Friday, June 13, 2008
I’m Going Cuckoo: Yellow-billed Cuckoo that is
Prior to this spring and my foray into bird photography, I did not know that Cuckoos inhabited our area or even what they looked like.
A few weeks ago, I captured an unusual bird which my research proved to be a Black-billed Cuckoo. While reading the description of its call I realized that what I had been hearing throughout the evening was not the Black-billed Cuckoo in my photo, but rather a Yellow-billed Cuckoo. I began to notice on subsequent evenings that I was hearing the Yellow-billed Cuckoos calling frequently; thus began my search for a good photo of the Yellow-bill.
Soon I located my first Yellow-billed but I was unable to capture a good image. Since the Cuckoos tend to stay in brushy areas; catching one exposed and well lighted proved to be a challenge. During many evening forays I heard the elusive Yellow-billed and on a few occasions was able to get identification quality photos, but a good quality photo eluded me, until last evening.
My wife & I visited my favorite lake. As I was fishing I heard a nearby Yellow-billed Cuckoo calling. Soon I located the bird sitting in some low trees along the lake shore. Upon retrieving my camera from the rear deck and checking the settings, I began approaching slowly. The Cuckoo flew from branch to branch searching for caterpillars. When conditions were right I began burst firing. The photo session ended as quickly as it began when the Cuckoo flew deeper into the woods.