Skill, Timing, Perseverance and Luck. This is what you need in order to capture great nature photography.
Skill - mostly means you need to know your camera and how it operates.
Timing - milliseconds can make the difference between a blah shot and a great shot.
Perseverance - commitment, hard work and patience.
Luck - seriously, when all else fails, you are better to be lucky than good.
While taking a ride around a private lake with the kids and in-laws, we came across a family of loons. Mommy, daddy and baby. They put on quite the show and I kept my finger busy while snapping a ton of photos. I managed to snap 5 photos with wings spread and only two were usable (in my opinion). This one is by far my favorite of the two.
What a beautiful bird...what a wonderful day...what an awesome show they put on for the kids. The loons swam under our boat several times, which was really cool and didn't seem to mind too much that I was stalking them with my camera. I also consider myself VERY lucky for getting this shot.