This and That

Random bits of my life

Hyrax Quartet

Posted by Avital Pinnick on January 7, 2010

6/365 - Hyrax Quartet

Aren’t these guys adorable? These rock hyraxes live in the wadi below my neighbourhood. They’re mostly nocturnal, so the best time to photograph them is at dawn.

Hyraxes normally sit in pairs on rocks, two sentries pointing in opposite directions, so this cluster was a little unusual. They stared at me for a few minutes, until the one in front jumped off the rock and loped into his burrow.

I went out with my new Canon 55-250mm lens to get a better shot than I’d managed with the 18-55mm kit lens. This was cropped somewhat. It was handheld but the sharpness of the original is still acceptable, in my opinion.


Adding a note about their size. They’re about as big as large cats or groundhogs, but with much shorter legs. Most of the time they lope like rabbits, but they can run fast if they’re frightened.

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4 Responses to “Hyrax Quartet”

  1. […] I was walking around with my new Canon 55-250mm lens, hoping to get a shot of hyraxes. At 6:45 I glanced over towards the east and saw the rising sun shining off the southern tower of […]

  2. JulieT said

    SQUEE! CUTEST CRITTERS EVER!!! (Well. Except for my cat. And my kid. I’m biased. But dang, they’re CUTE!)

  3. pam said

    What a great shot! Beautiful light you had to work with and the subject couldn’t be more appealing! Your composition is amazing! Wild creatures usually don’t pick such perfect spots to pose for their “cover” shots!

    They remind me of a creature we used to see while back packing at high altitudes in the Teton range in Wyoming – a Marmot. Never got this lucky with getting a shot of them though – even though I had lugged my gear 40 miles on my back along with all my other stuff!

    • apinnick said

      Pam, it’s much, much easier to photograph critters in your own backyard than in a park! The colony has been in the same place for years and unless a fox or jackal scares them into hiding, they can usually be counted on to be out at their usual time. It was lucky to get four in a shot, though. Once I made a video of six of them hopping around but the video wasn’t very good because I didn’t have a tripod with me. The light at that hour of the morning is quite beautiful.

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