Sunday, September 12, 2010

Pic of the Day

Wild Turkey – Santa Rita Lodge; Madera Canyon,
: In a previous post I extolled the abundance of birds at the Santa Rita Lodge (see post for May 17-19). The new owners have built an elaborate bird feeding and watering station that attract all the local wildlife. They also provide grain for ground feeding birds and deer. Wild Turkey in the area take advantage of the abundant food at the feeding station in the early morning and afternoon hours. I saw almost two-dozen turkeys at one time, while I was photographing Arizona and Acorn Woodpeckers, goldfinch, grosbeak and finches.
While I was photographing a Black-headed Grosbeak one afternoon a dozen turkeys wandered into the feeding area and began eating. After spending a few minutes picking grain from the ground a few of the males began to strut to establishing their place in the pecking order.
I was using a 500mm lens to photograph a grosbeak; a lens too long to photograph the fanned tail display of the nearby turkeys. However, the long lens was perfect to isolate a single bird for a head shot. As I shot the birds it continued to strut turning left then right; never in a position to isolate the head against a clean background. Finally, the turkey began to walk toward me with its tail fanned wide. The turkeys body and fanned tail became the perfect background to place emphasis on the turkeys brilliantly colored head.
Nikon D300, Nikkor 500mm f4, Digital Capture ISO200

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