As winter makes its approach here in northern Utah I tend to get excited about the raptors I will see but I try not to forget the common birds I see almost every time I go shooting. American Coots are common birds and some folks might find them fairly plain but I like them and enjoy photographing them too.
There is a pond near where I live that in the winter and early spring can be a great place to spend an hour or two photographing ducks, grackles, grebes, songbirds and the almost always present American Coots. As long as there is open water there will be birds at the pond. This American Coot image was taken during the winter of 2009, my first official winter as a resident on Utah at that pond. Because there are many fisherman and people who walk around the pond the birds are acclimated to human presence and will come close if you have the patience to wait for them.
Photographing coots is challenging because of the high contrast between their black plumage and that ivory white bill but I enjoy the challenges. I’m able to set my tripod down low at the pond and sit on the ground behind the camera to photograph them at the pond even when there is snow on the ground.
So go ahead Old Man Winter, bring it on! I’ll meet you at the pond to photograph these old coots. 🙂
Life is good.