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Showing content with the highest reputation on 05/02/2019 in all areas

  1. 6 points
  2. 3 points
    As @HamRHead noted, only Loggerheads are found in Texas See the range map for Nothern Shrikes linked below. Even in winter, Northerns don't get that far south. https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Northern_Shrike What's with the deadlines in your requests? Does Thoth, the Egyptian ibis-headed moon god, claim your soul went night falls? Will owls and nightjars feast on your liver and spleen?
  3. 2 points
    For comparison, here's a Yellowthroat I photoed earlier today in norther IL (Chicago burb)...
  4. 2 points
    I'll reiterate what's been said. Keep uploading. I don't upload a ton and I try to upload the best photos I have of any species I've photographed and felt like posting. If it's birds I've seen a million times and my pictures are lousy I usually wont bother but if it's a bird I've never seen or reported before and I have a picture, any picture, I'll probably post it. It's all about your own personal preference. They don't mind the bad ones at all as it is all about record keeping. I could be wrong but, I imagine the rating system is used to help determine what photos people will see first when searching the database.
  5. 2 points
    Agreed...Loggerhead by range, small bill, and broader mask. Yellow on the first bird suggests juvenile.
  6. 2 points
    Blackpoll Warbler (Setophaga striata) male by hbvol50, on Flickr
  7. 2 points
  8. 2 points
    Orchard Oriole by Mark Goodwin, on Flickr
  9. 2 points
    Little Blue Heron Coastal TX 4-19 little blue heron Wallisville Rookery 4-19 by johnd1964, on Flickr
  10. 1 point
    1. Cliff Swallow 2. Solitary Sandpiper 3. Eastern Phoebe
  11. 1 point
    Definitely a Black-and-white Warbler.
  12. 1 point
    I think so. Females often have a tan/buffy wash on face and underparts, as do some young males.
  13. 1 point
  14. 1 point
    Looks like it has a bug! That's a female House Sparrow.
  15. 1 point
    ISO, put simply, is just one of the three settings that controls the exposure/brightness. With everything else being equal, meaning the same shutter speed and aperture settings, a higher ISO setting will produce a brighter photo than lower ISO settings. By increasing the ISO from 100 to 200, the photo will be twice as bright, increasing the ISO to 400 means the photo will be 4x brighter than when using an ISO setting of 100. Doubling the ISO can also allow you to double your shutter speed though. As an example, lets say that I have properly exposed shot if I set my ISO at 100, my shutter speed at 1/100, and my aperture wide open at F/5.6. If I double my ISO to 200 and double my shutter speed to 1/200, I will end up with the same exposure. If I increase my ISO to 800 that means I can increase my shutter speed to 800 and still have the same exposure. If I double that again to ISO 1600, then I can double my shutter speed again and still have a proper exposure at 1/1600 shutter speed. Exposure is a balancing act, increasing the ISO will brighten the photo to the point of over exposure unless you balance it out with one of the other settings. While increasing the ISO is prone to increasing the noise, not increasing it can lead to using too slow a shutter speed which is prone to the blurring effects of camera shake and/or subject movement. Film speed or ISO is the same on digital cameras as it was on film cameras. The faster/higher the film speed or ISO is, the faster shutter speed you can use. That's my spin on ISO. For a more professional description and tips on how to best utilize the setting, I found David Peterson's writings to be easiest to comprehend. http://www.digital-photo-secrets.com/tip/1625/your-cameras-settings-iso-speed/
  16. 1 point
    How embarrassing. We are such bird noobs. So the prey's breakfast sounds like its predator. thank you for your help!
  17. 1 point
    I switched from P&S to DSLR for a few reasons. I wanted a faster camera with more frames per second. I wanted more megapixels, because more is always better, right? I wanted better photos, and DSLRs are capable of out performing P&S in image quality. Basically, my first few P&S cameras got me hooked on wildlife photography and then I wanted bigger, better, faster, etc. After doing some research, I bought my first DSLR and a 70-300mm lens. My image quality instantly jumped to a whole new level and I was quite happy with my purchase. After a while I started to get frustrated though, my lens didn't have the reach that I really needed to get me close enough to most of the birds I shot, so I invested in a 50-500mm lens. The longer lens quickly took my photography to another whole new level and I was quite happy with my purchase. After a while the camera manufacturer came out with a new model that had some features that I thought I needed so I bought a second DSLR and I was happy with my purchase. After a while I started to notice that my images had a lot of noise/grain/speckling in them and soon realized that the 2x crop factor(smaller sensor) in my DSLR was contributing to my noise issues, so I changed manufactures and bought a whole new set up. I bought a camera with a 1.6 crop factor and a 400mm prime lens(no zoom) since most of my shots were always at maximum zoom and seldom did I need a shorter focal length. My image quality jumped to a whole new level, again, and yet again I was happy with my purchase. After a while I bought a 2x extender for my lens and although I seldom used it, I was quite happy with it's performance when it did get used but that 2x 400mm combination was limited to being mounted on the tripod so it got used less and less. The 2x extender also wouldn't auto focus on my camera so using it had the added frustration of trying to manually focus my shots, sometimes I got it right, sometimes I missed. A newer version of my camera came on the market that allowed for centre point auto focus with a 1.4 extender so I bought the new version camera and the 1.4x extender and was quiet happy with my purchase. After a while I decided that I wanted the newest version of my camera manufacturer's 100-400mm lens, which not only had image stabilization that my 400mm prime lens was lacking, the 100-400 zoom lens was also claimed to be as sharp as the 400mm prime lens, which I can't dispute, it's a great piece of glass. I am now noticing that my images are often noisier than I'd like, especially in low light conditions such as early morning or late evening. I push my ISO up higher than I should so that I can get fast enough shutter speeds in those situations, and the results often show noise that I'd rather not be there. In order to get rid of the noise from high ISO settings I will need to invest in a full frame camera with a bigger sensor that produces little to no noise at the same or hopefully even higher ISO settings than I currently limit myself to. A full frame camera would also allow for multi-point focus options with either extender. Yes, a full frame camera is now on my wish list. So that's my experience in purchasing camera gear, I learned a lot of lessons about what I needed/wanted the hard/expensive way. Knowing what I know today, I would have saved myself a bundle of money and bought a full frame camera, a third party 150-600mm lens, and then round out my setup with a 70-200 F/2.8, which is a workhorse of a lens, and a shorter zoom lens for the fewer landscape shots I take. All the while I was making mistakes about my camera gear purchases, I was learning more and more about photography. I started off in auto mode with my P&S cameras and tried the various semi-auto settings like Program Mode, Sports Mode, Aperture Priority Mode, Shutter Priority Mode where I could control things a bit but the camera still took care of getting the exposure right for me. I found that I could use Aperture priority to set my lens to it's fastest/largest aperture, set the ISO to a fixed setting of my choosing, and the camera would come up with the right shutter speed for a proper exposure, most of the time. When I got my first DSLR I started playing around with exposure compensation, which is used in the semi-auto modes to adjust the brightness of the shot. I was getting too many silhouette images when I was photographing birds with a bright sky behind them so I learned that I needed to set my exposure compensation to +1, +2, or sometimes +3 in order to get the bird exposed properly in those situations. I had a hard time remembering to reset my exposure compensation after shooting birds up high with the sky/clouds behind them when it came time to take a shot of a bird with a darker background behind it. I think it was about that time I decided to try full manual exposure. After all, I was setting my own aperture, setting my own ISO, and fine tuning my own exposure with the exposure compensation feature in the semi-auto modes so why not try full manual exposure. Yep, I botched a bunch of my first attempts at manual exposure but it didn't take long to learn from my mistakes and before I knew it, I was controlling the exposure and getting satisfying results. I found it so much easier to control the exposure in manual mode than in any of the auto modes, including the ones that allow exposure compensation. If a bird was in the sun, it wouldn't matter if it had a bright sky behind it or shaded bush behind it, the exposure usually didn't need to be adjusted. If the bird moved out of the sun and into the shade, I simply adjusted one setting on the camera and I was good to go. As I learned more and more, through practice, reading online sources, and the hard lesson of learning from my mistakes, I kept getting better and better shots in manual mode and would never go back to any of the auto modes. There are three basic adjustments in manual mode, aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, which are easy to adjust on most DSLRs. Learning which adjustments to make and when you need to make them is something that comes with practice/experience but once you set your exposure in manual, it doesn't need to be adjusted often, or adjusted much. If you have already learned how and when to use exposure compensation in the semi-auto modes, you already know how to set the exposure manually, you're just not doing it in manual mode. So, that's my experience in both purchasing and learning the controls of my cameras. Am I great photographer that you should take advise from, probably not. I consider myself to be a decent photographer with decent equipment that takes some decent photos but I admit I still have a lot to learn. If I was to offer advice on purchasing camera gear and learning how to use it, I would recommend getting a decent long lens, the longest quality lens you could afford. The better the glass is, the more likely it is that you'll like the results it produces, now and in the future. While I know that full frame cameras have better image quality than crop cameras do, I'm not sure if starting with a full frame camera is something that I'd recommend, I might suggest the idea but I wouldn't consider it a necessity. I would advise against cameras with the smaller sensors though, a 2x crop factor might give the illusion of a longer lens, but the smaller sensor simply can't capture the same detail that larger sensors can. Small sensors with 18MP means 18MP of small receptors(for lack of a better word), larger sensors with 18MP means 18MP of larger receptors. The larger the receptors, the higher the dynamic range, meaning more versatility in capturing the brightest and darkest elements without over exposing and/or under exposing the image, and less noise in the image too. As for what to learn first with a new DSLR, I'd recommend learning the cameras controls for ISO, shutter speed, and aperture, learn how to adjust them so that you can do it efficiently in the field, regardless of what mode you're using, manual or semi-auto. I highly recommend going straight to manual mode though, it's not as complicated as it may seem and it will teach you a lot quicker than any other mode on the camera. I also find it much more gratifying when I get the shot right with manual exposure, knowing that I was the one controlling the outcome of the photo and not letting the camera control it for me just brings a greater sense of satisfaction for me. If something I've written is confusing, feel free to pick my brain. Just don't start asking what camera you should buy.
  18. 1 point
    I can't decide if this is a Lesser or Greater. I measured the bill size relative to the head but still am not certain. Seen April 29th in Lido Beach, NY.
  19. 1 point
    I agree with millipede on Greater for the same reasons. I believe there is some overlap on bill length between Lesser and Greater or very nearly so. Also primary length here is the same as the tail length, whereas Lesser has longer primary projection. Here is a page that I find to be useful: https://www.thespruce.com/greater-or-lesser-yellowlegs-386349
  20. 1 point
  21. 1 point
  22. 1 point
    Here is a link to news article about the Merritt Island Hybrid Heron http://nemesisbird.com/birding/identification/heron-hybrid-merritt-island-nwr-florida/
  23. 1 point
    I think the ducks are juvenile common gallinule
  24. 1 point
    Being a fine artist as well as a photographer, I've figured out where I think subjects look best in a composition. Most of the time my favorite pieces are composed using the "Rule of Thirds". I suggest you look it up if you are interested in learning how to compose photos (and other artwork).
  25. 1 point
    A tough bird to catch in the open... Yellow-breasted Chat by Mark Goodwin, on Flickr
  26. 1 point
    First year to have bluebird house on the back fence with successful nest. These are the first pics using the Nikon android app on my cell to activate the shutter for remote pics. I was pleased to get a good comparison of the male and female bluebirds feeding the chicks in the nest house.
  27. 1 point
    Northern Mockingbird.
  28. 1 point
    I live on a mesa overlooking the San Juan river and we have a nesting pair below the house. I hear them all day and all night. Always makes me smile.
  29. 1 point
    Might as well update here! Here is the Instagram for the cam: There are now 6 eggs. Today will be the day to find out if she'll lay the maximum of 7!
  30. 1 point
  31. 1 point
    Prairie Warbler by Mark Goodwin, on Flickr
  32. 1 point
    Yep. This is the photo sharing and discussion thread, an ID question fits better here: https://forums.whatbird.com/index.php?/forum/2-help-me-identify-a-north-american-bird/
  33. 1 point
    Yes, when you attach a photo to your ebird checklist, it automatically uploads once you've clicked submit checklist. As for submitting photos that are only very good quality, I don't recommend that. Mainly because A. yes, it is a personal record. Good and bad photos can be useful. B. Because ebird doesn't discourage the uploading of poor photos. It is your photos of birds you've seen. Macauley library is an archive of images, sounds, and videos. So by all means, upload your crappy images right alongside your excellent ones.
  34. 1 point
  35. 1 point
    You can learn all about the different settings and change the aperture and shutter speed and ISO and shoot in RAW and get a huge, expensive lens...OR you can just keep it simple like I do. I recently switched from a bridge point-and-shoot to a DSLR, as you know, and I just discovered that the "sport" mode is great for birds. It is basically auto mode (for fast-moving subjects) and all you really need to know is how to set the exposure compensation and turn on continuous shooting. If you already know how to crop and lighten your photos afterwards (just to see the birds better), you'd be good to go. My camera is the Nikon D3400, an entry-level DSLR. My lens is the AF-P NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED VR. It doesn't have the most reach and it doesn't have a huge aperture, but it's really quick to focus and gets the job done. "VR" (which is Vibration Reduction in Nikons) is very important when shooting handheld (I'm sure your point-and-shoot had something similar). The photos I take with this combination are similar in quality to my Canon Powershot SX50's, but I can now take clear photos of birds at a moment's notice which is so helpful! I bought the camera and lens off eBay. The lens was a little over $100 and the camera was probably around $200 (it came in a bundle), so it all cost about as much as a point-and-shoot.
  36. 1 point
    me when i see a duck
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