A Little Rusty.
My second lifer of the year, the rusty blackbird (Euphagus carolinus) is in freefall. Sadly, it is estimated that between 85% and 99% have disappeared over the past 40 years. A number of factors likely contribute to this decline, though it's been tough to pinpoint the cause. Some feel that reductions in suitable habitat (they adore wet woodlands, like those crafted by beavers). Heightened levels of mercury have also been found in populations. Let's hope that, with the rebound of beavers' numbers, these handsome birds make a similar comeback!
Photo made with a...
Canon 5D IV, 400 ƒ/4 DO IS II, 2x TC III at
800mm, ƒ/8.0, 1/80 sec, ISO 2000
TUCÁN ANDINO - ECUADOR
El tucán andino pechigris es nativo de Colombia y Ecuador. Viven en bosques alto húmedos montañosos de los Andes. Es conocidas como tucanes de montaña, ha sido frecuentemente observado buscando alimento en grupos de hasta seis individuos en el estrato medio del bosque. Se alimenta de por lo menos 49 especies de frutos e insectos.
Diana Rebman took the win in the amateur category in last year’s Audubon Photography Awards with her delightful photo of a Long-tailed Tit at Akan-Mashu National Park in Japan.⠀
The 2019 #AudubonPhotographyAwards are now open! Click to link in our bio to enter.⠀
Liron Gertsman’s (@liron_gertsman_photography) took the win in the youth category in last year's Audubon Photography Awards with his perfectly timed photo of Cobalt-winged Parakeets at Yasuní National Park in Ecuador.⠀
Did you know the youth category winner gets a 6-day photography session at the Hog Island Audubon Camp in Maine? Click the link in our bio to enter the 2019 #AudubonPhotographyAwards. ⠀
Painted Finch (male)
May 9th, 2018
Simpson's Gap, Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia
Canon EOS 1D X Mark II
Canon EF 600mm f4L IS II USM lens
Canon EF 1.4x III Extender
Canon 600EX II-RT flash
This image is my favourite photograph of my trip to Alice Springs - the absolutely stunning male Painted Finch. These finches were my number one target bird to photograph for the trip & boy did they prove to be one of the most challenging species we attempted to photograph! Although we had two locations where they were seen each time we visited, getting a decent image was an incredibly tough proposition!
We put in many hours trying to photograph this species, with our best opportunities being at Simpson's Gap. However due to the the amount of visitors to this popular tourist location & the finches being very wary of people, we came away from several sessions with not much to show for our efforts. To make matters even more challenging, the waterholes from which the finches preferred to drink weren't photographer friendly (difficult to access & get clear line of sight) & the sheer size of the rock face of the Gap itself meant this location only had a couple of hours of sunlight each day - right in the middle of the day with the light at it's harshest!
On our second last day in Alice Springs, after a couple of hours of not much action, the birding Gods smiled upon us literally minutes before the shadows cast by the cliff face were creeping over the rocks around the waterhole. I couldn't believe my eyes when this little stunner landed at eye level on a very appealing rock right in front of us! The next few seconds is what bird photography is all about for me - the absolute rush of ecstasy mixed with anxiety as the focus point locks on target & the shutter fires away & you pray that just one of the shots is in focus & the bird gives you the eye contact & the pose you desperately want to capture!! And when that fleeting moment is over & you quick as lightning scroll through the images on the back of the camera looking for that one special image..