One of the first principles of wildlife photography is to "first observe". You have to spend the time patterning your subject. I have 12 hours or so on this bird collecting clues about how to get the picture.
It is clear now this nesting female is feeding her brood. Today I watched her for an hour and a half. At about the 1 hour point I finally timed her correctly leaving the nest. Images like this take a lot of time to get a chance. Because everything happens so fast, I missed this a couple of times.
It is always lucky to get this kind of picture. Time and determination are rewarded. Early in the shoot I caught her half way out of the nest. Never give up, results come to grinders.
|Pileated Woodpecker, Ponca Wilderness|