Tip #17. Targeted photography

Tip #17. Targeted photography

When photographing the newly hatched goslings yesterday, I noticed a lot of aggressive behavior among the adult geese. Since mating pairs are being formed, I suspect a lot of the aggression from one goose to another is to fend off fellow suitors. To catch the sparring, there are a few behaviors to watch for. First, the goose to go on the attack will be very boisterous. It appears he is warning the unwelcome guest. Next, he will often lower his neck low and parallel to the water line, and finally, he will attack the intruder. There were about two dozen geese on the slough this morning. Once the attack starts, it usually lasts only a few seconds. The geese were too widespread to wait for an attack to start and then try and focus in on the action. A better strategy I used was to listen carefully for the warning honks from a goose. Then, I’d immediately swing the camera to that goose. If his head was low to the water, an attack was usually eminent. When the defending goose attacked the unwelcome intruder, I was positioned to capture the action using a fast shutter speed. By targeting the goose that was telegraphing the warning signs, I was able to get several action shots of an attack in progress. It was also interesting to note the attacker always had his bill open. I noticed that feathers flew after a few of these attacks. I suspect more than a little bite was used.