Monday, April 12, 2010
Nebraska Prairie Chickens
I'm on the road trip back to Alaska for another season as a park ranger in Denali. After last year's successful stop to photograph prairie chickens in Nebraska, had to do it again.I stopped at the same private farm in Pawnee County which is in southeastern portion of the state. This farm had numerous prairie chickens last year. The farmer who owns the land where the lek or booming ground is located, has a wonderful family, remembered me from last year and was kind again to allow me access.
The two days I was there, the weather and light was conducive for photography. Since I was familiar with the location from last year's shoot, knew exactly where to position my blind. The male birds arrived just like the did the previous year in the late evening and early morning. Watching them dance, fill their yellow cheek pouch and then battle in an attempt to attract a female, was just amazing to witness again so close.
Once I obtained some portraits, began to work on fliers. There was enough light that I could shoot at 1/1250th or 1/1600th which enabled for sharp images.
After getting some decent fliers next began working on behavior shots. Trying to catch these guys when they are battling was a fun challenge.
I am at my son's in Denver for a few days. Next stop will be the Grand Tetons.