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on Jul 9, 2009 in Wildlife Photography

Meadow Surprise

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Where most folks have a lawn in their front yard, we’ve planted a meadow with over 30 native plants. Besides making more time on Saturdays (no lawn to mow), this time of the year we call it the nursery with all the baby animals that call its thick growth home. I ventured out this afternoon to the deck and looked down on the meadow to find a female Blue Grouse. It’s only the 2nd time we had them in our yard (last time over a decade ago). Well, I ran in the house, Jake focused in on the bird from his window with his 6 while I ran to get a camera. Not too soon later, I got an eye in the viewfinder.

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After I made a complete circle around the meadow to get a shot, Mom came around out in the open and then hopped up on the stump to take a gander around. Blue Grouse aren’t the brightest of birds, they are hunted in some places with a bow & arrow. It wasn’t too much after taking this photo that Sharon called out chicks. From my vantage point, I couldn’t see down into the deep cover. But sure enough, there were two chicks with mom but there was no way to get any glass on them.

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After a long while, mom took the family for a stroll as they kept moseying along their way. The chicks came scooting out of cover and stuck to the shadows for quite a while. Then finally they had to make a break across an opening and for a moment, one of the chicks stepped into the only drop of sun in the area. It was great fun for an hour even if the shutter speed never got above 1/45, made a couple of fun clicks.

Photos captured by D3x, 200-400VR (handheld) on Lexar UDMA digital film