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On almost any body of water in Alberta you will find the American Coot, the bully of the waterways. Bully is perhaps a strong word. Truly, they are agonistic, defenders of their turf. No matter the size of their opponent, they will try to drive them off of, what the coot believes to be, their own personal, or familial, territory.

American Coots or Mud Hens, as they are also, popularly called, are our most common opportunity for action shots. They are on every pond in Alberta, and they are always, action oriented. They are very fast, so... you need a fast shutter speed, well up into the, at least, 1/500th of a second range. The image above is 1/1600th of a second, shutter speed, so...go faster rather than slower.

Almost any kind of movement or action on the part of a wildlife subject will add to the sense of life and thereby to our connection with the animal. Hey, that Coot is chasing off some bird that’s poaching on his territory. I would do that too. Maybe we’re not so different? And there’s the connection. Animals breathe, hunt and fight with each other, run, jump and splash all of which creates opportunities for action shots but more importantly, opportunities to get to know wildlife, just a little bit better.

Explore wildlife in action by clicking on one of the galleries below.

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