So what does it take to be a wildlife photographer? Well, the correct answer is patience. Second, you need to be awake when your subject is awake and they are in the setting that you want to to capture the moment and tell the story. In the case of the greater prairie chicken, that means getting up early. For some, (your’s truly) that means getting up REALLY early. Like 4:15a. We were staying on the ranch where we will be photographing the greater prairie chicken. When understanding the biology and lekking, you need to be in position in the blinds before the chickens start their dance in the morning.
The other side of the equation is when you are in a blind, you need to stay put until the birds have moved on for the day. You can’t disrupt their biology. That is especially the case of the endangered greater prairie chicken. That was the case on the Thursday we were at the Calamus Outfitter’s blinds. There were these two males that were just determined to show their dominance continued their fighting until 10:45. Usually, we have an eagle or red-tailed hawk that will fly over-head and scatter the chickens around 8:30-9:00. Even with the breakfast bell ringing, we had to stay put in the blinds and continue to photograph the greater prairie chickens in what makes them famous. Sometimes life is just tough 🙂 .