When photographing wildlife, you sometimes see and react, and if you are lucky, get a great shot. But much of the time it takes a little planning and strategy, and it¬†sometimes helps to know the subject’s behavior and patterns.

For example, some birds come back to the same perch over and over again as they hunt their circuit. Kind of like some humans and their morning Starbucks. So if you observe them, find their favorite perches, set up a blind and then sit and wait, you can get some great shots you could never get otherwise.

A good example of this is a green kingfisher, a beautiful little bird that loves wooded creeks. I noticed one set of perches from an old dead tree in the water that kingfishers seemed to like.  So I went to that point, set up a blind and waited.  And waited.  I think about every 3-4 hours a kingfisher would come by but when they did, I was ready! Unfortunately they never had any luck fishing at that spot so I did not get any shots with a fish in their beak. Maybe next time.

Female Green Kingfisher

Male Green Kingfisher

1st image: Female green kingfisher, Rio Grande Plain between San Antonio and the Gulf Coast, Texas, USA. Canon 40D. Canon 500mm +2x teleconverter. ISO 640. f/8 @ 1/125 sec.

2nd image: Male green kingfisher (Chloroceryle americana), Rio Grande Plain between San Antonio and the Gulf Coast, Texas, USA. Canon 1D Mark III. 500mm lens + 2x teleconverter. ISO 800. f/10 @ 1/1oo sec.