Today’s Fun Friday post comes from Moraine Park, inside Rocky Mountain NP (Colorado). The annual elk (Cervus canadensis) rut (i.e., attraction/mating) ritual has started and I captured this behavioral image on my first morning inside the park:
During the rut, male elk (“bulls”) will “bugle” (a high-pitched squeal) to attract female elk (“cows”). As the rut progresses, a bull will collect his own little “harem” of cows, which he will viciously defend from other bulls entering his space, as well as attempt to add more cows to his collection. In future posts, I’ll share some more rut images, and a few videos I’ve been capturing of their awesome behaviors during the rut!
Photographic Equipment Used:
- Canon 7D body
- Canon EF100-400mm, f/4.5-f/5.6 IS lens
- Handheld, with IS “On”
- ISO 3200 (this image was captured a little post-sunrise, but before sun hit the meadow)
- Aperture f/5.6
- Shutter 1/200 sec.