Opossum Digging in Fertilizer

In Oklahoma’s Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge, I photographed an opossum digging through a pile of fertilizer in an old cornfield. The fertilizer likely contained chicken litter, as I spotted white feathers mixed in. This was on February 12, 2014.

Opossum Looking At Me
Opossum Looking At Me

Undeterred by my presence, the opossum continued digging, pausing briefly to observe me before returning to its task. As a wildlife photographer, I’d been watching for animals drawn to the fertilizer, typically spread in February or March. This had previously yielded coyote photos.

To capture this image, I used my Canon EOS 7D camera with a Canon EF500mm f/4L IS USM lens, resting on a bean-bag draped over my pickup’s open window. This setup ensured camera stability for capturing this unique opportunity.

Opossums are fascinating creatures native to North and South America. Known for their distinctive appearance with pointed snouts, gray fur, and hairless prehensile tails, they’re skilled climbers often found in trees and on the ground. Capturing this opossum diligently digging through the fertilizer was a privilege. Moments like these remind me of the beauty and diversity of wildlife, and I’m grateful to share this experience with others.

Camera Settings

  • AV Mode
  • Aperture: f8.0
  • ISO: 320
  • Shutter speed: 1/1250 sec.
  •  Exposure Bias: -2/3 EV
  • Focal Length: 500 mm