Sunday, February 6, 2011

Pic of the Day

   Mountain Bluebird – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming:  I was photographing Ruddy Duck when a fellow photographer asked if I had photographed the Mountain Bluebird nest.  I said no and asked where it was.  Like all wildlife photographers he was willing to share his find with fellow photographers and told me exactly where to go.  After shooting the ducks I headed for the bluebird nest.   Sure enough, the bluebird nest was just where it was supposed to be, and so where dozens of birder’s, photographers and curiosity seekers.
   With all the people lined-up to see the activity at the nest it would have been difficult to shoot.  The birds also seemed somewhat wary of all the commotion from the spectators.  I waited for about half and hour or so and until the horde of people moved on.  I drove up the road to a nearby picnic area and parked my van.  I gathered my equipment, dawned camo clothing and covers and walked back to the nest site.
The tree that the nest was in was about 60 feet from the road.  I had to use a 2X extender to obtain a reasonable size image in frame.  Fortunately the sun was shinning bright and that allowed me to use a fast shutter speed.  Once at the nest site I found myself to be the lone visitor.  Because the nest tree was in a ravine, it was position below eye level.  I quickly slide down the embankment about six feet making myself eye level with the nest, and invisible to passerby on the road above.  I covered myself and the camera with camo cloth and observed and photographed the birds while all alone.   With each car that passed I expected someone to stop and discover me, but it never happened.  I was able to photograph the birds going about there afternoons activity without them even noticing that I was nearby.   This shot was taken right after the female fed her nestling and perched on a nearby limb to preen, stretch and scratch an itch.

To see another image of this bluebird go to the “On the Road” post  for June 17, 2010.

Nikon D300, Nikkor 500mm f4 with 2X Extender (teleconverter), Digital Capture ISO200

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