HILDEBRAND photography: Blog https://www.hildebrandphotography.com/blog en-us (C) HILDEBRAND photography (HILDEBRAND photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:32:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:32:00 GMT https://www.hildebrandphotography.com/img/s/v-12/u159142696-o583623226-50.jpg HILDEBRAND photography: Blog https://www.hildebrandphotography.com/blog 90 120 How did you get that shot? https://www.hildebrandphotography.com/blog/2017/6/how-did-you-get-that-shot

I’m asked from time to time, where and how did you get that shot? Particularly the images I’ve taken of Cooper’s Hawks in natural behavior. Well the simple answer is, go to the city. If you know anything about this hawk of the accipiter family then you already know how skittish and high strung they are. Nothing more frustrating than to see a Cooper’s out in the field, and by the time you get your camera up to your face, they’re gone.

The main benefit of photographing birds and animals in the city is that they are used to the hustle and bustle of city life.  The car traffic, city noise and even the people are tolerated.  They have adapted to the city and coexist with mankind.  You can see in the picture a typical city block with houses and cars, and right above the street is their nest. The nesting pair would hunt, mate, and perch in various trees up and down the block and could care less about any of the surrounding noise or people. I was standing on the sidewalk when I took all the shots of this pair. 

Check out more of the “Chi-town Cooper’s” by clicking on a image.

(HILDEBRAND photography) Chicago City Cooper's Hawk Hawk Raptor https://www.hildebrandphotography.com/blog/2017/6/how-did-you-get-that-shot Thu, 29 Jun 2017 11:40:46 GMT
The "Drummer of Love" https://www.hildebrandphotography.com/blog/2013/4/the-drummer-of-love "It begins in the dark, pre-dawn silence of an early Wisconsin spring. A small gathering of Greater Prairie Chicken males begin their dance. Their booming resonates so loudly you might think these colorful birds are abundant. Yet, what you see are among the precious few that have survived. This is a "come back story" of a bird with a past and, thanks to the continuing efforts of many people, a bird with a future. Their original prairie habitat may be gone, but these remarkable birds now thrive in the "surrogate" grasslands of Central Wisconsin where the age-old sounds of territorial aggression, conflict and competition are heard each spring." ~Carl Flaig~

Greater Prairie Chickens are territorial birds and will defend their booming grounds. These booming grounds are the area in which males perform their rituals in hopes of attracting females. Their displays consist of inflating air sacs located on the side of their neck and snapping their tails. These booming grounds usually have very short or no vegetation. The male prairie chickens stay on this ground displaying for almost two months. The one or two most dominant males will do about 90% of the mating.

The scientific name is “Tympanchus cupido pinnatus” which translates to the “Drummer of Love”.  The air sacs on the male are called typani.typm-pa-ni – a set of kettledrums

Visit Greater Prairie Chickens Gallery

If you want to experience viewing the Greater Prairie Chickens, visit my friend Carl Flaig at: Prairie Chicken Viewing


Frank standing beside the blind that
overlooks the booming grounds.

(HILDEBRAND photography) Booming Ground Grassland Greater Prairie Chicken Lek Mating Ritual Prairie Chicken Wisconsin https://www.hildebrandphotography.com/blog/2013/4/the-drummer-of-love Tue, 23 Apr 2013 01:22:50 GMT
ABC Channel 7 Interview With Ron Magers https://www.hildebrandphotography.com/blog/2013/3/st-michaels-peregrines  

I was having a quiet evening at home in April of 2011 when I checked my cell phone and notice an email from Ron Magers from ABC Channel 7. My first reaction was, certainly someone is playing a practical joke on me. Why in the world would Ron Magers from ABC be contacting me? Well my curiosity had gotten the best of me and I responded to the email. Sure enough it was indeed Ron Magers. He had recently read a story in the Chicago Tribune that featured a story about the Peregrine falcons that had taken residence at the Historic St. Michaels church in Chicago. One of my images from the falcons and a few of my comments were part of the story. The email started off with a very formal “Hello Mr. Hildebrand”. The email went on to say that he was doing a special segment on Urban Falcons in Chicago and would like to interview me, as well as have permission to use my photographs for the segment. Gee…let me think about this. Are you kidding…Sure! I didn’t say that, but I sure was thinking it.

Over a dozen Peregrine Falcons live in the Chicago land area amongst the high-rise buildings and bridges.  But the pair that had intrigued me the most was the pair at St. Michaels.  The beautiful old church made an incredible backdrop for the nesting pair of falcons perching and flying around it.  The falcons had also wisely chosen a very safe place to have their nest ledge, directly behind the statue of St. Michael holding a sword.  What better protection than an angel holding a sword.

(HILDEBRAND photography) ABC-7 Falcon Peregrine Falcons Raptor Ron Magers St. Michaels Church https://www.hildebrandphotography.com/blog/2013/3/st-michaels-peregrines Wed, 20 Mar 2013 02:41:25 GMT
Red-tailed Hawk Nest https://www.hildebrandphotography.com/blog/2013/3/red-tailed-hawk-nest In the spring of 2010 I stumbled upon a Red-tailed Hawk nest.  Nothing too unusual about that except this one was smack dab in the middle of a golf course. I could hear the Red-tail parents scream as each golfer walked by. That scream was an indication to me that there were chicks in the nest.  I surveyed the area for an adjacent tree to climb, in hopes of getting a lookout point to photograph the nest using a telephoto lens, and of course there was no such tree to be found. OK, now what?  I finally came up with an idea to rig my camera on top of a pole and extend it above the nest. I had pre-programmed the camera to shoot an image every 30 seconds. The wide angle lens was set at focal length 14mm to get a wide view of the nest area.  It was all guess work in what direction the camera was facing.

                                                                                                                                              Click image to go to gallery

My not being there to physically click the shutter, and letting the programmed camera take its course made it interesting to see what was actually captured on the camera.  About eight percent of the images were decent enough to keep. However, many were just plain boring with the two chicks sleeping.  And of course my favorite is when the wind would rotate my camera and provide for me about 300 wonderful  shots of the tree trunk.

(HILDEBRAND photography) Chicks Hawk Hawk Nest Nest Raptor Red-tailed Hawk Redtail https://www.hildebrandphotography.com/blog/2013/3/red-tailed-hawk-nest Sat, 16 Mar 2013 16:05:40 GMT