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Thin pickings

Published January 19th, 2012

I try to make one or more images everyday, but in the winter it can be tough to be a bird photographer in Canada! This winter in the east it's particularly difficult because we have virtually no snow on the ground right now so the birds are dispersed over the landscape and not concentrated at food sources such as feeders.

The other day I went out to the nearby Tantramar Marsh to see if a Rough-legged Hawk, Northern Harrier, Short-eared Owl or Snowy Owl might come close enough to be photographed. No such luck but on the way back home I spotted this Ring-necked Pheasant in a corn stubble field. They are quite skittish birds, being hunted in many places (not locally though), and it didn't take long before this male exploded off the field and made a characteristic short flight away from me. I managed to grab several hand-held images with the Canon 400mm f4 DO lens from the car as this happened. Pheasants are not often photographed in flight.



Pheasant flight explosion. Canon EOS-1D Mark IV, Lens: EF400mm f/4 DO IS USM +1.4x, @ 560 mm. Program: Aperture Priority. ISO 800, 1/2500s, f/8. Exp. comp.: +0.7. Flash: no flash.

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Leo Allain  about 6 years ago

Awesome capture John. Could have been related to the one we photographed yesterday!