Sunday, February 14, 2016
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I've said this before and I'll say it again - the American Robin is one of our showiest birds, bar none. Were it a major rarity, everyone would go ape at the sight of one. But it's easy to get jaded to the commonplace and ignore birds like robins. Thus, when I espied this extremely cooperative chap, I resolved to do my best photographic portraiture work and really try to bring out his handsomeness.
The image was made with the tripod-mounted Canon 5D Mark III and 500mm f/4 II. A 1.4x teleconverter allowed me to reach in even closer. Single point focus was shifted to the upper left of the grid and placed squarely on the bird's eye. Settings were f/8, 1/640, ISO 800, and +1/3rd exposure compensation.
I've long been partial to these kleptoparasitic dabblers. It isn't uncommon to see thieving wigeon out in deep water associating with diving ducks such as scaup, Redheads, or Ring-necked Ducks. When one of the divers returns to the surface with a billfull of succulent plant matter, the wigeon attempt to snatch it away. That's one way to get at food that lies in the depths beyond one's reach.
Tomorrow is supposed to bring a high of 37 F. Spring is rapidly approaching, and with it the wild yo-yo weather of late winter and early spring in the Midwest.