Posts Tagged: avian

Cedar Waxwing, Magee Marsh.

Cedar Waxwing, Magee Marsh

Cedar Waxwing

Returning to Magee Marsh on the day after the Migratory Bird Festival, I still found quite the crowd on the boardwalk in the early morning hours.  Walking along trying to get my bearings and I saw movement off to the right.  There, perched nicely on a tree branch, was a Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum).  This bird is a fly catcher.  He also eats berries and is often times found in wooded areas similar to Magee Marsh.  This image is one of my favorites form the last week and I will continue to visit the marsh as there will be a second and possibly third wave of migratory birds over the next couple of weeks.


The Cedar Waxwing’s habitat can be found in woodlands, fruit trees, and orchards.  Their nesting habits is late, not beginning until mid summer.  Only a small area is defended as their territory.  Birds may nest with other Waxwings in small colonies.  They have a tendency to lay 3-5 eggs and incubation is about 12-13 days.  Both parents share the feeding chores and the young leave the nest from 14-18 days after hatching.

Magee Marsh

Traveling along the boardwalk each morning allows for some people watching as well as bird watching.  Even though the festival has ended, there were quite a few folks crowding the Boardwalk.  One advantage is that if you com along a group of people with binoculars and cameras pointed up into the trees, you can rest assured there is something there of interest.  Find your spot and look where they are and voila you found your bird as well.  Although I have only met two people whom I know from the area, I did come across a photographer whom I have travelled with in the past.  Moving along towards the far end of the Boardwalk I spotted this gentlemen and he looked really familiar.  As I walked closer I realized it was Moose Peterson from Mammoth Lakes, California.  Moose is a famous Nikon shooter from California and I knew he was going to Columbus to teach a class at a camera store there.  He apparently detoured after the class the the marsh for some bird photography.  His website can be found here.  He has many blog postings and video tutorial, always interesting to see what Moose has been up to in his travels.

More posts coming in the future as I continue to focus on migratory birds in Northwest Ohio.  Enjoy!

Sandhill Cranes in Flight

Sandhill Cranes in Flight

Sandhill Cranes in Flight.  During my recent trip to Bosque Del Apache in New Mexico, we had so many opportunities to capture Sandhill Cranes in Flight.  After monitoring their activities for a few hours we quickly became acclimated to their environment as well as their habits.  When traveling long distances to photograph wildlife it is important to know what to expect when you arrive at your destination.  Since weather plays an important factor to any outdoor activities, knowing what to expect from Mother Nature helps you pack the right clothes for the trip.  Showing up at a new location and not being prepared for bad weather can ruin a great outing.  In addition, you should study and know the habits and behaviors of your subject.  In landscape photography you plan on where you need to be based on the sun to capture the best images.  Morning and evening shoots can be magical times if you know when and where you need to be.

The same is true for wildlife.  Shooting during the morning and evening “golden hour” helps to light your subject in a way that delivers the best results.  With birds, its essential to have the sun at your back and in a position where the birds can fly into the wind when landing and with the wind when preparing for take off.  If the wind changes while you are shooting, be prepared to move to a better location.  A quick review of their habits helps to identify where they might be located in the morning and then the evening for the best photo opportunities.  Planning and perseverance can pay off with a successful trip regardless of weather and other factors that would impact your travels.   Enjoy!