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Bill Marchel: Springtime through the lens

It can be a difficult time for the wildlife photographer because seldom does one have the chance to chase more than one species at a time.

A pair of wood ducks on water.
A male wood duck, dressed in his springtime best with iridescent feathers glowing (all the better to attract a mate) flaps his wings to shake water from his feathers.
Contributed / Bill Marchel
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BRAINERD — For a wildlife photographer, springtime is a busy period. All sorts of exciting activities are taking place outdoors. Old Man Winter was less than anxious to relinquish his grip on Minnesota this season, but warm spring days have finally arrived.

A Baltimore Oriole sitting in a tree.
What better signifies spring in Minnesota than birds and blooms. Here a male Baltimore Oriole is singing to attract a mate while perched among spring blooms of a crab apple tree.
Contributed / Bill Marchel

Birds of various colors and sizes migrate into central Minnesota — much to our delight. Some species stay and nest here, others move northward to raise young. And it’s not just birds that attract the nature photographer’s eye. Mammals, especially the young of the year, are photo targets, too.

But it can be a difficult time for the wildlife photographer, because seldom does one have the chance to chase more than one species at a time. What subject do we pursue on any given day, or at what time?

I guess, in reality, it's a good problem to have.

The images on this page are some of my springtime favorites.


A loon swimming with two chicks.
A common loon is keeping a watchful eye on her one-day-old chicks. Most loons are still incubating eggs, but the hatch will occur in next two weeks or so.
Contributed / Bill Marchel
A rabbit in a nest with four of its young.
A cottontail rabbit nest contains four young. Now, in late spring, baby mammals and birds are now beginning to show themselves, and parents are busy tending to their needs.
Contributed / Bill Marchel
A yellow warbler in a nest.
This female yellow warbler is incubating her eggs in a nest magnificently woven from plant fibers. Most species of birds are now sitting on eggs, or actively nurturing young.
Contributed / Bill Marchel

Bill Marchel
Bill Marchel

BILL MARCHEL is a wildlife and outdoors photographer and writer whose work appears in many regional and national publications as well as the Brainerd Dispatch. He may be reached at bill@billmarchel.com. You also can visit his website at BillMARCHEL.com.

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