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White-tailed Kite, Half Moon Bay

December 04, 2020 -
January 31, 2022
12:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Price: Larry Whiting by Janet Fullwood
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Contact Information:
Event ID: 194725
Phone: 916.335.1522
Web: https://cawatchablewildlife.org
Whiting, who lives in the Sacramento area and works for a printing company business, spends much of his spare time camping, usually in dispersed areas way out in the boonies. He started taking photographs about a decade ago and, he says, “It progressed into an obsession. Now it’s my main passion.”

It’s also one that’s paid off with several previous winning images in the Photo of the Year Contest. His goal now: “Trying to capture something different than what’s been done recently.”

“I’ve been getting a lot of raptors lately, and am always looking for mammals,” he says. “Over the years I’ve gotten some pretty good locations down. I’ve been on a pika jag recently; they’re a kick. They have a very small territory, and if they populate an area, they get dense. I know a spot near Monitor Peak on highway 89, and I often get the best shots when I first get there.”

White-tailed kites, Whiting explains, stand 14 to 17 inches tall and have wingspans of 35 to 40 inches.

His winning shot of a juvenile, taken early one day in late August, came on one of his frequent visits to Half Moon Bay. “It’s a good raptor location; I’ve gotten a lot of good kite shots out there, as well as other birds. There was nothing going on that day, for the first time ever, although I did find a juvenile hawk and an adult up in a tree. I was stalking them for a takeoff shot when a couple on a bench referred me to a place about a mile away that photographers don’t know about.”

Whiting went back to his car and drove over there. “Right when I parked, I saw five kites in one tree,” he says. “There was a bush about chest high I hid behind. Juvenile raptors are really fun because they don’t have that fear of humans, which lets me get closer. I was so jazzed, because this was such a random encounter.”

Whiting spent a couple of hours in his spot, snagging his winning image but not knowing it yet. He came back the next afternoon, but the birds spooked at his approach. There was lots of action, though. “There was an adult in a cypress tree that started a war with ravens that were dive-bombing the kites. It was an ongoing battle – a little turf war.”

For Whiting, photography has been “a silver lining to the pandemic. I’m lucky to have the pastime.”

Equipment: Sony mirrorless A7R4 with a 200-600mm lens. ISO 640, shutter speed 1/3200, f6.3. Shot in crop mode.

This listing courtesy of CA Watchable Wildlife CA Watchable Wildlife

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This event was posted to the following categories. Click on sub-categories to find related events.

Primary Category is Nature

Sub-categories are: Call to Artists, Competition/Contest, Photography, Wildlife Viewing
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