View 9: Call of the Wild


Gray Wolf (Canis lupus) howling at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, New York, on Sunday, February 24. This was the first time I had heard a wolf howl in person. It was a beautiful, soulful sound which touched my spirit even if it wasn’t the deep woods. Sadly, his species was just removed from the Federal Endangered Species List allowing states to allow hunting of these magnificent animals.

All these photographs were taken with the Nikon 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D AF VR Zoom Lens I recently purchased. I did not use a tripod and enjoyed the ability to move quickly to capture a photo opportunity. I highly recommend this lens for it’s versatility, zoom focal length and to get sharp images even at 400mm (600mm 35mm) without a tripod.

Red PandaBig Horn 1Peccary
Left to Right: Red Panda, Bighorn Sheep, Collared Peccary
Gray WolfLynxPeregrine falconPeacock
Left to Right: Gray Wolf, Eurasian Lynx, Peregrine Falcon, Peacock
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10 Responses to View 9: Call of the Wild

  1. Rich says:

    GREAT pictures! I know what you mean about the “call of the wolf”. A coyote call is close to the wolfs as well.


  2. zoos are such a great place to experience wildlife like this! i have a 70-200 mm lens but having 400 would really be amazing, as your pictures show!


  3. stphoto says:

    Thanks, Rich! I thought a coyote call is a “yippie” sound. I know the coyotes around here a much bigger so maybe they’ve developed a more bass sound to their calls.

    Allison, your pictures on your blog are wonderful. I was surprised you don’t list a macro lens with all those colorful wild flowers you have posted. While you have a shorter zoom lens, it’s a very fast one! Thank you for commenting.


  4. yes, a macro is on my list of things to get next 🙂 the close up wild flowers required a lot of patients, and a lot of battling with the wind to get them to stand still!


  5. The wolf shots are great. I visited that zoo a couple summers ago with my kids and grandma. I am trying to picture how you got the shots since I remember seeing the wolves below me while I walked above on the walkway. Maybe there has been some rearranging since I was last there, or I am not remembering correctly.

    I am looking forward to getting a “real” camera sometime soon so that I can experiment more. My father has his own dark room from the days of film (he also has the latest and greatest in digital now), so taking photos in my family can be a bit intimidating.


  6. stphoto says:

    Hi, Laura!

    The wolves had a small hill which lifted them up about 4 feet from the ground getting them closer to the height of the walkway. He was standing on that when he was howling. He was still below me a little but not much.

    The photo of him trotting was down the hill and was about level with my lens when I pressed the shutter. During the summer, the wolves tend to stay up in the shade so you have to get there as soon as the zoo opens at 10am.

    You’ll learn fast with a digital SLR. You already now a lot from your craft work when it comes to creating a pleasing composition. Don’t be intimidated and have fun!


  7. TC says:

    What an absolutely amazing picture. The wolf has always been one of my most favorite animals. I even wrote to President Nixon when I was 11 about the plight of the wolf and actually received a response from his office along with a response from the office where he had redirected my letter.

    You have captured such magical spirit of the wolf in this picture.


  8. stphoto says:

    Thanks, TC!

    I was writing letters right with you! Too bad Mr. Bush wants to set the wolf programs back some 30 years. 😛


  9. whatsupwiththejoneses says:

    Oh, I love your wolf shots!! Just gorgeous! Aren’t they a beautiful animal? With just enough mystique and danger to keep them interesting. 🙂 I am so upset to read that they are huntable! Ugh. So disappointing.


  10. stphoto says:

    Kristin, there is some legal stuff going on since I wrote this. While the Bush Administration is trying to allow for hunting seasons, environmental groups have put a temporary halt to it through some court proceedings. Hopefully, they can hold it off long enough for the next administration to put the hunting ban back in.


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