Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge

Bosque del Apache is a National Wildlife Refuge located near Socorro New Mexico. This was my first attempt at photographing wildlife and picking more difficult wildlife in birds. I also got the opportunity to use my long telephoto lens (80 – 400mm) which is essential for capturing birds in this environment. Prior to this trip I read as much as I could about bird photography both stationary and in flight. The majority of birds there are Canadian Snow Geese and Sandhill Cranes  and there can be as many as a 100,000 birds at this refuge at any one time. The most exciting spectacle is the sunrise flyout of the birds from their nighttime roost to their feeding grounds.  It was a cold morning, arriving at 6:00 AM for a 6:54 sunrise and prior to the flyout the birds make quite a racket and there are several moments when a group will take off and fly around making you think it is the take off but they soon alight back on the water. When the moment comes it is spectacular when it seems that on some signal all of the birds, in unison, rise from the water and take off for their daily feed (see below) and it lasts for only about 30 seconds.

 

 

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