2023-05-16 Birds

The objective for this two week challenge is to photograph birds, either in flight or stationary. There is a great course on birding available on the Calgary Library site, under the Kanopy service. It is called Birding in North America by National Geographic / Great Courses. Tactics for better birding might be useful help.

Please limit your images to no larger than 1600 pixels wide or 1050 pixels high.

52 Responses to 2023-05-16 Birds

Bill Stilwell says:
2023-05-16 at 11:04 pm
Just missed the deadline for last theme and since this is the correct category I am reposting it here.
Sony A6000 with a 55-210 telephoto lens set to spot movable focus.
Handheld above my head with the rear display tilted down to see live view display.
ISO 2500, ss 1/50s, f25.
Played with PS 6 to get exposure balanced for several minutes. Next tried Luminar 4 with 80% AI adjustment and this is what was posted.

Paul Fesko says:
2023-05-17 at 3:18 pm
An early morning excursion for some bird photography. 1/1600s, f7.1, ISO 2000. Denoised in Topaz DeNoise, Cropped in LR. This image is SOOC.

Paul Fesko says:
2023-05-17 at 3:20 pm
1;250s, f7.1, ISO 800. Cropped and minimal editing in LR, denoised the ISO 800 in Topaz DeNoise.

Henri says:
2023-05-20 at 12:42 am
Beautifully framed image.

Karen Sandra McDaniel says:
2023-05-17 at 4:13 pm
Taken on Horse Creek Road when we still had clear air on May 15. No sooner had the Swainson’s Hawk landed on the shrub, the magpies swooped down. The hawk didn’t seem too disturbed as the magpies hopped around the hawk and one appeared to want to land on his back. The hawk flew away shortly. Settings: AP, F8, S1/4000, ISO 2000, Auto WB, CW Metering, Focal Length 400mm

Henri says:
2023-05-20 at 12:40 am
Great “street” photography Karen. Steady hand as well, or was this done with a tripod.

Karen Sandra McDaniel says:
2023-05-22 at 12:57 am
Thanks. Done by hand, Henri. Fast shutter.

Joe Horler says:
2023-05-19 at 1:57 am
As mentioned the Bridlelwood Ponds are a fine place to capture birds. This was a midday image of a Franklin Gull with my Fuji XT-5 on bird tracking and using a 50-140mm lens with a 1.4X teleconverter.
Focal length of 139mm/ ISO 400/F 5.0/ SS@1/1600

Henri says:
2023-05-20 at 12:44 am
Nice action shot Joe.

Bill Stilwell says:
2023-05-19 at 1:28 pm
Hi Joe,
Does the tracking feature work well as in this case when there are more than 1 bird the possible shot?

Joe Horler says:
2023-05-21 at 5:39 pm
HI Bill. I am only just beginning to use this latest iteration in the Fuji XT series. The XT-5 I has a a new larger sensor which probably helps. But the subject tracking is new as Fuji works to offer competitive features with Sony, Nikon and Canon. I have found the little “in focus boxes” will tend to follow the bird where the photographer is primarily aiming. I attach an image from the same day of a gull (sharp in focus) and two ducks on the water (out of focus) — the tracking followed the moving gull

Frankie says:
2023-05-26 at 4:34 am
That’s cool how well the tracking feature works, nice and sharp.

Henri says:
2023-05-20 at 12:04 am
Mid day lighting. This crow was preening while closely observing the photographer. Taken with my Canon R5 and a 200mm Zoom. Significantly cropped. f/2.8, 1/1250 sec, ISO 800 Manual Mode. Enhanced in the latest version of Lightroom and it’s export sharpening.

Henri says:
2023-05-20 at 12:12 am
Same image with distractions removed with the healing brush and a bit of cloning

Paul Fesko says:
2023-05-21 at 1:05 pm
In the new Lightroom, I often use the subject mask, once selected I invert it and then use the exposure slider to darken the background. If the sky is well defined they also have a sky mask that works well too.

Henri says:
2023-05-22 at 2:54 pm
Thanks Paul. I am getting the hang of Lightroom now. Photoshop proper masking techniques are a bit different. I have to “unlearn” these for LRC. Actually I am going to compartmentalize the two versions of Photoshop. Unfortunately the background on this image is too washed out to recover anyting.

Paul Fesko says:
2023-05-25 at 12:36 pm
In the new Photoshop, if you apply the Camera Raw Filter, you get the same masking tools that are in Lightroom. These days, I can get more and more editing done entirely in Lightroom.

Frankie says:
2023-05-20 at 12:14 am
I got very lucky. Silly robins built a nest three feet off the ground in our front yard. They were hanging around every day while I was planting and watering, so they were used to me by the time the babies hatched a few days ago.
ISO 3200, 56 mm, f/6.3, 1/50 sec

Henri says:
2023-05-20 at 12:47 am
Wow, what a close-up and tack-sharp.

Frankie says:
2023-05-26 at 4:30 am
Thanks, Henri! The three babies are now a week old and are looking a lot cuter than when I first took a peek at them. Since I don’t have a tripod or a remote shutter button, I won’t be able to get a shot of them being fed. It’s very dark in there and the two parents will stand on the lawn, each with a worm in their beak (so sweet!), waiting for me to get about 15′ away before they’ll feed them. (I’ve been planting and watering. Our whole front lawn is only 25′ x 25′.)

Frankie says:
2023-05-30 at 6:48 pm
Update on babies – gone! I googled and hatchling to fledgling is a mere 13 days. They were definitely older than I thought when I discovered them. I removed the nest so they would build a new one in a different spot I hope, because I don’t want to worry about stressing the parents out while I’m in the garden. The nest was in a 4′ tall globe spruce on a stick, as we call it.

della says:
2023-05-21 at 1:51 am
owlet branching at Griffith Woods
ISO 2800 f9 600mm 1/1600

della says:
2023-05-21 at 2:29 am
Black crowned heron at Boat Launch ISO 1000 f7.1 400mm 1/2500

Henri says:
2023-05-30 at 3:02 pm
Beautiful artsy composition. If not for a few leaves it could rival a Japanese print.

Diana says:
2023-05-21 at 3:56 pm
On Friday, Joe and I drove out to Frank Lake and spent an hour photographing birds….too smokey, too hot and too many mosquitos to stay longer. We noted the decline in the number of birds, than we usually see. The light was very hazy (caused by heat and smoke) but it allowed me to capture this high key shot of a little family of Canada Geese.
SS: 1/1000, f6.3; ISO 640, focal length 600 mm.

Henri says:
2023-05-22 at 3:18 pm
Great shot Diana. I love how the subjects and their reflections are isolated from the background. It looks like the smog was thick. I can barely make out the shore line just above the backs of the parent geese. Or did you use an editing technique such as vignetting to fade the background.

Diana says:
2023-05-22 at 4:43 pm
Thanks Henri:
I put a very light vignette on it to reduce the line on the back left. All else was soft but that spot along the shoreline was out of context so I used a +10 vignette which softened it slightly. I wanted just a hint and this seemed to work.
The sun was very strong but the haze from the smoke made everything white, including the water…..very bright situation.

Diana says:
2023-05-21 at 4:01 pm
Also at Frank Lake, the same day.
Yellow Headed Black Bird. He was distracted by something which allowed me to capture a different pose.

SS: 1/1000; f6.3; ISO 640; Focal length 553 mm.

Joe Horler says:
2023-05-21 at 8:44 pm
Frank Lake— always interesting! My image of the Red wind blackbird “patrolling” the shore to tell everyone about the deep water.
Fuji XT-5. 100-400mm lens at 238mm focal length. ISO 250/F 6.4/SS@1/1000

Henri says:
2023-05-22 at 3:20 pm
I like the humor!

Jim Springer says:
2023-05-22 at 8:13 pm
I managed to capture a red wing blackbird just after taking flight. I did a little sharpening in post as well as adding a touch of saturation. Shot at 1/800 sec, f-11, ISO-1250. I was using animal eye detection with subject tracking on with shutter priority and auto ISO and Servo AF mode.

Frankie says:
2023-05-26 at 4:40 am
Great action shot! You can’t tell they have that much red when they’re not flying. Animal eye detection looks like another cool feature I don’t have!

Henri says:
2023-05-23 at 11:55 pm
Aerial dispute between two mallard ducks during our morning walk in Griffiths Woods. 1/1250 sec, f/8, ISO 800 on Manual. Zoom lens at 200 mm. Major crop.

Ron says:
2023-05-25 at 1:35 am
Wow! Amazing action shot Henri!

Frankie says:
2023-05-30 at 6:12 pm
I agree, amazing capture of action!

Ron says:
2023-05-25 at 1:29 am
Yellow-headed blackbird hanging out with red-winged black bird in Dale Hodges Park. ISO 800, f/10, 1/500. Minor light adjustments in Apple Photos, sharpening in GIMP. Also used the dodge tool in GIMP to better bring out the eyes.

Henri says:
2023-05-30 at 2:59 pm
I like the juxtaposition.

Ron says:
2023-05-25 at 1:33 am
Killdeer in Dale Hodges Park. ISO 800, f/14, 1/500. Minor light adjustments in Apple Photos, sharpening in GIMP. Also used the dodge tool in GIMP to better bring out the eye colour.

judi says:
2023-05-27 at 3:18 pm
Backyard finch – SS 1/125 f/2.8 ISO 500. Focal length 108mm. Image taken with FZ300 bridge camera. Some editing in Apple photos. I wish the finch was in better focus.

Henri says:
2023-05-30 at 2:54 pm
Nice composition, well framed.

judi says:
2023-05-27 at 3:20 pm
Backyard Starling – SS 1/250 F/4 ISO 100 focal length 87.3mm . Image taken with FZ300 and cropped.

Doug Stewart says:
2023-05-29 at 3:44 pm
The week before last we were in Point Pelee National Park on Lake Erie, where we were fortunate to witness the great Spring bird migration. The biggest challenge was coming to grips with the incredible diversity of warblers, let alone other birds not commonly seen in Calgary. This first image is of a rare Prothonotary Warbler, in this case a male – one of a pair nesting in a wetland. ISO 200, f/4, 1/1000 sec, 600mm equiv. Denoised and sharpened in Topaz.

Doug Stewart says:
2023-05-29 at 3:47 pm
Also from Point Pelee, the relatively rare Red-headed Woodpecker. ISO 125, f/4, 1000 sec, 600mm equiv. sharpened and denoised in Topaz.

Henri says:
2023-05-30 at 2:52 pm
Spectacular, and beautifully framed

Frankie says:
2023-05-29 at 9:47 pm
I went to the bird sanctuary and all I saw was a pair of Canada geese with three babies and this female common goldeneye (I think!). Maybe it’s better in the early morning?
ISO 800, 400, mm, f/8, 1/500, -0.67 ev

Beth says:
2023-05-29 at 10:09 pm
Went to Dale Hodges Park last Friday about 8:30 am. Beautiful day, hardly any smoke and birds flying everywhere overhead. This shot taken with my 100-400 mm lens at f/22, 1/80 sec, ISO 250

Henri says:
2023-05-30 at 2:49 pm
I think this is a Scaup. I looked it up in the field guide. I like this image, the bird contrasts well with the background.

Beth says:
2023-05-29 at 10:12 pm
Also taken at Dale Hodges Park. Mom and her brood of goslings, very cute. Shot with my 100-400 lens at f22, 1/80 sec, ISO 250

Fred Schwering says:
2023-05-29 at 10:43 pm
Spent lots of time in the garden and with the grand-kids over the past weeks so I didn’t manage to get out to any of the sites to see any migrating birds. I did manage to spot a little sparrow checking out my raspberry patch. Merlin says it is a Chipping Sparrow.
F/3.5, 1/400 sec, ISO 200, FL 300 mm

Shannon says:
2023-05-30 at 2:48 am
Mallard duck – 168 mm, 1/1000 sec. @ f/9.0, ISO 2000. Increased clarity, exposure, saturation and vibrance in LR. Also cropped image.

Debbie McCluskey says:
2023-05-30 at 2:09 pm
The Wilson’s Snipe over the shoulder pose. I was fortunate to have two photo sessions with the bird at Gull Lake board walk. I had gone out originally with the 600 lens, but came back with the 300 lens. I could do the 10 paces, stop and get closer. This was with my 300 mm lens on Program setting. F5.5, 1/1250 sec ISO 320 at 256 mm.

Henri says:
2023-05-30 at 2:41 pm
Great shot Deb. Perfect blurry background colour.