Tip #48: Avoid Photographing Wildlife on Windy Days
My photographic passion is to take pictures of wildlife. In particular, I enjoy trekking to the high latitudes and altitudes the most where the cold-loving critters live. These extreme locations are frequently windy so I adjust my wildlife search to avoid the wind. For example, on windy days at the edge of the alpine tundra I will look for white-tailed ptarmigan on the leeward side of the willow bushes where the branches block the wind for the birds.
I have found over the years that animals just don't like to be out in the wind. Wind zaps them of their energy, especially cold wind in the winter (think of how dried out and beaten you feel after being out in the wind). It can prevent them from hearing or smelling approaching predators or from finding prey. A really windy day may kick up a lot of sand or snow that can get in eyes and ears (and camera equipment).
So of all weather conditions I have found windy days produce the least amount of stunning wildlife photos.
If you do decide to photograph wildlife on a windy day (or that is the only day available to you due to a work or travel schedule), by all means, go out and take the pictures but adjust your search. Look for animals behind objects that will block the wind for them, such as buildings, bushes, or hills. And be sure to protect your equipment by putting something around your camera, such as a LensCoat.
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