Thursday, June 6, 2013

Young Wildlife Makes Exceptional Subjects

Whitetail Fawn: Canon 5D MK III-Canon 300mm f2.8 IS L +1.4 Extender-ISO 400-1/200 sec. f 11
One by one, the new fawns show up, but so far sightings have been sporadic. The fawn featured today appeared for the first time on Memorial day evening and was back in the meadow the following evening, but since then it has only given me a few brief photographic opportunities.  This is normal in my experience with the young animals being easily seen within a day or so of birth, but then being more difficult to see for a time.  The does hide them so that predators cannot locate them while the does go to the meadows to graze, but it seems that on occasion the fawns do not stay put as they are supposed to and follow the does.  Within a few weeks they will begin following the mother more and more.  They will be her constant companions by mid-summer and will remain so until they disperse or are killed.  

Doe Grooms Fawn: Canon 5D MK III-Canon 300mm f2.8 IS L +1.4 Extender-ISO 640-1/500 sec. f 5
Other young animals provide excellent subjects as well and I discovered a family of woodchucks in a backcountry meadow.  While these animals are the bane of farmers and gardeners, this family is  fortunate in that they are utilizing a meadow that is maintained  as a food plot for wildlife and their presence is welcome.

I usually watch this spot in the evening, but the area where they feed and around their den is shaded, which doesn't give the best lighting.  I happened to walk to the meadow soon after sunrise on Wednesday morning and noticed them feeding in good light, so I decided to work them for awhile.  I was traveling light as I intended to walk quite a distance looking for fawns and had only the GH3 and the 14-140mm and 100-300mm lenses.  The young chucks alternated between playing around their den and eating in the food plot.  A fallen tree made an exceptionally good place for one to pose on.

Young Woodchuck: Panasonic GH3-Lumix 100-300mmf4-5.6 @ 300mm-ISO 400-1/160 sec. f8
At this point I am not sure how many woodchucks are in this family, but I saw at least three scattered through the food-plot.

Young Woodchuck: Panasonic GH3-Lumix 100-300mmf4-5.6 @ 205mm-ISO 400-1/200 sec. f5.6
The sighting of these young chucks changed an unproductive morning into one to remember. I hope to return on a sunny morning with the 5D MK III and one of the big telephotos and try for more portraits. 

Originally posted at Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill.


Linda G. said...

Your name came up several times this past weekend, as Bob and I wandered about the countryside in Warren County. We saw one doe and one fawn in two different places, as we were driving along a back road. We stopped and just looked, until they moved on. I didn't even think of getting out my camera. I was so much in awe of the moment. I see that you are finding baby animals, other than fawns .. the woodchuck. We saw baby foxes. The young are all around this time of year!

Ruth Hiebert said...

Those fawns are adorable. I have only seen one little one once and felt it was a very special moment.

Lindsjö taxar said...

The fawns are Beautiful catched. You have great luck to see them