During our week stay at Madera Canyon photographing hummingbirds, in the morning and evening we kept hearing what sounded like a dog barking off in the distance. There were sighting of the elegant trogon in the canyon but not many people were speaking about it. On our second day, we heard that dog barking behind us in the trees. Next thing we know a large bird with brilliant red flew over us across the creek in to the canyon. For the next few days, we listened for that distinct call near where we could get near him.
The final morning of our stay in the canyon, my friend Moose says do you want to go find that trogan? I said absolutely. Sharon and Moose had scoped out the trogon the night before but didn’t have an opportunity to see it before the light went down. We headed up the path and around the bend when we heard the distinctive call in the trees right near us. I look up and sticking out of the tree cavity was the male trogon making its call.
The trogon isn’t known to stay in place for very long. He tends to jump from branch to branch making his calls. To vary it up a bit, he even sticks his head in to the tree cavity to change the sound.
Photographing the trogon in the morning was challenging since he seemed to like to perch on branches against a bright grey sky. It made for a challenging event for a bird I so wanted a picture of. In the end, I photographed some great biology in action.
What made this all possible was my Nikon D5 with the Nikkor 800mm with matched AF-S TC800-1.25E ED. Making things much easier was my Gitzo GT5535GS Giant tripod that extends to 9 feet high so I can get the lens up in the air so I can shoot in to the trees without having to bend over. Nothing is more tiring than being hunched over looking in to the camera waiting for a bird to make that wanted gesture.
In the end, he was a wonderful bird to shoot and happy to add it to my files.