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Outdoor Alabama
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Alabama Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources
Alabama Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources

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Photo of the Week: Osprey.

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This image of a stripetail darter by Jenna Crovo is our Photo of the Week. Stripetails are found in tributaries of the lower Ohio River basin in Illinois and Kentucky and in the Tennessee and upper Cumberland River drainages. In Alabama, this species is most commonly found in the Paint Rock River system and less frequently throughout other stream systems in the Tennessee River drainage. Adults feed on midge larvae, mayfly and stonefly nymphs, and crustaceans. Eggs are found clustered on underside of stone and guarded by males. For more information about the Stripetail darter in Alabama, visit www.outdooralabama.com/fishing/freshwater/fish/other/darters/stripetail/. Cool shot, Jenna!
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Russell Brown’s image of Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge is our Photo of the Week. Wheeler is located along the Tennessee River between Huntsville and Decatur, and provides habitat for wintering and migrating birds. The refuge supports Alabama's only significant concentration of wintering Southern James Bay Canada geese and is a major winter habitat for the state’s largest duck population. Wheeler is also Site #16 on the North Alabama Birding Trail. For more information about birding opportunities at Wheeler, visit www.alabamabirdingtrails.com. Excellent shot, Russell! 

Russell entered this photo in last year’s OA Photo Contest. There is still time to enter the 2014 contest, but hurry because tomorrow is the deadline. Visit www.outdooralabama.com for more details.
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Jeff Johnston’s image of a Painted bunting is our Photo of the Week. Related to the cardinal, these brightly colored finches breed in the coastal Southeast and in the south-central U.S., and will often come to feeders. In Alabama, your best bet to see a Painted bunting is during their migration over the southern section of the state. For more information about the Painted bunting, visit www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Painted_bunting/. Great shot, Jeff!

Jeff entered this photo in the 2013 Outdoor Alabama Photo Contest. Deadline for the 2014 contest is next Thursday, October 31. For more information, visit www.outdooralabama.com/outdoor-alabama/photo_con.cfm
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Rick Dowling’s image of a robber fly is our Photo of the Week. Robber flies are sometimes called “assassin flies” because they ambush other insects catching the unaware prey in mid-flight. Adults prey on a variety of bugs including bees, beetles, dragonflies, grasshoppers, leafhoppers, wasps, and other flies. These stealthy killers inject neurotoxic and proteolytic enzymes that paralyze the victim and liquefy its insides. There are more than 7,000 known species of robber fly. Cool shot, Rick! 

We are currently accepting entries for the 2014 Outdoor Alabama Photo Contest; deadline is October 31, 2013. This photo was entered into the Other Wildlife category in the 2013 contest. For more information, visit www.outdooralabama.com/outdoor-alabama/photo_con.cfm.
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Leigh Ann Simpson’s image of Mardis Mills Falls is our Photo of the Week. Also known as Graves Falls, this 15-foot waterfall in rural Blount County is popular with swimmers, kayakers and photographers. Great shot, Leigh Ann! 
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Martha Teal’s image of three sandhill cranes is our Photo of the Week. Standing three to four feet tall with a wingspan of up to seven feet, the sandhill crane is considered one of North America’s tallest birds. Mature birds are grey, while immature birds are pinkish brown. Both mature and young birds have a red cap beginning above the bill and continuing beyond the eye to the crown of the skull. Most sandhill cranes wintering in Alabama can be more commonly found in the Tennessee Valley, along the Alabama River corridor, and coastal counties.

This photo was taken at Florala State Park near the Florida state line and submitted in last year’s Outdoor Alabama Photo Contest. The deadline for the 2014 contest is October 31. For more information, visit http://www.outdooralabama.com/outdoor-alabama/photo_con.cfm.

All 22 Alabama State Parks are open during the current federal shutdown. To find a park near you, visit www.alapark.com.
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Chris Funk’s image of a green tree frog is our Photo of the Week. These frogs are common throughout the Southeast and spend much of their lives in trees, but will also frequent porches and patios in search of food (crickets, moths and flies). Chris submitted this photo in a previous Outdoor Alabama Photo Contest. We are currently accepting entries for the 2014 contest; deadline is October 31. For more information about the contest, visit www.outdooralabama.com/outdoor-alabama/photo_con.cfm.
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Our Photo of the Week is Scott Dover’s image of an Orange Beach sunset. Scott submitted this shot in a previous Outdoor Alabama Photo Contest. We are currently accepting entries for the 2014 contest. A complete list of categories and contest rules can be found at, www.outdooralabama.com/outdoor-alabama/photo_con.cfm. Deadline for entries is October 31, 2013. Excellent shooting, Scott!
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