Reddish Egrets From J.N. Ding Darling NWR

A series of Reddish Egret Images from a previous trip to the J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge in Sanibel Florida. All images were taken with a Canon 1D mkIV with a Canon 400mm DO lens with a 1.4X Teleconverter. The Featured image is 2 Reddish Egrets Foraging for a meal by one of the viewing areas close to the Wildlife Drive. Here there is a sand dune out in the water fairly close to the Wildlife Drive so it is a good spot to photograph the action of the birds interacting with each other.

Reddish Egret Preening in the shallow water in front of the sand dune by the Wildlife Drive

Reddish Egret In Shadows

I found this Reddish Egret foraging in the water along the Wildlife Drive at J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge in Florida. Because the Egret was in the shade, the auto white balance enhanced the dappled sunlight with a warmer golden glow to the spots of sun on the featured image. We actually saw quite a few Reddish Egrets through the Refuge. All images taken with a 400mm DO lens with 1.4x teleconverter on a Canon 7D.


Reddish Egret strolling in sunlight


Reddish Egret Foraging

Reddish Egret Looking For A Meal

I saw this Reddish Egret looking for a meal as it was strolling along in the water in front of me. Usually you see them darting around with their wings raised casting a shadow for the fish to swarm to. Images taken with 300mm lens with 1.4X Teleconverter.


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.


Early Morning Light @600mm



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


Same Reddish Egret in Warmer light

Reddish-Egret – 2 Shot Pano

It is not often that while I am walking looking for photo subjects, that one comes so close I cannot fit it all in the viewfinder. So I try shooting my subject with 2 overlapping images. You have to take a few multiple images quickly, to try to avoid any movement of your subject. Usually a little movement, I can deal with. In Photoshop I try letting Photoshop automatically align and combine them. If that does not work I do it manually. So one way or another, it is a way to get the image.

The featured image is 2 horizontal images stacked vertically and combined.

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Another 2 shot composite. 2 horizontal images stacked in Photoshop. 300mm f/4 lens

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Example – showing top half of image before combining and adjusting colors, etc. in Photoshop.

One Leg Up Reddish Egret

This Reddish Egret was just standing on one leg for about an hour. I was shooting other birds flying in and out, hunting for their meals and interacting with each other. This one was just standing on one leg watching what was going on. I usually do not see them that motionless for that long. At least being that still made for a good subject to photograph.

Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Sigma 300-800mm DG f/5.6 zoom @ 800mm, f/8, 1/500 sec, ISO 640

Reddish Egret

This Reddish Egret was walking not far from the shore, stopping to look around, then moving on again. I was waiting to see if it would start hunting for a meal, but it kept moving slowly along. The Egret takes quite long strides as it walks giving it an almost slow motion look its slow walk.

Header photo, Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Sigma 300-800mm DG lens @800mm, tripod mounted with Wimberly Gimbal Head, f/7.1, 1/500 sec, ISO 640.

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Got an Itch
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Canon 400mm DO IS f/4 lens, Canon 1.4X teleconverter, handheld, f/11, 1/200 sec, ISO 400

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Striding Along
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Canon 400mm DO IS f/4 lens, Canon 1.4X teleconverter, handheld, f/11, 1/200 sec, ISO 400


Looking Ahead
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Canon 400mm DO IS f/4 lens, Canon 1.4X teleconverter, handheld, f/11, 1/200 sec, ISO 400


Stopping to Pose
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Canon 400mm DO IS f/4 lens, handheld, Canon 1.4X teleconverter, handheld, f/11, 1/100 sec, +0.33 Exposure Compensation, ISO 400

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Moving Along Again
Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Canon 400mm DO IS f/4 lens, handheld, Canon 1.4X teleconverter, f/11, 1/400 sec, ISO 400


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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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