The best thing sometimes about photographing wildlife isn’t necessarily getting the shot, but rather just being with the wildlife. I never forget that they are allowing me into their lives letting me get a glimpse of everyday happenings. As I was taking this picture of the Northern Flicker, there was a gray squirrel sitting not even a foot away from the base of my tripod munching on an acorn that he had proudly just clipped from our oak tree. He was unfazed by the clicking of the shutter and flash. I spend enough time on the deck with these critters so they know that I am not a threat to them and they seem comfortable with me.
I still am cautious about how I move and when, but it is rewarding to know that they somewhat trust me. After all, the arrangement we have is that they get food and I get pictures. That is kind of how it works and somehow, I think they know that. Back to the photography. My picture of the Flicker is not a portfolio shot by any means, but it is the first time this species has shown up in my backyard. I am still learning its patterns and dislikes to try and capture a better picture. The biology of the different species fascinates me to no end. Flight patterns, who eats what, do they like to feed on the ground and forage or are they more comfortable in the feeder then taking their reward to a specific branch to enjoy. All this may seem trivial, but it really helps to capture a great photo when one presents itself. All this takes time, but it is so worth it in the end to just be with nature.
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