Nature’s Buttheads

Today’s post features photos I traveled to Waterton Canyon to capture … bighorn sheep rams in the annual rut. This was my third straight year traveling to the canyon to capture the headbutting of the bighorn rams, as they establish dominance among the herd. I’ve got to say that I wasn’t 100% successful … the large rams seemed to have already stopped their headbutting activities when I arrived. But I was able to capture some activity of some juvenile sheep, both ewes and rams:

This is about the extent of the larger rams’ sparring, just gently nudging:

Bighorn Sheep rams sparring

In this next series, a couple of juvenile sheep are sparring, with much more intensity. Note in some of the images you can see their hooves completely off the ground as they put their weight into the butting:

Bighorn Sheep sparring

Bighorn Sheep sparring

Bighorn Sheep sparring

Bighorn Sheep sparring

Bighorn Sheep sparring

Bighorn Sheep sparring

In this next series, the juvies rise up on their back legs to get even more force into the butt:

Bighorn Sheep sparring

Bighorn Sheep sparring

Can you imagine the force from two large rams going at it! Even with these juveniles, the pop of their heads meeting was very loud. So, now I can say that I have at least captured some up-close images of the bighorn rut. But I’m still not satisfied, as I really want to capture some of the big rams as they spar. Maybe next year?! :o)

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 100-400mm, f/4.5-f/5.6 IS lens + Canon 1.4x Teleconverter
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 1600
  • Aperture f/6.3
  • Shutter 1/500 sec. to 1/640 sec.

 

 

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Posted in 2015, Blog, Mammals, Nature Photography, Travel Photography
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