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Thread: Greater Sage Grouse

  1. #1
    BPN Member Isaac Grant's Avatar
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    Default Greater Sage Grouse

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    While in Colorado I had the great pleasure of visiting a Greater Sage Grouse Lek. This is a bird and an experience that I have been dreaming of since I was a child. Glenn's great shots inspired me even more to take the 3 hour drive and be there at first light. Got up at 2:45 and drove over the rockies to be in the sage at sun up. I was the only person there and had all 47 displaying males to myself. Really a memory that I will never forget. Took a good 1,500 images of these birds and have so many to go through. Have only processed a few of them but here is one that is different than the normal head on shot (I have hundreds of those ) I picked this one because you can see most of the beautiful tail and the the bird, as opposed to missing most of the tail when the bird is facing straight ahead. The skies were gray and it stormed shortly after I left but early in the morning I had a few moments of warmish diffuse light that bled through the clouds.

    Canon 1DX and Canon 500 f4 ii. Hand held while leaning on car window. F10, ISO 1250, SS 1/1250

    Processed with DPP 4.6 and PS.

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    Super Moderator arash_hazeghi's Avatar
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    a handsome bird for sure and nice display of habitat, looks like it was worth the drive
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    BPN Member Jim Keener's Avatar
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    Thank you for this. One of the things about beginning to learn avian photography is acquiring knowledge of behaviors. I think the lek is one of the grand shows in nature. Again, thanks for posting.

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    BPN Member keith mitchell's Avatar
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    Isaac have enjoyed reading your story and admire your persistence to be there at this Grouse Lek and pleased you where rewarded with this fine shot,childhood dream realized,wonderful!

    Keith.

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    BPN Member gail bisson's Avatar
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    This is a wonderful shot.
    Love the displaying feathers.
    I am hoping to get to a lek some day! Any reason why you stayed in the truck as opposed to using a camo cover and sit on the ground? A lower POV might have been better for this image.
    Congrats on getting your shot!
    Gail

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    Good composition i like all the grass around the bird, nice display and pose on the bird.

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    Amazing photo. I would love to see one someday!

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    BPN Member Isaac Grant's Avatar
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    Thanks Gail. I stayed in the car because there were birds displaying far out in a field and some very close to the car. If I got out I would have scared them off. Also did not pack any camo gear for the trip. Honestly did not think they were still lekking at that time of May so was not prepared to actually be at the lek. Just checked ebird the day before and saw that a guy I know from Cornell was there the day before. Got in touch with him and got the intel that the lek was still going strong. The other thing is that the birds spent most of the time in this grass or standing behind larger and taller sage plants. If I got too low I would not have any angle on the feet or legs. I did wish I could get low and that they were in shorter grass.

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    Avian Moderator David Salem's Avatar
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    Great looking frame Issac! I really like the pose showing the neck tassels and the tail real well. Good look at the eye too which can get lost as they display like this. Nice to get some green in the Bg as they are mostly seen in the dry sage desert. Well done
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    Lifetime Member Glenn Conlan's Avatar
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    Great capture, not easy to predict the best angle of view of these birds when they are constantly moving and rotating. Well done

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