Friday, May 1, 2015

Late April And Early May-A Wonderful Time To Be Afield

Late April and early-May.  The meadows and woodlands explode with beauty and wildlife sightings abound as the Eastern Wild Turkey mating season continues.  Gobblers are often seen strutting in the meadows--especially in the mornings and evenings. It is one of my favorite times of year to be afield.

Mature Gobbler Struts: Canon 7D MK II-Canon 600mm F4.0-ISO 200-1/250 sec.-F 5.0
Even though turkeys are often seen in meadows they are also woodland birds and one often thinks of the lonely, high mountain ridges when they think of them.  It is a special thrill to lie in wait and capture a mature gobbler in full strut in a woodland setting.

Mature Gobbler Struts: Canon 7D MK II-Canon 600mm F4.0-ISO 400-1/000 sec.-F 5.0
Many times one also gets other excellent photographic opportunities while waiting for the turkey s to appear, and this encounter with an Eastern Towhee was especially rewarding.

Eastern Towhee: Canon 5D MK III-Canon 100-400mm IS L II@400mm -ISO 800-1/700 sec.-F 5.6

The whitetail bucks are growing the new racks and it is always exciting to encounter a mature buck.

Antlers Developing : Canon 5D MK III-Canon 100-400mm IS L II&300mm -ISO 400-1/250 sec.-F 8.0
Antler growth is very slow through March and early April--at least in this area, but it accelerates greatly during May and within two weeks many of the mature bucks will have developed the beginnings of points.

Buck In Velvet: Canon 7D MK II-Canon 600mm F4.0-ISO 400-1/640 sec.-F 5.0
This is the third year this  buck  has grown antlers.  Last year he had a thin-narrow 8-point rack.  It will be interesting to see what he grows this year, but I can predict that the rack will be relatively narrow, although he should gain a lot of mass and perhaps grow more points. 

Originally published at Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill.

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