This short article features a series of seven consecutive images illustrating tongue out aggression by a Canada goose. These photographs were captured handheld at Hendrie Valley.
NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.
As we build our experience photographing birds we learn more about their behaviour. This can help us anticipate photographic opportunities.
Canada geese are extremely common birds and many photographers don’t bother capturing any images of them. I have enough standard images of Canada geese to last me a lifetime, so I watch for opportunities to capture somewhat unique photographs. Tongue out aggression is one of those behaviours.
Sometimes we can miss the early signs of aggressive behaviour such as a goose with its tongue out. I happened to be facing in the opposite direction when I heard a commotion behind me. When I wheeled around this Canada goose was already well into its aggressive charge.
All I had time to do was quickly frame the aggressive bird in my viewfinder and immediately fire off a short burst of images.
My camera acquired good focus on the subject bird and my short burst of images was successful. Getting some nice wing highlights from from the backlighting was a bonus.
While the tongue out aggression by this specific Canada goose was not directed at me, I have had experiences when other geese have made it clear that they were upset with my presence.
When I see a tongue out goose approaching me directly, especially if it is walking towards me with its head lowered… I know it is time to make a prudent retreat. There are certain times of the year when birds like geese can be quite aggressive defending their mates or their young.
Photographs were captured handheld using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. Images were produced from RAW files using my standard process. Crops are indicated. This is the 1,082nd article published on this website since its original inception.
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