Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Eastern Wild Turkey Mating Season Is Underway

My wildlife photography is primarily focused on photographing the Eastern Wild Turkey mating season from the time it begins in late March until it  dies down in late May.  This has been the poorest year in recent memory with many mornings being brutally cold, and windy, which is very poor conditions in which to see turkeys.  So far, turkey sightings have been very sporadic, and gobbling activity is even more difficult to find.  I often photography deer or song birds while waiting for the gobblers to appear and the other evening I had a good encounter with a Carolina Wren while doing so.

Carolina Wren: Panasonic GH3 Lumix G 100-300mm f4-5.6 -ISO 200 1/60 sec.@ f5.6
One gets to see some mature gobblers if they put in the time and I lucked out one evening when a monster gobbler came to the edge of the meadow I was watching and surveyed the countryside before going back in the woods.

Mature Gobbler: Panasonic GH3-Canon 500mm f4.0 IS -ISO 200 1/200 sec. Unknown f stop
 You will note that I do not give the f stop information above.  When using regular MFT lenses one can read the complete exposure metadata in Photoshop, but when using the Canon lenses, which require an adapter, the ability to record lens settings to metadata is lost and only the in-camera settings are preserved.

Mornings are usually the best time to photograph wild turkeys, when the birds come to the meadows to feed  and engage in courtship activity after spending the night roosting in the woodlands.

Gobblers Strut For Hens: Panasonic GH3 Lumix G 100-300mm f4-5.6 -ISO 200 1/320 sec.@ f7.1
If one is lucky the birds may come close and give an opportunity to capture dramatic images of gobblers strutting, but one must be well hidden for this to happen as turkeys are among the most wary wildlife.

Mature Gobbler Struts: Canon 5D MK III-Canon 300mm f2.8-1.4x estender-ISO 400 1/400 sec. f5.0

I hope that activity improves, but today's post serves to illustrate that even though things may be slow, if you put in the time, you will get some satisfactory images and in time you forget how long you had to wait between encounters.

Originally posted at Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill.


Ruth Hiebert said...

You got amazing images,but I would expect nothing less from you.I love the iridescence on the Turkeys.

Linda G. said...

The photographs of the turkeys are amazing. I don't believe you could be anything other than satisfied with the time put in. That is an excellent photograph of the Carolina Wren as well.