I have been very successful spotting Yellow-bellied Marmots and their pups the past few weeks in northern Utah and it has been a delight for me to photograph and observe them. Not only have I found them but I have found them in decent light which I hadn’t done prior to this year, my only other opportunities with marmot pups have been when the lighting conditions have been horrible.
I know that sometimes (a lot) I complain about the light and cloudy conditions I encounter in the field and those can be a problem when photographing birds but there are times when having diffused light helps when I am photographing birds or wildlife against light colored rock surfaces because it helps with the bright highlighted areas on the rocks.
If it had been really bright and sunny the day I photographed this Yellow-bellied Marmot pup climbing down the rock face the lightest areas of the rocks would have been very bright, blown out and featureless but the diffused light I had actually helped my exposure of the marmot pup and the rocks.
I wanted to include a couple of photos of the type of rocky areas where I look for marmots because the combination of rocks and nearby grasses is the kind of habitat the marmots prefer. Of course I am also looking for birds in the same areas so my eyes quickly scan the rocks, grasses, bushes and the sky. At times just a tiny bit of movement catches my eye and I find birds or wildlife.
I adore these Yellow-bellied Marmots and their pups and I am enjoying being able to photograph them this year.
I wanted to mention that today is Endangered Species Day around the world and although Yellow-bellied Marmots are not endangered now in the future they could be because of climate change. We are all at risk if we don’t take action on climate change now.
- More than 23,000 species on the IUCN Red List are threatened with extinction.
- 41% of the world’s amphibians, 34% of conifers, 33% of reef building corals, 25% of mammals and 13% of birds, are threatened with extinction, according to the IUCN Red list database.
- 1447 species in the U.S. are on the threatened and endangered species list, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service.
- 945 plants in the U.S. are on the threatened and endangered plants lists, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
We need to take care of our planet and all of its inhabitants.