I had an amazing opportunity to capture a Great Egret tossing and devouring a crayfish that it had caught in Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge, Oklahoma. This magnificent bird is known for its pure white feathers and long, graceful neck that can extend up to 4 feet in length. Great Egrets are fascinating creatures and are one of the largest members of the heron family, with a wingspan of over 5 feet.
For the past few weeks, I have been parked at Miner’s Cove, a unique spot within the refuge that is perfect for photographing an array of wildlife, including Great Egrets, Great Blue Herons, Barred Owls, and Pied-billed Grebes. The shallow waters of Miner’s Cove are filled with crayfish, which make it a hot spot for wildlife photographers like myself to capture these beautiful creatures in action.
Every year in April, I make it a point to visit this spot for wildlife photography. The west-facing cove provides perfect early morning light, and I often arrive before sunrise to set up my gear and wait for the birds to arrive without disturbing them. I prefer to photograph from inside my pickup truck, with my camera and lens resting on a beanbag draped over the open window for added stability.
Photographing Great Egrets can be quite challenging, especially when trying to capture their pristine white feathers. As the sun rises, the exposure becomes more challenging, and I constantly monitor my histogram and adjust the exposure compensation to get the perfect shot.
Great Egrets are fascinating birds and are known for their ability to stalk and catch prey, such as crayfish, fish, and frogs, with incredible precision. Their sharp beak and long, muscular neck allow them to strike quickly and with great accuracy. These birds are also known for their elaborate mating rituals, which involve elaborate displays of plumage and dance-like movements.
In conclusion, Miner’s Cove at Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge is a photographer’s paradise for capturing Great Egrets and other wildlife in their natural habitat. It’s an excellent spot to witness these magnificent birds in action and capture their beauty through the lens. I encourage all nature lovers and photographers to visit this amazing location and experience the wonder of these magnificent creatures firsthand.
Photographing Great Egrets
Great Egrets are a popular subject for wildlife photographers. They are beautiful birds that are relatively easy to photograph. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when photographing Great Egrets:
- Great Egrets are often found in groups, so it can be difficult to get a good shot of an individual bird.
- Great Egrets are very sensitive to disturbance, so it is important to be quiet and patient when photographing them.
- Great Egrets are often found in bright sunlight, so it can be challenging to get a good exposure.
Tips for Photographing Great Egrets
- Arrive early in the morning or late in the evening when the light is soft.
- Use a telephoto lens to get close-up shots.
- Be patient and wait for the birds to move into position.
- Use a fast shutter speed to freeze the action.
- Experiment with different exposure settings to get the best results.
With a little patience and practice, you can get some great shots of these graceful hunters of the wetlands.
- Camera: Canon EOS R7
- Lens: Canon RF 800mm F11 IS STM
- Location: Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge (Oklahoma)
- Date and Time Taken: April 16, 2023 (07:38 A. M.)
- Exposure Mode: Manual
- Aperture: f11
- Shutter speed: 1/3200
- ISO: 1250 (Auto)
- Exposure Compensation: 0
- Focal Length: 800 mm