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I was out practicing my long-range, bird-in-flight photography the other day when I ran across these friends, a Great Blue Heron and a Chicken Turtle. Although I thought they made a very odd couple, they seemed to be at peace basking in the sun. I guess neither one was a threat to the other.

Austin’s Lady Bird Lake (a.k.a. Town Lake) is home to about a dozen species of turtles. If you were to visit the area you would see their little heads popping up out of the water with regularity. The Chicken Turtle is one of the more popular species in the lake. Chicken turtles are found in quiet, heavily vegetated ditches and ponds where they like to bask. These turtles will travel long distances on land to reach a new water source. They burrow into dirt or leaf litter to stay moist during their journey. Chicken Turtles are small (5 – 8 inches in diameter), have a very long neck and a narrow head.  They feed on worms, crustaceans, and insects.

Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron – Town Lake

This image was taken with my Canon EOS 5D Mark III using my Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM set on 400 mm. The camera was set on Manual mode with the aperture set at f/8, shutter speed at 1/1250th of a second and the ISO set at 250. This is a single image processed exclusively in Lightroom.

You can view my Birds of Texas collection by clicking here. Please use the section below to post your comments, questions, or suggestions.

T Kahler Signature
© 2016 T. Kahler Photography

2 thoughts on “Friends”

    1. Hi Linda. Good question. In this case, I had two different lenses mounted on two different cameras and I was using them both. For this photo, the bird was closer so I did not need the 600mm. In addition, the Canon 100-400 is sharper than the Sigma 150-600. So, I decided to photograph this scene with the 5D Mark III. Sometimes, though, I want less grain or more dynamic range. I will then choose the appropriate body for that specific task. I hope this helps.

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