Yawning Chukar

Yawning Chukar – Nikon D300, f8, 1/1250, ISO 500, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 285mm, natural light

Yesterday it looked like I was going to get skunked, the clouds kept moving in and out, mostly in when there was a bird nearby and out when there weren’t any birds around. The wind was blowing, not nearly a gale but it was coming from the north and felt icy and wind can often times keep birds down. I’d gotten a few Western Meadowlark images I didn’t feel were going to be that great so I felt skunked.

Before leaving Antelope Island though we drove around near the marina and I spotted this Chukar on a boulder and in between the shadows of the clouds racing by I was able to take a few well lit images. The Chukar wasn’t calling in this frame, it was yawning.

Calling ChukarCalling Chukar – Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/1000, ISO 500, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 235mm, natural light

Before too long I heard the sound of wings and the noises that Chukars make when they are disturbed or flying (or both) nearby and this Chukar reacted to their presence by calling.

Chukar stretchingChukar stretching – Nikon D300, f8, 1/400, ISO 500, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 235mm, natural light

And it also did a stretch. I wish the stretched out wing actually showed in this image but I don’t get to see them stretch often so I am happy.

Chukar calling in early springChukar calling in early spring – Nikon D300, f8, 1/1000, ISO 500, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 285mm, natural light

Right after it stretched it began calling again. The call can be heard here, a little more than half way down the page. It is breeding season for the Chukars so I expect I’ll be hearing them quite often.

Chukar on a boulderChukar on a boulder – Nikon D300, f8, 1/500, ISO 500, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 228mm, natural light

Some times there is one bird that makes (or perhaps saves) a day, yesterday it was this Chukar for me. I can say I didn’t get skunked!

Mia