In the spring many bird species are migrating and finding mates. This can create some aggressive bird behaviour. During a recent visit to Hendrie Valley I had the opportunity to photograph a goose chase. This article shares a selection of eleven consecutive images.
While it is difficult to predict bird behaviour, during the springtime Canada geese tend to be aggressive defending their mates.
Whenever I see a lone goose in reasonable proximity to a pair of Canada geese during this time period, I assume there is a chance some action may erupt.
Typically these interactions are very brief in nature and only last for a second or two.
It is important to have your camera gear at-the-ready, with your lens pre-focused.
When photographing this type of action sequence some patience is required as an outburst of this nature doesn’t happen frequently.
It is dependent on the temperament of individual birds, the bond between a mating pair, and the proximity of lone male birds.
As photographers we often focus our attention on less common bird species, causing us to miss these types of action images with everyday birds like Canada geese.
It is important to remember not to fire off your AF-C run too early.
It is common that a goose defending its mate will identify a potential rival that is a reasonable distance away. The more aggressive the temperament of the defending goose, the further away it will pursue a potential rival.
It will start honking, sticking out it tongue and racing across the surface of the water before the other goose even realizes it has been targeted.
As the defending goose closes in there’s usually a second or so when they are close enough together to frame some decent images. Using a fast AF-C frame rate can help capture some interesting wing positions.
As the attack ends, the pursuing goose will often bank away or extend its winds to slow down. This often generates some of the most interesting photographs.
All photographs in this article were captured hand-held using camera gear noted in the EXIF data. All images were produced from RAW files using my standard process of DxO PhotoLab, CS6 and the Nik Collection. Images were cropped to 3700 pixels in width, then resized for web use.
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