Sunday, June 22, 2008

Incredible luck (pileated woodpecker, black bears)

The photo gods were smiling upon me yesterday. I was planning to wake up at 2:30am (seriously) to drive up to Killarney Provincial Park for sunrise, but when my alarm clock went off I could not drag myself out of bed... so I slept in and left around 7:30am. My laziness paid off. While leisurely driving northwards, I stopped for a break en route and stumbled across a Pileated Woodpecker nest right in the parking lot at the rest stop! I've been wanting to shoot a natural Pileated nest with chicks for a decade (have shot them in hydro polls before). This was a good start to the day!

After a couple hours with the woodpeckers, I continued up to Killarney. On the highway into the park, I found a black bear with 4 cubs feeding right along the road. This was my first-time photographing wild black bear cubs - so you can imagine how ecstatic I was to spend about 5 minutes with them at close range before a "bear jam" of traffic scared them away.

Photographing Pileated Woodpeckers and Black Bears in the same day ranks as a wildlife grand slam for me. And to top off the weekend, I spent the rest of my weekend along spectacular stretches of the Georgian Bay shoreline shooting landscapes. I'm too tired to post those photos now (have been up since 4:30 this morning) so check back soon - I'll get them up when I catch up on my sleep!

Pileated Woodpeckers at nest
EOS 1DsmIII; 500/5 IS with 1.4x or 2x TC. Fill flash at -2 1/3

Black Bear cubs, Killarney Provincial Park
EOS 1DsmIII; 500/5 IS


  1. Anonymous4:47 AM

    Wow Ethan great shots I am really jealous of the Pileated shots. This is a great example of "being there".

    Brian B.

  2. Wow, those are some superb shots! Sounds like the trip was well worth the effort.

  3. Hey Ethan,
    I think it is a good story as proof of - "Even if you don't get out for sunrise, getting out is still better than just staying home in bed."

  4. Anonymous10:40 PM

    Nice pileated shots! If you know what to look for it's not too hard to find the nests, but it took me a few years to figure out what to "look for". Here in Alberta that's a big living aspen with heartrot (fungal conks on the trunk). Obviously they like birch where you are.

    Rick B.

  5. Great shots! Love the Pileated shots--it's like they just posed for you. Very nice.

  6. What a beautiful photos because we can see the love birds have and how they care about their breeds, that's something people should do too, because people are destructive and don't care about anything.m10m

  7. hello, this post remember me when i was a child, i do not know why....