Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge even in several years of drought, remains one of the most spectacular and magical places to photograph birds. This year there were the usual abundance of Sandhill Cranes, Snow and Ross's Geese, but there were fewer opportunities to photograph other birds. Never the less, the one thing that makes Bosque special and one of the most most remarkable places in the world is still the light. The sunrises and sunsets are fabulous, Georgia O'Keffe had it right, you can't beat the New Mexico light for painting or photography!
This sunrise image of snow Geese moving into a containment pond was taken on my first morning this year at Bosque. I used a new camera and lens, the Canon EOS 5D Mark III and the EF 17- 40 mm f/4.0 L USM wide angle zoom. The new camera allowed me to make this image at ISO 1250, something I could not have done with my older Canon EOS 7D. The 7D has too much noise for me past about ISO 500, making low light photography difficult.
After sunset the cranes move from the corn fields into some small containment ponds used as their night-time roost. The ponds offer some protection from predators. The cranes "parachute" down into the ponds, using their massive wings to glide then slow their descent, "parachuting" or dropping into the ponds. This image was made with the Canon EOS 5D Mark III, the Canon EF 600 mm f/4.0 L IS USM lens, and a 1.4 X EF Extender II (creating an effective focal length of 840mm).