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Archive 2013 · Greater Prairie Chickens
  
 
OwlsEyes
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p.1 #1 · Greater Prairie Chickens


It's been a cold and snowy spring in MN. The winter bird photography was primo this year and I was hoping for more of the same this spring. Sadly, the cold and wet conspired to keep me off the canoe and it looks like my annual nesting Great Blues will be a bust and I'm now wondering if they will have a failed rookery this season. My "birding fallback" for the spring was chicken blind in the northwest of the state. The images were shot at the a Nature Conservancy blind as a part of some work that I am doing for them. As has been typical this season, it was a very cold morning and the sky was heavily clouded. By the end of my shoot, I think I saw about 40 males staking our their territory and parading about.

thanks for looking and regards,
bruce






Canon 5D mark III + Canon 300mm f2.8L IS + Canon 1.4x iso 800






Canon 5D mark III + Canon 300mm f2.8L IS + Canon 1.4x iso 1600






Canon 5D mark III + Canon 300mm f2.8L IS + Canon 1.4x iso 1600






Canon 5D mark III + Canon 300mm f2.8L IS + Canon 1.4x iso 1600




May 18, 2013 at 05:19 PM
morris
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p.1 #2 · Greater Prairie Chickens


1 and 4 are my picks Bruce.

Morris



May 18, 2013 at 05:27 PM
harshaj1
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p.1 #3 · Greater Prairie Chickens


Great mating dislay. I like the first and the last the best. I was there two years ago with Larry and had a great time.
Harsha



May 18, 2013 at 05:29 PM
Lil Judd
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p.1 #4 · Greater Prairie Chickens


Wonderful set Bruce

I'm also going with # 1 & 4

Lil



May 18, 2013 at 06:38 PM
birdied
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p.1 #5 · Greater Prairie Chickens


Having never seen a prairie chicken, I am really enjoying these 1 &4 are my favorites.

Birdie



May 18, 2013 at 07:14 PM
David Leask
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p.1 #6 · Greater Prairie Chickens


Cool set Bruce, thanks for sharing
David



May 18, 2013 at 08:29 PM
eyelaser
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p.1 #7 · Greater Prairie Chickens


These are a first for me...very cool birds...do they taste like chicken?
Eric



May 18, 2013 at 09:25 PM
JohnBrose
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p.1 #8 · Greater Prairie Chickens


Nice shots Bruce. At some point I would like to take the short trip up there in the spring and try to get some nice shots. How long did you end up spending in the blind?


May 18, 2013 at 10:17 PM
OwlsEyes
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p.1 #9 · Greater Prairie Chickens


Thanks for all of the comments... I've photographed Sharp-tailed grouse in the past, but this was my first time with Prairie Chickens. I enjoyed the experience so much that I've penciled myself in for another shoot in April 2014.

@JohnBrose... I drove up from the East Central MN (Stillwater) on a Friday night and spent a short night in a motel in Moorhead, MN. I woke up at 3:45 am and was in the blind by 4:45 am. There are two blinds at this reserve and they are fairly spacious. I think that they could accommodate 3 photographers and their gear. Once you're in, you have to stay until all the birds leave. Because it was overcast and spring was late, the males remained in the lek longer than normal. I didn't leave the blind until 9:45. The light was so poor that I shot most of the images @ iso 800-3200 & f4 to 4.5. In some ways, this made for a better shoot as the light was even. Sunrise is pretty fast in May, and had it been a clear day, the shooting window would have been really brief.

send me a pm or email if you want more info.
regards,
bruce



May 18, 2013 at 11:04 PM
dhb820
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p.1 #10 · Greater Prairie Chickens


Very nice set! Nice to see something a little unusual...to me anyway. Thanks for sharing.


May 18, 2013 at 11:07 PM
 

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tfoltz
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p.1 #11 · Greater Prairie Chickens


Pretty cool, great colors on a drab BG, very nice

-Tim



May 18, 2013 at 11:29 PM
kmunroe
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p.1 #12 · Greater Prairie Chickens


sweet set of prairie chickens David


May 19, 2013 at 12:16 AM
Jude Perera
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p.1 #13 · Greater Prairie Chickens


Lovely captures Bruce. The first and last are my favorites.


Jude



May 19, 2013 at 02:57 AM
KirkB
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p.1 #14 · Greater Prairie Chickens


Very cool sequence of this mating behavior Bruce... well done and thanks for sharing.

Kirk



May 19, 2013 at 04:46 AM
Plinian
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p.1 #15 · Greater Prairie Chickens


Beautiful colors, Bruce, and great fun to see a chicken lek! I enjoyed a similar experience a few weeks ago with Black Grouse (3:45 AM, cold, etc), but didn't manage to get two birds in the same frame. (So, I love your last shot!).

Greg



May 19, 2013 at 11:11 AM
CDaescher
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p.1 #16 · Greater Prairie Chickens


Beautiful images, Bruce.
The first and last are my favorites.
Chris



May 19, 2013 at 03:02 PM
OwlsEyes
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p.1 #17 · Greater Prairie Chickens


Thanks to everyone who commented... I am excited about booking the blinds for 2014, as I would like to record the sounds of a lek as well... very captivating.

@Greg (Pllnian)... I would love to see a Black Grouse lek (among others). Have you posted any of your images from your attempts?

regards,
bruce



May 19, 2013 at 09:24 PM
surfnron
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p.1 #18 · Greater Prairie Chickens


Nicely done Bruce. I'll go with 1 and 4 too ~ Ron


May 20, 2013 at 12:52 AM
KCollett
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p.1 #19 · Greater Prairie Chickens


Darned good looking set Bruce.


May 20, 2013 at 11:39 PM
OwlsEyes
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p.1 #20 · Greater Prairie Chickens


Ron and KCollett,
Thanks for looking... I'm itching to go back and do this again next year.
cheers,
bruce



May 21, 2013 at 06:14 PM
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