White-tailed Deer at dusk.

One from the archives, taken in Saskatchewan, Canada in the late 1990s. This group of White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) appeared while I was stood on a ridge waiting for the moon to rise over some snow and hoarfrost covered prairie.

Luckily I had chosen the location so that I could use a telephoto lens to make the moon as big as possible in the planned shot. As a result, I had my telephoto set up on the tripod when the deer appeared. They’re in a hay field on the other side of a gravel road.

There was in the teens of deer, split into various groups. I was trying to select the most interesting group while waiting for the moon to appear.

Winter White-tailed Deer at dusk.

Frosted Squirrel.

One from the archives, taken in Saskatchewan, Canada in the late 1990s. And just in case you’re wondering, frosted squirrel is not a recipe.

This Eastern Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) was photographed one winter morning at around –30°C. The squirrel has frost on the tips of some of the hairs on its tail despite the sun and the photo being taken in the late morning if I recall correctly.

Eastern Gray Squirrel with frost on its tail.

Male Common Redpoll in winter.

One from the archives, taken in Saskatchewan in the late 1990s. I found a small flock of Common Redpolls (Acanthis flammea) feeding on windblown seeds caught in a snow bank.

Due to the temperature and wind I set up a portable hide (blind). This allowed me to get close to the birds without disturbing them while keeping slightly warmer as I was out of the wind. Sitting in the hide also put me closer to eye level with the birds on the snow bank.

The red on the breast makes this individual a male. The current scientific classification of the various Redpoll species is under debate by the various taxonomic authorities. My reasoning is that if they can’t agree I’m sticking with this being a male Common Redpoll.

Common Redpoll on snow.

 

Bohemian Waxwing at -30°C.

Throwback Thursday is a follow-up of sorts to yesterdays Wordless Wednesday post. Here’s a Bohemian Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus) at -30°C.

Both birds were photographed in Saskatchewan, Canada in the winter. I’m always impressed by the way small birds survive winter temperatures.

Nowadays some digital cameras make a big deal about a freezeproof rating of -10°C. I find that rather humourous having shot film at -40°C and digital at -20°C.

I found a small flock of Bohemian Waxwings feeding along a fence line one morning. I briefly considered putting up a portable hide (blind) until I thought about how hard it would be to peg down given how frozen the field would be. In the end I followed them along the fence line for a while before leaving them to finish stripping the berries.

A Bohemian Waxwing at -30°C.

 

An autumn Pine Siskin.

One from the archives, taken in Saskatchewan, Canada in the 1990s. The Pine Siskin (Spinus pinus) looks fluffed up against the cold but it will get a lot colder in the winter.

Pine Siskins can survive very low temperatures. Their metabolic rate is 40% higher than typical for songbirds of their size. In extreme cold they can increase their metabolic rate up to five times normal.

This is my favourite Pine Siskin shot from Saskatchewan although I can’t explain why. The bird isn’t doing anything and is partially obscured by a branch. Maybe it’s the colour combination of the bird and the autumn leaves.

An autumn Pine Siskin.