Bighorn Sheep Rut – Post #4

Today’s post wraps up the 4-part posts of Bighorn Sheep in the rut in Waterton Canyon, Colorado. I’m sure I’ll be posting some more rut images, but these past 4 posts were captured during a single sitting while the sheep were in rut. If you missed the earlier rut posts, you can find them at these links:

Photographing the bighorn sheep rut is a wonderful learning tool for understanding the behaviors and actions the sheep take during the process of passing on their genes to future generations.

In this first image, a pair of large bighorn rams are busy jousting to determine “king of the mountain”:

Bighorn Sheep rams

While the rams are busy, the ewe slips away and climbs up the rocky slope (above the jousting rams) to a safe place, away from the rams:

Bighorn Sheep ewe, with rams below

Within a minute or so, one of the rams sees her and starts making his way to where she is positioned:

Bighorn Sheep ewe with ram

… then a second ram makes his way to the rocks:

Bighorn Sheep ewe and rams

Meanwhile, a couple of large rams, located below the ewe and rams on the slope, continue to head butt and joust for dominance rights:

Bighorn Sheep rams jousting

Bighorn Sheep rams

Then, without warning, the ewe makes a run for it … with one of the two rams hot on her trail:

Bighorn Sheep ram chasing ewe

With little hesitation, she decides to leap from the boulders and make a run for it:

Bighorn Sheep ram chasing ewe

Bighorn Sheep ram and ewe

Bighorn Sheep ram chasing ewe

As she runs off, with the ram close behind, the other rams continue to joust:

Bighorn Sheep rams jousting

Bighorn Sheep rams jousting

Bighorn Sheep rams jousting

Ya gotta love action like this!

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon EF 100mm-400mm, f/4.5-f/5.6 IS lens + Canon 1.4x TC (shot at 560mm)
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 400
  • Aperture f/7.1
  • Shutter 1/800 sec.

 

 

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Posted in 2014, Blog, Mammals, Nature Photography, Travel Photography
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