Upside down Chukar
Just some funny images of birds for a Monday. These photos just beg for humorous captions.
This one could be “I swear I heard something rip” or “Boy, my skinny legs make my butt look fat”.
Ring-necked Duck attitude
This one could be “I told you get off MY pond!” or “Get outta my face, no paparazzi allowed!”.
Hiding female Ring-necked Pheasant
I think this female Ring-necked Pheasant thought if she crouched down that I couldn’t see her. I couldn’t come up with a great caption for this image, maybe you can? For any of them for that matter and the funnier the better!
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
Chukar on top of a mound of snow – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/3200, ISO 400, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR at 321mm, natural light, not baited
Yes, more Chukars in the snow! I spotted this Chukar on top of a mound of snow that the plow had pushed to the side of the road on Antelope Island State Park. It appeared to be the sentinel bird for others that were feeding nearby and it gave me some nice poses in good light.
Chukar on a mound of snow - Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/2500, ISO 400, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR at 328mm, natural light, not baited
I took some vertical and horizontal images of the Chukar since it gave me the time to compose and reframe my shots.
Chukar in clear light - Nikon D300, f9, 1/800, ISO 640, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light, not baited
This image was taken on the island too but on a different day. As I recall is was very chilly that morning and the Chukars I saw were fluffed up against the cold.
Chukar – High Key - Nikon D300, f8, 1/1250, ISO 400, +1.0 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light, not baited
This image was also taken on a different day in dimmer light than those above which gave me a high key effect.
I’ve certainly had ample opportunities to photograph Chukars in the snow this year and right now I can’t wait until I can start taking images with spring green grass in them!
More Chukar images
Chukar in low light – Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/800, ISO 500, +1.0 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited
Every bird photographer should want to photograph in what is called “sweet light”, the golden light found just after the sun rises or when it is getting close to sunset and avoid the light of mid day when there can be harsh shadows and too much contrast but also recognize that other light can add a feeling of moodiness to an image that might not be there in different light.
For instance; when I look at these two snowy Chukar images I sense a moodiness in the first image that the second one doesn’t seem to convey. One of the photos was taken in bright, clear light while the other was created in low, foggy light on two different days but in the same general location on Antelope Island State Park.
In the Chukar image above I sense that the bird might be struggling to survive the harshness of winter, I get a sense of the bird being alone even though close by there were other Chukars and I also feel that the bird might be enduring a strong wind because of the tiny, directional snow drifts around the grasses near the front of the bird even though the wind was actually not blowing at the time. The low light seems to amplify the moodiness I feel while looking at this image.
Chukar running in clear light – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/2000, ISO 500, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited
The snowy Chukar image above was taken on a much brighter day, there was no snow falling and no trace of fog. The habitat and terrain is essentially the same; minus the grasses seen in front of the Chukar in the image above, yet to my eyes this image does not have the moodiness the top image does.
In my mind I think more about how the Chukar survives in winter in the first image than I do in the second frame and I seem to view the image longer too.
More Chukar images
Chukar in the air – Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/800, ISO 500, +1.0 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited
Yesterday when I saw this running Chukar image on my camera LCD in mid-stride and mid-air I had to chuckle because it looks something like a feathered Nerf football some one tossed across the snow. It does give a great view of the whole bird though!
There was about 6 inches of fresh snow on the ground on Antelope Island yesterday, some of the roads weren’t even plowed yet and while there was lovely light to the west it had not reached the island when I photographed the Chukar.
Snow-covered Coyote – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/1600, ISO 640, +1.0 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 350mm, natural light, not baited or called in
Then later I spotted Old Scarface again, a pale Coyote who has scars on its muzzle, and another darker, smaller Coyote. I think this pale Coyote is a male because he looks slightly larger than the other one, but I can’t be sure. The female hung back but this Coyote came up close and appeared to be looking for voles under the thick layer of snow, this image was taken right after the Coyote stuck its muzzle into the snow to sniff out prey. I have photographed this Coyote before but hadn’t noticed that its eyes are a darker amber than most Coyotes I have seen, maybe it was just the flat light.
This Coyote may have an injured foot, it did walk gingerly on the foot but at times I could see it just walking on its other three legs.
I’ll be posting more images of the Coyotes and the Chukars I photographed yesterday soon.
Snow-covered rocks on Antelope Island – Nikon D200, handheld, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 400, +1.7 EV, Nikkor 18-200mm VR at 42mm, natural light
This image shows the clouds over the island and they were the reason the light was flat, I liked the way the snow covered these rocks and how the drifts seemed a part of them.
More snow is on the way and it might be a few days before I can get back out to photograph. I have plenty of images that need to be edited though. The snow on Antelope Island has been beautiful this winter and hopefully the next time I go out there the sun will shine brightly on it.