View 148: Flying Canadians

A flock of Canada Geese take off from the surface of Webster's Pond near Syracuse, New York.

A flock of Canada Geese take off from the surface of Webster's Pond near Syracuse, New York. Nikon D700/80-400VR, 1/400s, f/5.6, ISO 5600, EV +0.3, 400mm focal length.

How do geese know when to fly to the sun? Who tells them the seasons? How do we, humans know when it is time to move on? As with the migrant birds, so surely with us, there is a voice within if only we would listen to it, that tells us certainly when to go forth into the unknown.

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross (1926-2004)

In the past I have not talked fondly of the Canada geese around Syracuse, New York.  They are seen more as pests, very dirty ones at that.  However, when they fly, their power, grace and beauty can not be denied.  Add some autumn color and photograph them around a private sanctuary called Webster’s Pond near Syracuse and one can throughly enjoy these flying Canadians.

Here’s to all of us listening to the voice within.

Solo Flight.

Solo Flight. Nikon D700/80-400VR, 1/500s, f/5.6, ISO 2500, EV +0.3, 400mm focal length.

Splash Landing.

Splash Landing. Nikon D700/80-400VR, 1/500s, f/5.6, ISO 1100, EV +0.3, 400mm focal length.

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18 Responses to View 148: Flying Canadians

  1. Carsten says:

    Wow – they are good, these pictures of geese. My favourite is #2. The bird almost extends out of the image because it is so sharp, and the background is beautifully colored. There was not much light, judged from your exposure values. Very good work Scott.
    I know the ambiguous feeling with beautiful pests. We have lots of European Magpies in our area: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Magpie , they are beautiful, but they make lots of annoying noise. And they are very good at eating the smaller birds’ eggs and nestlings.

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    • It was an overcast day so I didn’t have the strong light I had back in January when I last photographed at Webster’s Pond. The D700’s ISO capability really comes in handy so I can keep the shutter speeds high or I would have had to revert to panning. Not a bad alternative but the rate of good photos drops.

      BTW, I did not add a lick of noise reduction to any of these photos.

      Aye, these pests do make a beautiful mess or, in your case, a beautiful noise. 🙂

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  2. Robin says:

    We see them as pests around here too. You’ve managed to make them look beautiful, something I never thought I’d say about Canada geese.

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  3. flandrumhill says:

    I love the way you’ve captured that glimmer of blue on their feathers. I don’t usually get to see them close up, but often do see and hear them in amazing numbers at this time of year in the salt marsh.

    Sorry they make such pests of themselves when they’re visiting your country.

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    • It is not the migratory Canada geese that are the problem. It is the ones who take up permanent residence and teach their young to stay. With little or no predators and an abundant food supply, their numbers grow fast and large until they become a nuisance. As I noted above, the same people who are now complaining are the ones who feed them in the first place.

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  4. Gerry says:

    I don’t see a great many Canada geese anymore, so they seem less pestiferous and more beautiful. These are exceptional shots, Scott, especially #2. I love the delineation of every feather on that back wing. A person rarely gets to see the elegant arrangement.

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  5. I don´t see any Canada geese at all… and to me they look just beautiful, the image I always had of migrating birds. So you can imagine how enchanted I am with your pictures, Scott. Nr 1 and 3 are my favourite but the whole series is fantasticc.

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  6. Karma says:

    My eye is drawn to shot #1. The composition is just beautiful.

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  7. These are wonderful I like the flock of the Canada geese taking off, that’s my favorite one.

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  8. montucky says:

    These are really excellent photos! I love Canadian Geese! We have many here, but those that come near my house are on the river and very wild.

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  9. Nye says:

    They are beautiful in motion, I love the composition and colors of the first photo.

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  10. Z says:

    that is a flight of beauty:)

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  11. giiid says:

    All of them beautiful and interesting to study, I like the first one best, because the wings is shown in different positions, and because it is a group, I like to see them stick together. 🙂

    Like

  12. morningjoy says:

    Amazing what perspective can do. Here in Florida Muscovy ducks are common and thought of as dirty nuisances, while Canadian Geese area a real treat to see. All of your photos of the geese and ducks are excellent. I particularly like the one of four geese flying by autumn color. Your Muscovy ducks look quite attractive. I hardly recognized them.

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  13. yesbuts says:

    Awesome photographs.

    I don’t often see them flying, but I love watching Canada Geese to see how they collectively look after their young.

    Like

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