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.
Blue Skies.


Juan C. Aguero said...

Excellent Ken, good trip!

Jose's World said...

Nice...already almost there!!!

Debra said...

Wow...these are amazing shots! It looks like you picked the perfect spot and it sure was nice of that farmer to let you come back again. I've never seen prairie chickens, they are really beautiful and what a treat to capture them fighting! I love that brilliant yellow on their heads. Thanks for sharing this series for us to enjoy.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

As usualy you have come up with the most awesome pictures Ken. The clarity in your action shots is stunning.

I hope you have an excellent season again and I expect more posts from you than you have been doing lately. :)

Enjoy yourself.

Elaine said...

Another supurb series of photos! I can't wait to see what you encounter as you make your way north.

Have a safe journey.

Brad Myers said...

Great photographs Ken, that must be fun to watch. You are one lucky man, I wish my next stop was the Tetons, I love that place. Crawling through the willows photographing Moose.

I am looking forward to another season of Alaska photographs.

Stay safe, Brad

Montanagirl said...

Superb shot!

Atanasio Fernández García said...

Hi Ken! What wonderful pictures! The flying scenes are spectacular, and close-ups, all with a high technical quality. My congratulations for this great work! Good luck at the Grand Tetons. Greetings from Spain!

HBFG said...

Really cool shots Ken!
Have a great trip up to Denali, I am looking forward to a "new season" where you will spoil us with lots of excellent wildlife photography!

Tim Rucci said...

Wow, Ken!
These are outstanding shots... although I'd be lying if I said I expected you to post anything less. I think these are even better than last year's photos. You got some really great flight shots as well as the static stuff. I'm envious for sure. While I'm sure you're enjoying your visit with Will, I'm looking forward to seeing what you post from the Tetons.

HANNIBAL said...

Fantastic series of action shots! Well done! Jealous-stricken now!

Have a successful trip!

Willard said...

Amazing shots, Ken. You are truly an inspiration and I look forward to following your adventures in Alaska again this year.