Friday, May 18, 2012

Spring Wildlife

From early March until mid-May, I spend most of my time afield filming and photographing the Eastern Wild Turkey mating season--mostly working at catching the gobblers strutting and performing the courtship display.

Mature Gobbler Performs Courtship Display: Canon 500mm F4

I see large numbers of deer while doing this, but they are not the most appealing subjects at this time of year as their coats are ragged and bleached looking while they shed the brown winter coat and transition to the sleek red coat of summer.  As a result, most of my photographs are of turkeys. This intense focus on one species makes blogging difficult as it gets somewhat redundant featuring post after post of the same subject.

Fortunately other species do venture near enough for good photo opportunities at times, and today we feature some of the better shots taken of birds while waiting for the gobblers to appear.

Mourning doves are frequently seen, but often at too great of a distance for the best portraits.  At times the countryside resounds with their mournful song. 

Mourning Dove: Canon 7D-300mmF2.8 with 2x Extender
Crows are always present, but they are either usually too far, or the light is not right to capture detail, but on occasion things come together and it is possible to get a usable photograph.

Common Crow: Canon 7D-300mm F2.8 with 1.4 Extender
It is always a special treat to encounter an Eastern Towhee.  These small birds flit about the forest floor and are not too difficult to see in my area, but it is hard to catch them sitting still long enough to get the camera in position and click the release. On occasion; however, one is rewarded with success.

Female Eastern Towhee: Canon 7D-300mm F2.8 with 1.4 Extender

Stay tuned for some more thoughts on CS6, new Canon DSLRs that are on the way, and some detailed information on utilizing the video potential of the  Canon T3i or 600D  as it is known in other parts of the world. (Why didn't they use that name in the US also--it sounds so much better to me.)  I will try to deal with some or all of these subjects soon, but it has been difficult to find time to post as I am working on "Pennsylvania Elk Country" a new film on Pennsylvania Elk and the other wildlife that live in the northwoods, between this, photographing most mornings and evenings, and dealing with the necessary details of daily life, it seems there are not enough hours in the day.

Originally posted at Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill.