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Harris’s Hawk Perching

In Images by Matt Shetzer

A Harris’s hawk flutters its wings, perching on a branch in the Rio Grande valley. Check out its white tail feathers, sharp talons, and even sharper stare. It doesn’t look like the friendliest raptor, but the Harris’s hawk is one of the few birds of prey that hunts in a group. Stock Image #20190307-10062905 Harris’s Hawk Perching was last modified: June 27th, 2020 by Matt Shetzer

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Western Diamondback Rattlesnake in South Texas

In Images by Matt Shetzer

A western diamondback rattlesnake rears up in South Texas, sticking out its forked tongue. Western diamondbacks spend most of the day asleep, curled up on sunny rocks to warm their cold blood. They can “smell” heat with a special organ in their nose, which they use to find their prey. Stock Image #20170327-101437 Western Diamondback Rattlesnake in South Texas was last modified: June 27th, 2020 by Matt Shetzer

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Pair of Green Jays

In Images by Matt Shetzer

Two green jays photographed on a tree branch in South Texas. The photo clearly shows their blue heads, green feathers, yellow stomachs, and teal tail feathers, along with their interestingly shaped black face masks. Stock Image #20190130-09345505 Pair of Green Jays was last modified: June 27th, 2020 by Matt Shetzer

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Northern Mockingbird in South Texas

In Images by Matt Shetzer

A northern mockingbird sits on a branch, surrounded by colorful berries. The mockingbird is the state bird of Texas. They love being the center of attention, and so aren’t hard to photograph. Stock Image #20180214-15385966 Northern Mockingbird in South Texas was last modified: June 27th, 2020 by Matt Shetzer

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Long Billed Thrasher in South Texas

In Images by Matt Shetzer

The long-billed thrasher is a songbird from Texas and northeastern Mexico, about the size of a robin. It can be recognized by its speckled belly and by its habit of clearing brush from the ground to search for food. Stock Image #20190129-07055262 Long Billed Thrasher in South Texas was last modified: June 27th, 2020 by Matt Shetzer

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Harris’s Hawk Photo

In Images by Matt Shetzer

A Harris’s hawk photographed in South Texas. This majestic raptor was named by John James Audubon himself, after his naturalist friend Edward Harris. Stock Image #20190130-12095417 Harris’s Hawk Photo was last modified: June 27th, 2020 by Matt Shetzer

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Long Billed Thrasher on a Cactus

In Images by Matt Shetzer

A long-billed Thrasher, photographed on the arm of a cactus at a South Texas birding ranch. The picture clearly shows its black-spotted chest and unmissable orange eyes. Stock Image #20190304-14005897 Long Billed Thrasher on a Cactus was last modified: June 27th, 2020 by Matt Shetzer

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Harris’s Hawk in South Texas

In Images by Matt Shetzer

A close up photo of a Harris’s Hawk, showing its head in profile. Harris’s Hawk is a unique raptor that isn’t very closely related to any other American birds of prey. It’s most famous for “back stacking,” in which several hawks will stand on each others’ backs. The behavior helps them see farther in the scrublands of South Texas, where trees don’t grow very tall. Stock Image #20190130-12114879 Harris’s Hawk in South Texas was last modified: June 27th, 2020 by …

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Harris’s Hawk and Prickly Pear Cactus

In Images by Matt Shetzer

A Harris’s Hawk at a south Texas birding ranch, posing atop a prickly pear cactus. Harris’s Hawks perch wherever they can find a good vantage point, heedless of the danger of getting pricked. Stock Image #20190305-08551935 Harris’s Hawk and Prickly Pear Cactus was last modified: June 27th, 2020 by Matt Shetzer

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Long Billed Thrasher in Texas

In Images by Matt Shetzer

This long-billed thrasher, a Texan and Mexican tropical songbird, is probably searching this muddy puddle for insects to snack on. An expert forager, the long-billed thrasher can live in any area with enough brushy ground cover. Stock Image #20190305-13565072 Long Billed Thrasher in Texas was last modified: June 27th, 2020 by Matt Shetzer

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Harris’s Hawk and Cactus in Texas

In Images by Matt Shetzer

A Harris’s Hawk and a prickly pear cactus. All it needs is a snake to re-enact the Mexican flag. Harris’s hawks are a common sight in south Texas. They’re sociable with one another, and not very afraid of humans. Since they like to eat pigeons, they’re even seen in built-up urban areas. Stock Image #20190305-08571205 Harris’s Hawk and Cactus in Texas was last modified: June 27th, 2020 by Matt Shetzer

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Harris’s Hawk Close Up Photo

In Images by Matt Shetzer

A Harris’s Hawk looks into the camera. Photograph taken at a birding ranch in Texas, near the village of Laguna Seca. The Harris’s Hawk is a devious hunter that uses its sociability to great advantage. Often, one or two of them will chase prey directly into the talons of a third, with everyone sharing the meal. Stock Image #20190305-09044599 Harris’s Hawk Close Up Photo was last modified: June 27th, 2020 by Matt Shetzer

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Greater Roadrunner Photo

In Images by Matt Shetzer

A greater roadrunner photographed at a South Texas birding ranch. These desert birds grow up to two feet long, and can be recognized by the crest of blue feathers on their heads. Their top ground speed is about 15 miles an hour. Unfortunately for fans of the old cartoons, a coyote runs at around 40. Stock Image #20190306-08065028 Greater Roadrunner Photo was last modified: June 27th, 2020 by Matt Shetzer

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Picture of a Greater Roadrunner

In Images by Matt Shetzer

A greater roadrunner near the Rio Grande in south Texas, looking cool and confident. It has a right to be cocky: these birds are natural survivors. They even know how to eat venomous lizard, snakes, and scorpions without falling ill. Stock Image #20190306-08074539 Picture of a Greater Roadrunner was last modified: June 27th, 2020 by Matt Shetzer

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Close Up on Roadrunner Eye

In Images by Matt Shetzer

The eye of a greater roadrunner, the famous desert birds of the American southwest. While they’re best known for running, roadrunners have several other tricks for thriving in the arid landscape. This eye contains a gland for secreting salt from their blood, which saves water over the usual method (urine). Stock Image #20190306-08065028 Close Up on Roadrunner Eye was last modified: June 27th, 2020 by Matt Shetzer

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Long Billed Thrasher Bathing

In Images by Matt Shetzer

A long-billed thrasher beats its wings to rise out of a puddle while taking a bath. These songbirds are very photogenic, and during the spring, can often be found showing off for potential mates. Photograph taken near the Rio Grande in South Texas. Stock Image #20190306-10104154 Long Billed Thrasher Bathing was last modified: June 27th, 2020 by Matt Shetzer

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Greater Roadrunner Plumage Photo

In Images by Matt Shetzer

A picture that shows the coloration of a greater roadrunner’s feathers, though its iconic blue crest isn’t raised right now. The roadrunner is a hero in many indigenous belief systems throughout the American southwest. Seeing its footprint is said to be good luck, since evil spirits can’t follow roadrunners. Stock Image #20190306-09293960 Greater Roadrunner Plumage Photo was last modified: June 27th, 2020 by Matt Shetzer

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Green Jay and Red Berries

In Images by Matt Shetzer

This green jay makes for a beautiful color contrast with the berries it’s currently checking out. Green jays are omnivorous, and will eat anything they can get their beaks on. Birders have seen them cracking seeds open by smashing them with their bills, and snatching insects out of the air. Stock Image #20190306-09291240 Green Jay and Red Berries was last modified: June 27th, 2020 by Matt Shetzer

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Nine Banded Armadillo in South Texas

In Images by Matt Shetzer

A nine-banded armadillo photographed near Santa Clara, Texas. Taken quite close to the Rio Grande. The nine-banded armadillo is the only armadillo native to the United States. Contrary to popular belief, it cannot roll up into a sphere to protect itself (though some other armadillo species can). Stock Image #20190307-16205782 Nine Banded Armadillo in South Texas was last modified: June 27th, 2020 by Matt Shetzer

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Harris’s Hawk Wingspan

In Images by Matt Shetzer

A Harris’s hawk perches on a branch near Santa Clara, Texas, spreading its wings to their full three-plus feet. These hawks are known for letting humans get exceptionally close, resulting in awesome photos like this one. It also makes them popular as trained sport birds. Stock Image #20190307-10004032 Harris’s Hawk Wingspan was last modified: June 27th, 2020 by Matt Shetzer

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Harris’s Hawk in Flight

In Images by Matt Shetzer

A Harris’s hawk on the wing is a truly majestic sight. This one could be hunting, though swooping and diving are also mating displays. Outside of Texas, Americans rarely get to see these raptors at home: their range expands all the way to the upper parts of South America, but has its northern boundary in Texas. Stock Image #20190307-10062744 Harris’s Hawk in Flight was last modified: June 27th, 2020 by Matt Shetzer

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Fiery Throated Hummingbird Wingspan

In Images by Matt Shetzer

In this close up photo of a fiery-throated hummingbird, you can see not only its full wingspan, but also the patch of feathers at its neck that give it its name. The light hits the fiery throat at just the right angle that it really looks ablaze. Hummingbirds are famously twitchy, so getting a picture from this close requires a lot of patience. Stock Image #20190412-13490197 Fiery Throated Hummingbird Wingspan was last modified: June 25th, 2020 by Matt Shetzer

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Fiery Throated Hummingbird Landing on Flower

In Images by Matt Shetzer

An extremely close photograph of a fiery-throated hummingbird with its wings spread. It’s landing on a flower, preparing to drink the sugary nectar. Hummingbirds aren’t just pretty faces. In the Costa Rican cloud forest, they’re also crucial for pollinating plants whose shapes keep out flies and bees. Stock Image #20190412-14020672 Fiery Throated Hummingbird Landing on Flower was last modified: June 25th, 2020 by Matt Shetzer

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Fiery Throated Hummingbird Photo

In Images by Matt Shetzer

A fiery-throated hummingbird sips nectar. This photograph was taken in a Costa Rican cloud forest, a biome found at higher elevations than a rainforest where most moisture hangs around as misty vapor. Fiery-throated hummingbirds display a unique metallic shade on all their feathers. Their shimmery plumage changes from blazing orange at their throat to deep blue at the base of their tails. Stock Image #20190412-12504949 Fiery Throated Hummingbird Photo was last modified: June 25th, 2020 by Matt Shetzer

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Fiery Throated Hummingbird and Flower

In Images by Matt Shetzer

This fiery-throated hummingbird looks like it’s considering a plan of attack. It doesn’t need to worry: with its long, straw-like beak, it’s uniquely adapted to drink out of long, tube-like flowers. Buds with this shape tend to have the highest sugar content, which fiery-throated hummingbirds love. Stock Image #20190412-12541237 Fiery Throated Hummingbird and Flower was last modified: June 25th, 2020 by Matt Shetzer

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Cute Baby Sloths

In Images by Matt Shetzer

A pair of adorable young two-toed sloths hang from a tree branch in Costa Rica. They’re already developing the powerful limbs that make them able to hang from branches while they sleep. For most of their lives, the only time these sloths will come down from the canopy is when they’ve exhausted all the food on their current tree. Luckily for those passing below, they also come down to poop. Stock Image #20190414-09520579 Cute Baby Sloths was last modified: June …

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Composite Photo of a Resplendent Quetzal Returning to its Nest

In Images by Matt Shetzer

This picture collates three images of a male resplendent quetzal, as it folds its wings to land on a tree trunk. Inside the trunk, the male and his mate have dug out a brooding chamber to hatch and raise their eggs. The quetzal has some food in its mouth, which might be some of the first solid food its chicks ever taste. Stock Image #20190422-15362773 Composite Photo of a Resplendent Quetzal Returning to its Nest was last modified: June 25th, …

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Costa Rica Resplendent Quetzal Picture

In Images by Matt Shetzer

Along with their emerald-green color palette and the males’ long tail feathers, resplendent quetzals are known for their deep, lyrical calls. They have a wide vocal range, useful in many situations. For example, this quetzal might let out a noise when he takes flight, a different one to warn other quetzals about danger, and yet another one to let his mate know it’s his turn to guard the nest. Stock Image #20190422-15372491 Costa Rica Resplendent Quetzal Picture was last modified: …

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White Faced Capuchin Funny Photograph

In Images by Matt Shetzer

A white-faced capuchin monkey in Costa Rica, probably wondering who that sign is referring to. Not him, certainly. While they’re famous as tame “organ grinder” monkeys, capuchins should not be approached or fed in the wild. Capuchins that learn to get their food from humans can become aggressive, and lose their survival instincts. Stock Image #20190410-04274226 White Faced Capuchin Funny Photograph was last modified: June 25th, 2020 by Matt Shetzer

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Chachalaca With Chick in Costa Rica

In Images by Matt Shetzer

A chachalaca, pictured with its chick near Sarapiqui, Costa Rica. These unique birds can best be described as a tropical chicken. Chachalacas are Central America’s morning birds, crying out every day at dawn. Unlike barnyard chickens, however, they’re comfortable living in trees. Stock Image #20190417-11032498 Chachalaca With Chick in Costa Rica was last modified: June 25th, 2020 by Matt Shetzer

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Two Talamanca Hummingbirds Drinking Nectar

In Images by Matt Shetzer

The talamanca hummingbird was once called the magnificent hummingbird, probably because it’s so much larger than most other hummingbirds. The male, at the top right, can be told apart by his turquoise throat. The female, at bottom left, has a yellow throat that fades into a green belly. Stock Image #20190412-11492783 Two Talamanca Hummingbirds Drinking Nectar was last modified: June 25th, 2020 by Matt Shetzer

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Two Bare Throated Tiger Herons in Tortuguero National Park

In Images by Matt Shetzer

Two bare-throated tiger herons hold a conference in Costa Rica’s Tortuguero National Park. These herons, mostly found in Mexico and Central America, have distinctive black caps, blue-gray cheeks, and white (or “bare” throats. It’s possible these two are engaged in courtship, but it’s hard to know for sure, since the bare-throated tiger heron’s mating behaviors are not yet well-documented. Stock Image #20190408-07250728 Two Bare Throated Tiger Herons in Tortuguero National Park was last modified: June 25th, 2020 by Matt Shetzer

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Two Scarlet Macaws in Costa Rica

In Images by Matt Shetzer

A pair of scarlet macaws enjoy a quiet moment together. These proud Costa Rican natives are the world’s most recognizable parrots, familiar from the shoulders of pirates the world over. In addition to Costa Rica, the scarlet macaw enjoys a wide range, stretching from Mexico to Peru to Trinidad. However, they’re still under threat, partly from being captured and sold as exotic pets. Stock Image #20190407-08542094 Two Scarlet Macaws in Costa Rica was last modified: June 25th, 2020 by Matt …

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Resplendent Quetzal With Green Tail Feathers

In Images by Matt Shetzer

A male resplendent quetzal surveys its home territory in Costa Rica. These green and turquoise birds are famed throughout Central America, and even lend their name to Guatemala’s currency. Among the ancient Aztecs and Maya, priests and kings reserved the right to wear quetzal feathers. Stock Image #20190411-10270035 Resplendent Quetzal With Green Tail Feathers was last modified: June 25th, 2020 by Matt Shetzer

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Resplendent Quetzal Male with Food for Chicks

In Images by Matt Shetzer

Photo of a male resplendent quetzal, bringing food home to its mate and chicks. After bringing back enough snacks, the male will take his turn guarding the kids, while his mate goes off to forage. The male is usually responsible for teaching the chicks to fly. He coaxes one of his chicks to the door of the nest, then models flight until the chick takes to the air. The second chick then learns by copying the first one. Stock Image …

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Resplendent Quetzal Male Leaving Nest

In Images by Matt Shetzer

A resplendent quetzal male spreads its wings and flies away from the tree where it has made its nest. From this angle, you can see all of the bird’s colors, including its green back, black wings, red chest, and long blue-green tail train. When it’s time to lay eggs, resplendent quetzals dig a hole in a rotted tree trunk with their beaks. After the female lays the eggs, both parents take turns incubating them. Stock Image #20190422-14554263 Resplendent Quetzal Male …

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Picture of a Fiery Throated Hummingbird

In Images by Matt Shetzer

A fiery-throated hummingbird hovers in midair, beating its small wings hundreds of times a minute to stay aloft. Hummingbirds like this one are the only birds who are capable of flying backwards. Photograph taken in the highlands of Costa Rica, near Paraiso Quetzal Lodge. Stock Image #20190412-15224575 Picture of a Fiery Throated Hummingbird was last modified: June 25th, 2020 by Matt Shetzer

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Resplendent Quetzal Feeding Chick

In Images by Matt Shetzer

A male resplendent quetzal male pauses for a rest before making his way home to feed his young chick. Quetzals have an omnivorous diet, and love to eat fruit, insects, and anything else small enough for their beaks. Quetzals introduce their chicks to solid food when the babies are about two weeks old. After leaving the nest, the young are sometimes seen visiting their parents. Stock Image #20190422-09065862 Resplendent Quetzal Feeding Chick was last modified: June 25th, 2020 by Matt …

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Photo of a Male Talamanca Hummingbird

In Images by Matt Shetzer

A male talamanca hummingbird feeds on nectar in the Costa Rican highlands. These high Andean cloud forests are paradises for brightly colored hummingbirds. The talamanca hummingbird was called the magnificent hummingbird, until that species was split into two. Rivoli’s hummingbird lives in the northern half of the former “magnificent” range, and the talamanca lives in the south, from Costa Rica to Panama. Stock Image #20190412-15104805 Photo of a Male Talamanca Hummingbird was last modified: June 25th, 2020 by Matt Shetzer

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Male Resplendent Quetzal

In Images by Matt Shetzer

A resplendent quetzal perches on a mossy branch. You can tell he’s a male from his long tail train, which truly deserves the name “resplendent.” These trains can reach up to three feet long by mating season, when the males will use them to prove their fitness to females. Stock Image #20190411-10054940 Male Resplendent Quetzal was last modified: June 25th, 2020 by Matt Shetzer

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Male Green Basilisk or Jesus Christ Lizard

In Images by Matt Shetzer

Photo of a green basilisk, a Central American lizard that can grow up to two feet long. The crests on this lizard’s head, back, and tail indicate that he’s male. The green basilisk is nicknamed the Jesus Christ Lizard, due to its long toes that let it run across the surface of water for over 15 feet at a time. This adaptation is their main way of escaping predators. Stock Image #20190408-15253251 Male Green Basilisk or Jesus Christ Lizard was …

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Howler Monkeys Climbing in Costa Rica

In Images by Matt Shetzer

Photo of a howler monkey and child clambering through the rainforest canopy. The parent grips the leaf with powerful hands and feet, while the child looks into the camera. The howls of howler monkeys are loud enough for humans to hear from three miles away. Troops of howler monkeys howl together to let strangers know their part of the forest is occupied. Stock Image #20190409-15343898 Howler Monkeys Climbing in Costa Rica was last modified: June 25th, 2020 by Matt Shetzer

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King Vulture in Northern Costa Rica

In Images by Matt Shetzer

The king vulture is the biggest vulture in Costa Rica, and the second largest in the Americas. Its wingspan can measure up to 32 inches. In this photo, you can clearly see that the king vulture’s head has no feathers, which helps keep them clean while eating carrion. The lack of feathers prevents this vulture’s food from sticking to its face, potentially infecting it with bacteria. Stock Image #20190406-08284687 King Vulture in Northern Costa Rica was last modified: June 25th, …

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Howler Monkey With Child on Back

In Images by Matt Shetzer

In the lowland rainforest of Costa Rica, a howler monkey carries its young child through the canopy on its back. When it grows up, the child will strike out on its own, joining a troop of unrelated monkeys. Howler monkeys are easy to distinguish by their prehensile tails and furry beards. Of course, once they start howling, they’re hard to mistake. Stock Image #20190409-15342868 Howler Monkey With Child on Back was last modified: June 25th, 2020 by Matt Shetzer

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Green Parrot Snake Photograph

In Images by Matt Shetzer

The green parrot snake is also called the green tree snake; locals sometimes call it a lora. It can grow up to six and a half feet long. While that might sound intimidating, green parrot snakes are actually harmless to humans. Their main defense mechanism is to mimic other snakes, like the Forest Pit Viper, which have strong venom. If you were a predator, would you take the chance? Stock Image #20190406-14290904 Green Parrot Snake Photograph was last modified: June …

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Sunset At Cathedral Peaks in Alaska

In Images by Matt Shetzer

Cathedral Mountain rises over the Chilkat River near Haines, Alaska. At sunset, the sun’s rays shone over the mountain, creating this beautiful scene. It’s not clear where the name of the mountain comes from, but it wouldn’t be surprising to learn that an early explorer saw this same sunset and thought of the light through a cathedral’s stained glass. Stock Image #20191109-15524426 Sunset At Cathedral Peaks in Alaska was last modified: June 24th, 2020 by Matt Shetzer

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Plate Billed Mountain Toucan Photo

In Images by Matt Shetzer

A plate-billed mountain toucan in Ecuador. It’s named for the yellow-orange “plate” on its bill, which is black to dark-red otherwise. Plate-billed mountain toucans are loud enough to hear almost a mile away. Males and females have distinct calls, adding lots of noise to the symphony of the cloud forest. Stock Image #20190522-08451071 Plate Billed Mountain Toucan Photo was last modified: June 24th, 2020 by Matt Shetzer

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Sunrise Over the Alaskan Coastal Range

In Images by Matt Shetzer

A glorious sunrise, photographed near Haines, Alaska. The sky over the Coast Mountains turns a fiery mix of colors every morning. These mountains are part of an unbroken chain along the northern Pacific coast. They run from Alaska through the Yukon and British Columbia, all the way down to the border with Washington State. Stock Image #20181116-07452432 Sunrise Over the Alaskan Coastal Range was last modified: June 24th, 2020 by Matt Shetzer

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Plate Billed Mountain Toucan in Profile

In Images by Matt Shetzer

A plate-billed mountain toucan in the Mindo Cloudforest. From this angle, you can see all its colors clearly, from its blue-gray belly and chestnut wings to the rectangular plate on its bill. Where there’s one plate-billed mountain toucan, there’s almost always more. They live in monogamous pairs, and often gather together in larger groups of family and friends. Stock Image #20190529-08065365 Plate Billed Mountain Toucan in Profile was last modified: June 24th, 2020 by Matt Shetzer

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Photo of an Andean Fox

In Images by Matt Shetzer

In the middle distance, an Andean fox shows off its perked ears and bushy tail. This abundant fox species is also called the Culpeo fox, or Zorro Culpeo. It’s no wonder this one looks a little on edge. Humans are the Andean fox’s only natural enemies. Stock Image #20190526-06174621 Photo of an Andean Fox was last modified: June 24th, 2020 by Matt Shetzer