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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Bird photography fail!

Photographing birds is hard. They do not tend to like to sit for their portraits. In fact they don't tend to sit - period! - for very long. They are constantly on the move. The only real exceptions that I've found to this are shorebirds and big water birds like geese, egrets, and herons, and I really enjoy it when I have an opportunity to take pictures of these more compliant subjects.

But backyard bird photography is something else altogether. Small birds are flighty, constantly on the lookout for predators. Even harder, for me at least, is catching birds in flight. And not just small birds but big raptors as well.

For example, there are a pair of Mississippi Kites in my neighborhood. I see one or both of them in flight over my yard almost every afternoon. All summer long I have been trying to get a usable picture of the birds. Shall I show you what I've got?

Looking at this, you might be able to figure out that the bird is a raptor of some kind, but that's probably about all you could determine. You can sort of tell that the head is gray which would be one clue.

On this day, the bird actually landed in a tree in the distance and sat there for a few seconds, long enough for me to snap this shot, but my lens was not adequate for the distance involved.  Again, all you can really tell is that it a big gray bird and maybe you can tell it is a raptor.

This is actually probably the best picture I've been able to get of the bird all summer. What a sad admission that is! But I'm still trying and before the birds leave for the winter I hope I will be able to get an image that you can actually recognize. Wish me luck!