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I decided to head downtown to Lady Bird Lake (aka Town Lake) during the middle of the day last week to practice my waterfowl photography. I’m doing this to prepare for an upcoming trip to the Texas coast to photograph birds in the wild at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. Photographing birds in flight takes quite a bit of skill technically and physically. Tracking a bird in flight while maintaining good focus has been a challenge for me. So, more practice sessions are in store.

It was while I was there that I noticed this wonderful Great Egret. I tried to sneak up on him to get a good close-up photograph and he cooperated until I got within 25 feet. He then decided that I was getting too close and flew off. I need to learn how close is too close. Apparently, different birds have different demeanor and some will allow you to get quite close while others get quite nervous. Experienced birders understand bird behavior and they know when and how to approach birds of all types. I’m not there yet…

A couple of interesting points. The pristine-white Great Egret gets even more dressed up for the breeding season. A patch of skin on its face turns neon green, and long plumes grow from its back. Great Egrets fly very slowly but powerfully. Their cruising speed is 25 miles per hour with only two wing-beats per second. The Great Egret is the symbol of the National Audubon Society, an organization founded to protect birds from being killed for their feathers.

Great Egret - Town Lake
Great Egret – Town Lake

This image was taken with my Canon EOS 5DS using my Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Sports Lens set on 600 mm. The camera was set on Manual mode with the aperture set at f/8, shutter speed at 1/1250 and the ISO set at 800. This is a single image processed 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.

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© 2016 T. Kahler Photography

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