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 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 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 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 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!
More Chukar images
Scratching Snowy Egret – Nikon D200, handheld, f5.6, 1/250, ISO 400, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 200mm
I love winter, I love seeing snow on the mountains and feeling the crispness in the air but I am getting tired of gray cloudy days and heavy fog so I thought I would post a few images from warmer and sunnier days that I took while I lived in Florida.
It wasn’t exactly sunny when I photographed the Snowy Egret scratching its neck above but it certainly was warmer.
White Ibis feeding in the Gulf of Mexico Nikon D200, handheld, f8, 1/800, ISO 250, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 300mm, natural light
It was quite warm when I photographed this adult White Ibis as it hunted and fed in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico on a sunny August day in 2008. Temps were probably in the high 90′s with humidity levels of about the same.
Brown Pelican in flight – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/800, ISO 200, Nikkor 70-300mm VR at 300mm, natural light
I took the Brown Pelican in flight image not long after I had gotten my Nikon D200 and I was learning about the camera. Unfortunately I clipped just the top of the pelican’s wingtip at the top of the frame so when I cropped the image I removed just the wingtips at the lower edge of the frame to balance out the composition. I’m still not sure I like that but I do love the direct eye contact I got from the pelican and the fluffy clouds in the background.
Black Skimmer on a hazy day Nikon D200, handheld, f7.1, 1/750, ISO 200, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light
It was a hazy day when I photographed this Black Skimmer adult in breeding plumage, the wind was blowing and the temps were fairly high. I remember the warmth and texture of the sugar sand I was laying on and being grateful for the wind to help cool me off while I took images of this Skimmer calling.
I’m not exactly wishing winter would go away because winter here in Utah will last a bit longer but when I edit images from warmer days I realize it won’t be long until spring has sprung.
Chukar calling on a snow-covered rock
Yesterday I spotted a covey of Chukars on Antelope Island foraging in the snow, this Chukar was pulling guard duty and standing on top of a snow covered rock and for a bit it was calling. I haven’t heard that sound in a few months so I was overjoyed to get images of it.
The Chukar takes off running
All of a sudden the calling Chukar took off running, I never saw what had alarmed it.
Nervous Chukar in the snow
These upland game birds move fast when they need to.
And it can be a challenge to follow them with a long lens and keep focus.
Clipped the bill
This is a shot that makes me either want to cry or kick my butt. I kept focus, the snow was flying and the red foot was exposed… but I hadn’t moved my lens fast enough and clipped the bird’s bill. I really hate it when I mess up. Live and learn.
Hope you all have a Happy New Years Eve.
* All images taken with a Nikon D300, lens resting on my Noodle, f7.1, ISO 640, between 1/1600 and 1/2000, Nikkor 200-400mm with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or called in.
More Chukar images
Adult Swainson’s Hawk calling – Nikon D300, f8, 1/1250, ISO 250, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or called in
Summer can be very busy for me because of camping trips to find and photograph birds and there are periods during that time where I don’t get back to edit images taken during the summer season until later. While August is traditionally the slowest month for birds in Utah that isn’t the case in the Centennial Valley of Montana which can be very birdy.
I photographed the calling adult Swainson’s Hawk in August in the Centennial Valley of Montana, it was a very cooperative hawk that stayed perched and it kept calling.
Swainson’s Hawk in the Centennial Valley of Montana – Nikon D300, f9, 1/320, ISO 320, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or called in
This adult Swainson’s had two juveniles nearby that were perched on the conifer tree that their natal nest was in and the sun was getting close to setting. Sometimes I wish I could “speak” raptor so I could know what they are saying.
Calling adult Swainson’s Hawk – Nikon D300, f9, 1/320, ISO 320, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or called in
The Swainson’s Hawks have already made their long migration south, I wonder if next summer I will see this hawk and its young in the gorgeous setting of the Centennial Valley of Montana again.
More Swainson’s Hawk images