Wisconsin Wildlife Photography

Night Heron Fishing

Night Heron Fishing Wildlife Photography Print

I don’t sit and stay long in one place. I am a wandering fool.  I capture what is in front of me, or what I happen to run into on my explorations. There is something to be said for enjoying a cup of coffee while sitting at the edge of a pond or lake. Nothing rushed, nor expected.  Just out enjoying the environment and sipping coffee. Perfection.  Bliss.

Trees down along pond area

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Get Comfortable and Watch the Behaviors

I was only sitting for about 5 minutes enjoying my fresh cup of java when I received a visitor.  Again, never really sat and watched the bird. Generally, I’m the snap and go queen.

 


Today, was different. I really sat and watched the night heron for a period of time.  It looked like he was fishing but I wasn’t familiar with the behaviors before his head hit the water.

Night Heron Pacing a Log Wildlife Photography Print

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Study Your Subject to Get Excellent Pics

If you understand your subjects behaviors that is when you get the best photo ops.  You learn to expect the action that you have witnessed a number of times.


See the Pattern and You Know When To Snap

My fishing night heron sent vibrations into the water by slowly opening and closing his beak. Exactly as he is pictured, he would stand still. Except for that he would open and close his mouth in a patterned fashion. It must have been some sort of draw for the fish, to make them curious.

Night Heron Fishing Tactics Wildlife Photography Print

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The heron would walk up and down the log and do his fancy beak work by opening and closing his beak in pattern, repeating it in a few spots along the log.  Then he sat still and quiet.  The only part of his body that moved was his head.  He leaned his head to the left or to the right.  As if he was listening closely.

Night Heron Still and Listening Photography Print

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All of a sudden he would lunge in one quick motion, he would just reach into the water and lift out a fish. It was amazing to watch.  I wanted to claim a few of the yellow perch he consumed for a fishy dinner for my own clan.

 

Night Heron With a Perch Wildlife Photography Print

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After catching four fish, he left me to enjoy my coffee once again. Bottoms up!


Conclusion

Since I didn’t know how a black crowned night heron caught his food I needed to watch and study his actions and patterns.  When you see the pattern or actions, you know when to snap.  Allowing you to capture moments that you might miss because you didn’t know their was a pattern to the process.

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Wisconsin Wildlife Photography

Drake Wood Duck

Male Wood Duck Wildlife Print I Nikkilynndesign

Normally, I get ever so close to a wood duck in the wild and it rapidly takes to flight. I have been practicing my master skills of patience and stalking the drake wood ducks on this little retention pond down the street from my home. Hoping to come up with one, head on excellent keeper photo.


I’m not a patient, sit still kinda girl. I’m a nervous nelly, gotta keep moving and trucking on. Wood ducks are difficult for me to photograph for that reason alone. Wood ducks see movement and take to flight. Like me, they are the nervous nelly’s of the duck world.

Today, I grabbed a camping chair and sat along the edge of the retention pond, promising myself I only had to sit for a half an hour. Enough to get one excellent photo. Finally! I got a shot I am happy with.


Goes to show myself that I need to get comfortable with my inner thoughts, settle the nerves and train myself to sit my butt down and enjoy the settings more than I do in life.

Male Wood Duck on Rocks

It is ok to spend time, sitting. You don’t always have to be getting ‘er done and driven. Something I need a gentle reminder about now and again.

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Wisconsin Wildlife Photography

Young Deer Just off My Walking Path

Every morning I say hello and talk to the young deer just off my walking path. My daughter thinks I am a little whacky because I talk to the animals. Maybe, I am?

Wood Chuck

As I watch the woodland changes and see the animals, I like to interact with them. Building rapport with them, so I can try and take excellent wildlife and nature photographs.

When I see the geese nesting I remind them as I pass through each day, that I will not hurt them. I just like to see their progress.

 

Canadian Goose Nesting in Reeds

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Hello Deer Friend

When I see the deer in the woods, I say good morning and tell them they chose to live in a beautiful place or something similar.

 

Since I do this everyday, they get use to my presence. They get comfortable with me being there and my voice.

 

Young Buck in Wood Wildlife Photography Print

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Today, instead of hiding and watching me through the woods, this buck came out and greeted me. I walked directly past him. He moved to the left, watched me pass and twitched his tail.

Young Buck Wildlife Photography Print

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I told him after I past I would love to get a picture of his horns growing in. When I turned back around, I expected him to be gone. But, he stuck around and I grabbed a few shots and then went on my way.

 

Young Buck with Velvet

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Have I told you lately that I just absolutely love nature?

 

Additional Categories:

Wildlife / Wisconsin Wildflowers / Midwest ATV & UTV Exploration

Wisconsin Wildlife Photography

Mama Pelican is Proud

Mama White Pelican is Proud Wildlife Photography Print

Mama Pelican is Proud

Ever so often I get the chance to capture some extraordinary that is wildlife related on camera.  Let’s face it, Wisconsin doesn’t have items that are all that rare.  But, that doesn’t stop me from enjoying them.

Well, in my 40 plus years on this earth of which, over 25 of those I have spent on the water during the summer I had never came across a site like this. Momma pelican is proud and I was proud to capture her first hours with her little one.

 

Mama Pelican is proud

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We traveled by boat from Green Bay to Rock Island and along the route you pass many islands and inside of Death’s Door there are nesting islands.  Or, so they said.  I asked my husband to slowly go along the shoreline.  We were still pretty far out so that we wouldn’t upset the nesting birds.  I had the 600mm on and was happy it was along.  I captured this precious moment on camera and to date, it remains my favorite wildlife shot. 

Additional Photography Blog Categories:
Wildlife / Wisconsin Wildflowers / Barns /Americana / Old buildings 

Wisconsin Wildlife Photography

Common Garter Snakes Emerge From Hibernation

Common Garter Snakes Emerge From Hibernation - Around a week before St Patrick's Day common garter snakes emerge from hibernation in Wisconsin

Around a week before St Patrick’s Day common garter snakes emerge from hibernation in Wisconsin. Legend states St Patrick lead the snakes out of Ireland.  Although, this is only a fable. There have never been snakes in Ireland, aside from zoos. Wouldn’t mind if this were the case for Wisconsin.

Gardner Snake

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At this time, I only have one snake photo. I fear the critters, but they seem to like me. Shouldn’t fear them as much as I do because there is nothing harmful about them. They even take care of the second creature I dislike, mice.


What Do They Look Like
Their main backing color comes in a variety of colors. Green, blue, yellow, gold, red, orange, brown, and black. They are typically thin snakes having a pattern of yellow stripes on a black, brown or green background, and their average total length is about 22 inches. In Wisconsin, most of our snakes main back coloring seems to be green or grey-green. Although, elsewhere in the country; they can widely vary.

When Are They Commonly Seen?
The snake is most active in the morning and late afternoon and is known to bask in the sun.


My Worst Spring Fear
In the spring out searching for wildflowers you might see a huge gathering of garter snakes.

Wood Anemone

Garter snakes live in dens in the winter with numerous additional common garter snakes. When they emerge from hibernation, it is not uncommon to see large numbers in an area.  I have most certainly been in the presence of an emerging den of common garter snakes.  They are a little cranky when waking up from their winter’s slumber.  They can and will lunge as if they are going to strike you, but instead they spit a foul smelling liquid at you.  It is nasty.  With our height difference it normally misses us or lands on our pants.

Mating

The snakes mate first thing upon emerging from their winter dens. Females gives birth to 10-40 snakes from July through October.

Are The Snakes Poisonous?
Humans react to a bite by having a stinging sensation, itching and general swelling at the site.  They are not poisonous in the bite sense.  Just some discomfort. Now, if you want to eat them.  I’d think twice. There is some kind of newt I read that they have in certain states that the snakes eat.  The newts secrete a poison.  Once they ingest the newt, they carry the poison in their flesh.  I have no plans on touching one, let alone eating it. 🙂

Wisconsin Wildlife Photography

Northern Shoveler Ducks

Northern Shoveler Ducks

Northern Shoveler ducks are unmistakable in the northern hemisphere visually due to its large spatulate bill.

 

Outta Here - Northern Shoveler DucksNorthern shoveler ducks in flight over the bay.

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For some odd reason, I find this duck interesting to watch. More so than most.

 

Northern Shoveler Male Duck -This species of duck is unmistakable in the northern hemisphere visually due to its large spatulate bill. For some odd reason, I find this duck interesting to watch. More so than most.

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Although, I need to take my eyes off them for short breaks when they are in groups feeding. Believe it or not, if I watch through my lens while they are in their feeding “circles” I tend to get a little green. AND, being green leads to very embarrassing actions on my part.

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I need to take my eyes off them for short breaks when they are in groups feeding. Believe it or not, if I watch through my lens while they are in their feeding

When you see a group of ducks they are often referred to as a brace, team, paddling, raft, and flush of ducks.

The breeding drake has an iridescent dark green head, white breast and chestnut belly and flanks. In early fall the male will have a white crescent on each side of the face. In non-breeding (eclipse) plumage, the drake resembles the female.

 

The breeding drake has an iridescent dark green head, white breast and chestnut belly and flanks. In early fall the male will have a white crescent on each side of the face. In non-breeding (eclipse) plumage, the drake resembles the female.

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The female is a drab mottled brown like other dabblers, with plumage much like a female mallard, but easily distinguished by the long broad bill, which is gray tinged with orange on cutting edge. The female’s forewing is gray.

 

The female Northern Shoveler is a drab mottled brown like other dabblers, with plumage much like a female mallard, but easily distinguished by the long broad bill, which is gray tinged with orange on cutting edge. The female's forewing is gray.

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I don’t get to see this particular duck as often as I would like. It is all in the timing.

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