Congratulations to Stan Bysshe for winning the recent Wildlife in Motion assignment with the image, “Sibling Rivalry.”
“The image ‘Sibling Rivalry’ was taken after watching an Oystercatcher pair and their two chicks for several days,” explains Bysshe. “Each morning, the parents would lead the two youngsters down to the ocean’s edge to feed them mole crabs and small clams. At the same time, the chicks were getting a lesson on how to dig for food. Like all youngsters though, they were always looking for a chance to play and establish a definite pecking order. These two would squabble all morning long until they were full and then follow their parents back to the nesting area for a nap. Expecting the behavior allowed for getting the shot. Instead of ‘chasing’ the birds, staying in one spot and waiting for the birds to hunt nearby worked best as they would come very close if I simply stayed in one spot.
“The image was made off a tripod fully opened to get as flat as possible and at eye level with the birds. It’s not cropped and, in fact, I had to back off a bit as the chicks often were inside the near focal length of the lens. The summer sun gets harsh quickly at the beach, so early-morning or late-afternoon shooting is key; it’s also the time that the birds are feeding.”
Nikon D500, Nikon 500mm f/4 lens, Gitzo tripod, Wimberley gimbal head. Exposure: 1/1000 sec., ƒ/8, ISO 450.
See more of Stan Bysshe’s photography at sbysshe.smugmug.com.