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Posts posted by lonestranger

  1. We sat in the yard and watched the Robins coming and going to and from the nest yesterday, and were amazed at how much food they could gather in the short time they were gone. This one was waiting, and posing, while the other adult finished sharing it's haul with the nestlings. Now that's what I call a mouthful. 


    48172400587_139a1068dd_c.jpgAmerican Robin by Glen Mercer, on Flickr

    • Like 8
  2. Just so you know, @Bird-Boys, by replying to posts that are nearly a year old, just to agree with already confirmed IDs, you are putting old old posts at the top of ID forum and bumping the current ID requests further and further down the page or off the first page altogether. Try to keep an eye on the date of the topic you are replying to, so new ID requests aren't buried under the old ones. :classic_wink:

    • Like 2
  3. I'm not going to make recommendations, but I will say that tripods usually have a hook on the centre column to connect a weight to help weigh the tripod down and make it more stable in adverse conditions. If you're not weighting your tripod down, you're not maximizing stability. I have an empty nylon mesh onion bag, that I can fill with rocks wherever I happen to be, then I attach the bag of rocks to the centre column with a bungy cord that's just long enough for the bag of rocks to touch the ground so that it doesn't swing. The mesh bag comes in handy when putting the tripod in rough water as it just needs a shake to get rid of excess water and dirt when you're done. Here's a few videos with relevant tripod tips. 




  4. Are you talking about Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the USA,  @johnwest, or are you in another part of the world? South Africa maybe? I ask because your suggested IDs aren't North American birds, and this is a North America ID forum. Some people can still help with the ID, but it'll be a lot more accurate if they know where the bird was spotted.

    • Like 2
  5. 24 minutes ago, Kevin said:

    Can you see thees?

    Yes, I can see them now, but there's only 4 photos where your original post showed 5 missing photos. I agree with you that #3 is a brown-headed cowbird, I THINK that #1 & #2 are Carolina wrens and #4 looks like a song sparrow. Wait for someone that has more confidence/experience to confirm these though.

  6. On 5/30/2019 at 12:10 PM, Charlie Spencer said:

    'Primary Extension'!  I've been looking at that all wrong!  I thought it was how far the primaries extended down the tail, not how far they extended beyond the secondaries!

    You're not the only one. I had pretty much given up on IDing some flycatchers because I could never figure out how people gauged the primary projection in relation to the tail. :classic_blush: Now that I know what to look for, I will be paying closer attention to the less obvious flycatchers.

    • Like 1
  7. I can't argue the ID here, and not trying to. It looks like a grosbeak to me except for the black stripe, which I can accept as an effect of the dark photo. It's just that @AGwilliam mentioned male and female birds with the male having bold black and white stripes on it's head. Obviously there's some confusion about the male if the female is a Rose-breasted Grosbeak, perhaps that confusion is just on my end. As @akandula's post shows, the male looks nothing like the female so I am curious what bird AGwilliam thinks is the male counterpart to his female grosbeak.

  8. 1 hour ago, AGwilliam said:

    Here is a really bad shot of one of the female birds in question balancing on the feeder in high winds.

    How does the male differ from the female? Male Red-breasted grosbeaks are quite unique looking and wouldn't look anything like their female counterparts. That black stripe on the head doesn't really fit female Rose-breasted Grosbeak, does it? 

  9. 2 hours ago, Charlie Spencer said:

    Maybe I'm not following you, but this advice sounds contrary to one of my issues.

    I would agree with you if my goal was to take artistic photos, but my primary goal is to take identifiable photos.  If I want to get a bird who's partially obscured by a leaf, branch, etc, wouldn't I be happier with a lot of depth?   I don't want the bird in the background blurred; he's my subject.  And in other situations, the background environment can give clues to the bird's identity.  Wouldn't greater depth give me a better chance of having the obscured bird in the near background be more in focus, reducing how accurately I have to focus  and saving time before taking the shot?

    Your logic is sound, Charlie Spencer, isolating the bird and having a blurred background is not necessary for ID purposes, it's an artistic preference. There are disadvantages to more depth of field though. More depth of field means a smaller aperture which means less light reaching the sensor. To compensate for the reduction in light you'll need either a slower shutter speed or a higher ISO setting, or a combination of both, to achieve a balanced exposure. In my opinion, a faster shutter speed is preferred over depth of field and I'd rather achieve that with a larger aperture than with a higher ISO setting. Check out this Depth of Field Calculator to get an idea of what you get for DOF at various distances, apertures, and lens lengths, just pick one of the cameras from the list and change the other numbers around a bit. I've used my camera which has a 1.6 crop factor and a 400mm lens for an example. According to the calculator, if I wanted one foot of depth of field to include a bird that is 25 feet away, I would need an aperture setting of F/22. That would give me roughly six inches in front and six inches behind the bird that was in focus, which would be desirable for your intentions. I'd have to slow my shutter speed down 4x what it could be if my aperture was wide open at F/5.6 though, and slower shutter speeds are typically not desirable for bird photography. Alternately, I could increase my ISO 4x higher but that's not usually desirable either. It's that exposure balancing thing, there's trade offs with each setting and slower shutter speeds and/or higher ISO settings are the trade off for more depth of field from using a smaller aperture.

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