Kip’s Comments 6-25-21

Yellow-billed Cuckoo - Image 696911 (© Kip Ladage)


A Perfect Pose!

For weeks I have been routinely hearing the tell-tale call of yellow-billed cuckoos along the Wapsipinicon River. On two occasions I spotted the elusive birds that tend to spend much of their time hidden by leaves in the upper parts of trees. I have even managed a few photographs, but none that excited me. Then today happened.         

This morning, after finishing up some work, I went for a much needed paddle on the Wapsie to look for cuckoos or any other interesting photo compositions. Based on previous sightings and where I had been hearing them, I had a general idea where the cuckoos might be. With a good bit of luck I was able to locate the not one, not two, but three yellow-billed cuckoos.  Two of the birds were adults and one was a juvenile bird. My timing was perfect since the adult birds were feeding the young bird.     

As the adults were collecting meals for the young cuckoo, one of the birds eventually dropped into a position where I could easily see it and photograph it. The bird was in this location only a second or two, but long enough for me to capture a pleasing image – an image with a cuckoo in a pose I would not change…an ideal posture!     

If I could change anything about this experience, I wish I would have been able to photograph the adult birds feeding the young bird. They so delicately transferred the meal from their beak to the little one, then flew off for more. Unfortunately, from my canoe I was not able to see a clear view for photos.   

What a great morning!

Yellow-billed Cuckoo - Image 696911 (© Kip Ladage)

Yellow-billed Cuckoo – Image 696911 (© Kip Ladage)


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