Warblers. 2016. 3:16.