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    Adventures in Nature Photography

    Browsing Posts published in April, 2013

    Grebes in Love

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    I spent the last two mornings at Coyote Lake County Park east of Gilroy, CA with the goal of photographing Western Grebes (and/or their close cousins, Clark’s Grebes) engaging in their fascinating courtship behavior. The grebes did not disappoint as you can see in the following pictures. One post on the “South Bay Birds” mailing list described this viewing opportunity as one that occurs about once a decade, or perhaps only once a generation within Santa Clara County!

    Two Western Grebes (Aechmophorus occidentalis) engage in a courtship ritual known as "rushing", where they race across the water in synchrony.

    Canon EOS-1D Mark IV, EF500mm f/4L IS USM at 500 mm, 1/1000 sec at f/4, ISO 1600

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    A male wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) gobbles vociferously to announce his presence to prospective mates in Cupertino's Rancho San Antonio County Park.

    Canon EOS-1D Mark IV, EF300mm f/2.8L IS USM at 300 mm, 1/1250 sec at f/3.5, ISO 400


    The wild turkeys at Rancho San Antonio County Park have definitely detected the arrival of spring. Last week when I was at the park, I could not help noticing a flock of turkeys in a field near the parking lot. At least six males were courting at least as many females, trumpeting forth their loud gobbles and showing off their fanned tails. I was at the park to go hiking and, alas, did not have my camera with me.

    The following morning I returned to the same spot hoping to re-find the turkey flock. While the flock was nowhere to be seen, there was one lone tom turkey who put on an excellent show. He was gobbling and showing off his breeding plumage with gusto, apparently not phased by the fact that no other turkeys were in the vicinity at the time. He did not seem to mind the attention he was receiving from the paparazzi (me) and proudly continued his performance, providing me the opportunity to capture the photographs shown in this post.

    Don’t forget you can see a larger version of any image in this post by clicking on it. By using the left/right arrow keys on your keyboard you can navigate to the previous/next image within the post. Similarly, you can navigate to the previous/next image by clicking on the left/right edges of the enlarged image. Click in the center of the enlarged image (or press the ESC key) to return to the original blog post.

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