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All photographs by David Lilly

The Northern Flicker is one of those Canadian Birds that don't seem to mine the cold weather. They are also difficult to approach at the best of times. The photographs above were photographed from a blind at a friend's bird feeder. The slightest movement even in a blind spooked the Flicker.


Photographed with a Nikon D 500 - 500mm lens.

Northern Flicker
Boreal Chickadee
Checklist for Extreme Winter Bird Photography.



On the Prairies for the last week we have had some extreme temperatures - 35 with the wind chill. This is normal  for a few weeks in the winter. It does make bird photography difficult, but not impossible, if you take the proper precautions and follow the advice below.


Bring fully charged spare batteries. Keep them inside your jacket to help them stay warm.


Protect your camera equipment from the wind. Temperatures in the wind can be 10 degrees colder then with no wind.


Don't breath on your viewfinder. It will ice up. Hold your breath take the photo and then back away from the camera.


If you are in a car don't put you camera equipment beside a duct.


Make sure you tell someone where you are going and what time you are returning.


Make sure you have a full tank of Gas.


Two bird photographers are better than one – more eyes.


Make sure you have emergency essentials in the car. ie, Food, water, sleeping bag, candles, a cell phone, some rope and a shovel.


Make notes of the backroads you are driving. If you break down you will be able to tell the recovery service where you are.


When stopping, make sure it is safe to stop – no bird photo is worth a life.


Turn on your four way flashers when stopping.


If you walking don't overdress. Wear crampons on the boots to avoid falling on paved pathways. In deep snow wear snowshoes.


Blue Jay by David Lilly

Common Redpoll by David Lilly