I’ve been taking a lot of pictures of small birds lately due to the bad weather, they are still out. There are some larger birds as well but their presence is not notable, it has to be a challenge to have a 4-6 foot wing span flying against the wind. When I think about it the Egret’s wings are 2 foot at it’s widest point. When placed next to one another some of the large birds may be sporting a 4’x6′ light weight sail. Pool tables are 4’x8′ making the comparison real.
Adding to the wind is the high temperatures the Weather Guessers are predicting for later in the week. Wednesday is predicted to be 108-111º F, however the wind will remain although at 15-20mph. That will be our saving grace, however those in the nearby Cities will most likely feel the brunt of it. On an Island because it is surrounded by water combined with the wind the chill factor will come into affect, I will be surprised if the temperature breaks 100º F.
Those wings create a large area capable of either working with or against them. They are well adapted to any climate condition however and fly making it look easy with their steady slow beat. It’s not like the small Sail Boats tacking against this wind, that is down right scary at times for those of us that know little about that sport.
The smaller birds such as the Sparrows with their wings are able to maneuver well, they appear as fighter jets streaking around. Hovering while facing the wind is helping me out a lot.
Looking at the photo of the Red Headed Sparrow (above) the wings as in proportion to their body are not small. They span nearly the entire length of the birds body excluding only the head and tail. Amazingly enough their interest appears to center around food versus dealing with the breeze. The bird in the photo above is against the 25mph wind, besides being blown around a bit they pretty much ignore it.
I set bird seed out early each morning the birds are well aware of it as they are lined around the area in the trees and on fence rails. I set out feed for the larger birds as well, Corn and Peanuts mainly. That attracts the Jays, Doves and Mocking birds. It also provides the Scrub Jays a bunch of birds to harass.
I was able to take dozens of shots of Hawks, most were out of range however this morning my reject ratio was 50:1. Of one hundred images I was able to keep 50; again the wind with the Hawk hovering makes all the difference in the world.
Most of us see Sparrows all of the time, after all they are on every Continent in the world populating every City. But it’s when they are seen in photographs that make the difference as they perform some aeronautical stunts which go unseen during normal times. Quite a bit of skill is needed to capture their images which takes patience and consistency vital.
The trick is to catch a bird doing something other than sitting somewhere or staring into the water. Much like the image of the Crow above, although it’s a good picture I have found most people do not appreciate them. They are one of the toughest birds to photograph while in flight, seeing as how I have many of them I am at a loss where to display them. I posted several on a local Bird watchers Facebook page to be answered with the sound of Crickets, there were no “boy howdy’s” or slaps on the back with a hearty hand shake. Honestly there were no negative comments as well so I will put that in my pipe and smoke it; that’s better than nothing. I know I won’t enter Crows or Hummingbirds in any contests in the foreseeable future; the internet is packed with them adding to the lack of interest or competitive value.
Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance