Great Egrets are one of my favorite birds to photograph. They present a great photography challenge but the reward is fantastic when things turn out well. This was the case with the photograph below. It was taken at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge near Rockport, TX a few days ago. A friend of mine and I made the trip down there and rented a charter boat named the “Jack Flash“. The captain took us into the Refuge and that allowed us to capture some fantastic birds in action. This was my first time photographing large birds in the wild so day one was a learning experience. I was able to make adjustments on day two and my results significantly improved. The secret? Fast shutter speeds (greater than 1/1250th of a second) and good lighting!
These two Great Egrets struck up a fight right in front of us. I shot a whole sequence of photos but this is the only one that turned out well. This all happened in just a couple of seconds so being ready and being in the right place made a huge difference. Male Great Egrets fight over feeding grounds, females and nesting areas. They will first jump up in the air and face each other. Then, one will begin the attack. They will continue fighting until one of them is overpowered and flees. Egrets feed in shallow water, mainly on fish, frogs and small mammals, using their pointed beaks as a spear. Often they will wait motionless for prey.
This image was taken with my Canon EOS 5DS using my Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L II Lens set on 400 mm. The camera was set on Manual mode with the aperture set at f/8, shutter speed at 1/2000th of a second and the ISO set at 640. This was a single image processed in Lightroom.
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© 2016 T. Kahler Photography
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