Show your Bird Portraits

AlanF

Canon 5DSR II
Aug 16, 2012
5,802
3,284
Staying on the beautiful campus of the Weizmann Institute in Israel, which is full of birds. They are pretty difficult to shoot but the 90D +100-400mm II was up to it. Palestinian Sunbird, Eurasian Jay, White Wagtail, White Spectacled BulBul, Indian Myna (ugh), Syrian WoodPecker and Rose-Ringed Parakeet made a nice haul on a walk.
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ISv

"The equipment that matters, is you"
Apr 30, 2017
855
967
Walking around some local fields I saw one of the Kestrels hovering to my right and as I started to go that way, she dove. A moment later she came back up and flew back the direction I had just came from, landing on a side branch of a tobacco tree with a mouse. It took a bit to get some shots of her eating without the topmost branch in the way but after she was done, she hopped up on the top branch and did some preening/stretching just as the sun was dropping behind the horizon. Almost like she was showing off for me as she went through the whole routine twice and some of the stretches a couple more times.

1DX MK II 600 f/4 II 1.4X III @840mm 1/500 : f/8 : ISO 1000
Great posing from the bird! WHY, WHY not little bit sharper and you would make me cry!!! Even like this - lovely! Thanks!
 
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ERHP

EOS RP
May 9, 2013
368
250
San Diego
erhp.smugmug.com
Is the lighting making it a challenge?

Jack
f/8 at 840mm was really my limitation and with her moving plus the breeze, I settled at 1/500th . At 35', I have about 2.5" of DoF to play with so I can focus further down the body and risk the eye being out or go for the eye on a 10-12" long bird. Based on the timestamp, this was taken about 14 minutes before sunset so lighting definitely added to my challenges. The image is the original height, though I converted to 8 x 10 to reduce a lot of the empty blue sky.
 

AlanF

Canon 5DSR II
Aug 16, 2012
5,802
3,284
f/8 at 840mm was really my limitation and with her moving plus the breeze, I settled at 1/500th . At 35', I have about 2.5" of DoF to play with so I can focus further down the body and risk the eye being out or go for the eye on a 10-12" long bird. Based on the timestamp, this was taken about 14 minutes before sunset so lighting definitely added to my challenges. The image is the original height, though I converted to 8 x 10 to reduce a lot of the empty blue sky.
The beak and eye are in perfect focus, and the somewhat oof of the tail and wings are acceptable to me and might even enhance it.
 
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Jack Douglas

CR for the Humour
Apr 10, 2013
6,155
1,090
Alberta, Canada
The beak and eye are in perfect focus, and the somewhat oof of the tail and wings are acceptable to me and might even enhance it.
I agree. It strikes me as being very similar to my situation when I am stuck with a certain degree of back lighting and have to use a lower than preferred shutter. It's such a striking shot that I'm wondering if some work on the shadows and contrast wouldn't help. I'm learning some tricks as the years pass but certainly not commenting with significant expertise! ;)

Jack
 
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AlanF

Canon 5DSR II
Aug 16, 2012
5,802
3,284
Went round with the 5DSR and 100-400mm II + 1.4xTCIII today to compare. Stonechat, White Wagtail and White Spectacled BulBul. The light was very good but the small birds were distant. The parakeets at the end were at roosting time, but I got there earlier with better light as dusk came in and could use faster shutter speeds.
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ERHP

EOS RP
May 9, 2013
368
250
San Diego
erhp.smugmug.com
I agree. It strikes me as being very similar to my situation when I am stuck with a certain degree of back lighting and have to use a lower than preferred shutter. It's such a striking shot that I'm wondering if some work on the shadows and contrast wouldn't help. I'm learning some tricks as the years pass but certainly not commenting with significant expertise! ;)

Jack
When I had the backlight situation with the Yellow Crown and the large crab I was shooting a lot lower shutter speed than I wanted while trying to keep the DoF deep enough to capture all the detail. People always tell me to just shoot a higher ISO but that tends to create additional work, unless the intent is only to produce 'small' images for the social platforms. I'm still learning myself and hope I never stop. CC is something always accepted, I'm just not sure how much differently I could have taken that shot without giving up something else.
 

Jack Douglas

CR for the Humour
Apr 10, 2013
6,155
1,090
Alberta, Canada
When I had the backlight situation with the Yellow Crown and the large crab I was shooting a lot lower shutter speed than I wanted while trying to keep the DoF deep enough to capture all the detail. People always tell me to just shoot a higher ISO but that tends to create additional work, unless the intent is only to produce 'small' images for the social platforms. I'm still learning myself and hope I never stop. CC is something always accepted, I'm just not sure how much differently I could have taken that shot without giving up something else.
Thanks for the comment. No criticism, just me pondering the shot. Unfortunately photo-life is one of compromises. :)

Jack
 
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AlanF

Canon 5DSR II
Aug 16, 2012
5,802
3,284
Had a marvellous morning. Someone whom I didn't know recognised me in the street and put the top bird professor in Israel, Yossi Leshem, in touch. We watched at the Jerusalem Bird Observatory, birds being netted and ringed. And we heard about a wonderful collaboration between Palestinian, Israeli and Jordanian birders, including introducing Barn Owls to reduce the number of rodents by some 80% to save farmers crops either sides of borders and cut down on poisons.
Here is a Robin caught in a mist net, a Hoopoe being ringed and after ringing.
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ISv

"The equipment that matters, is you"
Apr 30, 2017
855
967
Had a marvellous morning. Someone whom I didn't know recognised me in the street and put the top bird professor in Israel, Yossi Leshem, in touch. We watched at the Jerusalem Bird Observatory, birds being netted and ringed. And we heard about a wonderful collaboration between Palestinian, Israeli and Jordanian birders, including introducing Barn Owls to reduce the number of rodents by some 80% to save farmers crops either sides of borders and cut down on poisons.
Here is a Robin caught in a mist net, a Hoopoe being ringed and after ringing.
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Nice pictures Alan! I have never seen Hoopoe that close (and I don't mean the captured bird) - nice shot!
I have problem only with the Pale Rock Sparrow - Carpospiza brachydactyla (not as a photo off course - it is fine): some features are for that one (unfortunatelly you got strong light on the front of the bird) and others are (very!) typical for the Rock Sparrow (Petronia petronia)- like the long, well pronounced supercilium, and rather contrast eye-strip. Also some (very pale, here is coming the front light) strips on the flanks that also do not belong to the Pale Rock Sparrow. It's interesting for me because I have seen the Rock Sparrow in Europe (never seen the Pale Rock Sparrow) and some times it was looking as your bird, especially in light conditions like in your photo (it's crazy to expect some vagrants of the Pale Rock sparrow to Europe - I know but still...).
 

ISv

"The equipment that matters, is you"
Apr 30, 2017
855
967
This morning I notice par of Rose-ringed Parakeets trying to dig a hole in rotten part of Eucalyptus tree - right in front of my lanai. Only the female was digging and was frequently disrupted by two Common Mynas (Mynas have a nest nearby). The abuse stopped when the male Parakeet (last photo) arrived and took the matter in his hands (bill I mean:)).
First - I didn't know the Parakeets are digging their own holes (from scratch in this case) and Second - would be nice to see the birds taking care of chicks when drinking my coffee in the mornings:cool: !

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