Reddish Egret with Radio Tracker @ Ding Darling NWR

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When I was working on the files of this Reddish Egret I photographed at Ding Darling NWR, there was one feather that always looked like it was sticking up and seemed strange. So on the images I was working on I just cloned it out because it looked odd. It was not til I was working on the last image I saw it was a radio tracker, not a weird feather sticking up. I was surprised how large it was. I was going to go back and leave it in, but decided to stay with a “cleaner” look for most of them. I have seen tracking bands on their legs, but it was a first time I saw a radio tracker on a bird at Ding Darling NWR. Especially a tracker that large. This Reddish Egret was working this area from early morning with cooler light and gradually I got some warmer shots as the sun got higher in the sky. You can see the progression of cooler early morning images, then to the last warmer with the sun higher in the sky.

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Early Morning Light @600mm

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Earlier morning light before sun warmed up the area. With Tracker antenna showing.

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Same Reddish Egret in Warmer light

Reddish Egret Hunting

This Reddish Egret was hunting for it’s meal. They raise there wings to cast a shadow to see their prey in the water. They become very animated darting back and worth. This one was successful a few times, but as soon as it caught something the gulls would swoop in to try to steal it. They are fun to watch because of their quick movements and their animated darting back and forth. Also they are a medium to larger heron, so photographically they are a bigger subject to capture photographically. I raised my ISO to 1250 because it was a little cloudy and the Egret was very quick moving, so I wanted a shutter speed of about 1/1250 to 1/2000 sec.

Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Canon 400mm DO f/4 lens with Canon 1.4X SeriesIII Teleconverter,  f/7.1 , 1/1600 sec to 1/2000 sec @ ISO 1250

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