American Coot's large lobed feet American Coot’s large lobed feet – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/1250, ISO 400, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

I am unable to pass up opportunities to photograph American Coots, they aren’t as majestic as raptors, they aren’t as cute as hummingbirds and they certainly aren’t as colorful as Cardinals, Tanagers or birds from the parrot family but they are great subjects. I believe every bird is a worthy subject. Photographing American Coots on a cold winter day walking on snow and ice was fun and challenging.

Looking at the huge lobed feet of American Coots is enough to make me laugh. Yesterday I just could not resist these birds.

American Coot shaking off American Coot shaking off – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/1000, ISO 400, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

With every click of my shutter I am improving my skills as a photographer, I learn more about the subject and become closer to the natural world. Even when I mess up a shot I am learning.

I’ve mentioned before that I enjoy challenges and American Coots are definitely a challenge to photograph with their dark plumage and ivory-colored bills. Getting the right light and exposure is critical for bringing out the details in the plumage without blowing out the whites of the bill. Add snow-covered ice on a pond and that increases the difficulty.

This Coot makes me think of the popular game “Angry Birds” because it does look grumpy. I’ve never played the game, I have only seen the ads for it and the cartoonish “Angry Birds”.

American Coot walking on snow-covered ice American Coot walking on snow-covered ice – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/1600, ISO 400, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 357mm, natural light

Yes, I am addicted to bird photography but I am equally addicted to the birds themselves because each one is different and holds its own beauty.


PS: My day started off at 7F yesterday and at the time this post is being published it is currently 6F!