Female Red-Winged Blackbird

These are images taken from a previous trip to the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, Brigantine Division in Oceanville, NJ. Along the Wildlife Drive you see many birds in the vegetation along the sides of the Wildlife Drive either foraging for a meal or just hanging out on vegetation & bushes. Most of the Drive has water on both sides of the Wildlife Drive which also provides a lot of photo opportunities. Also there are many Gulls overhead that have found clams on the shorelines. They fly above the Wildlife Drive & drop the clams on the road. Once they fall on the road and crack open, they fly off to eat their meal. I guess it easier to open then. We have not had any hit the car, but some came close. So there are many photo opportunities along the Wildlife Drive. On this day there were a lot of Red-winged Blackbirds along the Wildlife Drive. But you have a better chance to get nice images if you do not try to get too close since they will just fly off. I usually use a 400mm Canon DO lens with either a 1.4x or 2x teleconverter so we do not have to get too close.

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Vertical View of Red-winged Blackbird, 400mm DO lens with 1.4x teleconverter 

Red-winged Blackbird before Sunrise

Red-winged Blackbird Singing Before Sunrise.

When waiting for a Sunrise at one of the Wildlife Refuges I go to, I like looking around in the grasses and plants to see if I can find some birds that are early risers, waiting to be photographed. They do not seem to be as skiddish as they are later in the day. Sometimes you can get quite close. It also seems they are singing or chirping more early in the morning so they are easier to find. The only problem is lack of light. I do not want to use a flash and blast them with light, rather get a natural early morning look. So I have to use a fairly high ISO to get sharp images and deal with some noise in the image later. Usually in Adobe Camera Raw, I can clean up most of the noise. It is fun to get some images with a different look to show their behavior.

All images captured with a Canon 1D MkIV, Canon 400mm f/4 IS DO MkI, with a Canon Series III 1.4X Teleconverter, Handheld.


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And a couple of others.

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Red-winged Blackbird in Tree

This is a 3 shot vertical panorama composite shot with the 400mm DO lens, handheld. I was looking at the lonely Blackbird and liked the angled branches of the tree with the snow behind the tree and thought it might be interesting if I made a vertical composition of the scene with the blackbird on top. Shooting vertically I could not fit it all in, so I shot 3 horizontal shots and stitched them together manually in Photoshop. I cropped a little off the sky on top, seemed like too much empty blue, and finished off with this crop.

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