Saturday, May 17, 2014

Pileated Woodpecker Leaving the Nest

I have wanted this picture for a long time. Pileated Woodpeckers aren't so easy to photograph in most places, they keep their distance. Out back of our home they are very timid. I found this nest in a dead pine and have been sitting on it on and off for a couple of weeks.

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
Pileated Woodpecker, Ponca Wilderness

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