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Posts posted by lonestranger

  1. We had our first Ruby-throated hummingbird of the season show up this weekend in rural Erin township, Ontario. I was sitting out in the porch with the door open while drinking my coffee on Saturday morning when I heard the distinctive sound of a hummer buzzing by. Sure enough he was looking for the feeders and flowers we had hanging last year. I grabbed the camera and took a quick picture before going out and removing the snow and mixing up some fresh nectar(sugar water). 



    I was looking out the kitchen window this morning and saw him defending his territory and chasing away all the goldfinches and chickadees that got anywhere near him. Always entertaining when watching these little guys, even if you're not quick enough to photograph all of it.

    • Like 1
  2. 1 hour ago, Kathleen said:

    Is there anything I should do to this little bird?

    Welcome to WhatBird @Kathleen. If the bird can fly, even short distances, you're best to leave it where you found it. It may still be relying on it's parents for food and while you may not see them around, they'll be looking out for their young. Give the bird lots of space so it's parents won't feel threatened and keep any cats indoors, watch from a distance. This link is very helpful when dealing with young and/or injured birds.  https://forums.whatbird.com/index.php?/announcement/3-what-to-do-if-you-find-a-baby-or-injured-bird/

     As for the identity of the bird, a photo would definitely help. Young birds can be tricky but a photo, even a poor one, or a good description, will give the members something to work with.  

  3. When I had a long lens to carry, I used to rotate the tripod collar so the foot was right on top of the lens out of the way of all controls, and then I could use the tripod foot as a handle for carrying the camera. When the tripod foot was too small to use as a handle, I used a 4 or 5 inch extension plate lengthening the holding/mounting area. When I used a camera strap, attached to the camera, it was a wide deluxe model that I would swing off to the side and then help support the lens with my hand. I prefer the strap attached to the tripod foot, but haven't always been able to connect them that way.

  4. 2 minutes ago, Tony Leukering said:

    No. People learn best when they figure things out for themselves.

    So you DO think that we should all learn the same method as you use. Read a field guide and memorize everything in it, range maps, subtle plumage variations, behaviour, etc. :classic_unsure:  Thanks for your input but I think I will learn from those that include an answer with their helpful tips. You should try it sometime, an answer and how they got it seems to work for most everyone else.

  5. 3 minutes ago, Tony Leukering said:

    Both individuals are referable to the same species.


    Are these types of responses suppose to be helpful?...Or is it just an opportunity for you to frustrate those of us without your knowledge, and/or those of us that don't have the desire to become as knowledgable as you? Seriously though, do you feel ALL birders should have to learn how to ID birds to the same extent as you before they're worthy of a direct answer? 

  6. I suspect that the Barred Owls you're hearing, @tclarkwood, have already taken up a nest and are possibly already raising their young. All About Birds has live nest cams from Indiana with two chicks just hatched on April 11, 2020. With incubation being 28-33 days, that means these eggs were laid sometime back towards the beginning-middle of March. https://www.allaboutbirds.org/cams/barred-owls/

    Keep your eyes, and ears, open, you may be able to get a glimpse of the adults flying to and from the nest as they feed any young they might have. 

    • Like 1
  7. 7 minutes ago, Kevin said:

    If everybody keeps posting in threes poor Aveschapines will be so busy deleting posts he might leave, and we would loose the greatest moderator ever.

    I doubt that  @Aveschapines would leave over some silliness arising from accidental hiccups in the forum, but SHE might leave if SHE keeps getting called a he. ?

    • Like 1
    • Haha 1
  8. 32 minutes ago, Charlie Spencer said:


    That sounds awfully Adult like for a young birder's forum. Are you sure you're young enough to still act like a kid? Oh wait, that's exactly what we're doing here, isn't it? ?

    • Haha 1
  9. 11 hours ago, Charlie Spencer said:

    But it definitely isn't a case of 'set for the day and forget it'.

    Okay, I admit that I might have exaggerated a bit there.  The theory is to set a base exposure using a mid-tone subject, something that's not bright or dark. When you change your aim to something that is brighter or darker than your base line, it will appear brighter or darker in your photo but hopefully still look natural, mostly, and not too far on either end of the baseline.  You didn't end up taking more photos of black cats in a coal mine, did you? ? If you want your dark areas to be as bright as the the baseline shot, which admittedly you'll want to do at times, you just have to turn the dial a bit. Knowing when and how much to turn the dial is something that only practice can really teach, but it sounds like you're already picking up on that since you've been monitoring your meter and checking results as you go. You can read a lot of valuable tips on many websites, and I did, but I still don't know what I do wrong to ruin a picture until after I've already ruined the picture. Sometimes I find out my shutter speed was too slow because the bird turned it's head a bit, other times I might realize that I could have lowered my ISO and eliminated some of the graininess, quite often I wonder if the photo would have been better if I did this or that before I pushed the shutter button. Photography is one of those things in life where we often get the test before the lesson. Don't give up on it. 

    Making mistakes is all part of the learning process and since they don't cost anything with today's cameras...I won't charge you the $0.02 because of the mistake you made by listening to me. ?

  10. 22 hours ago, Charlie Spencer said:

     As soon as I zoom in or out or change direction to change targets, and then focus, I get warnings that I'm under or over again.

    It sounds like the meter has tricked the photographer similar to the way it tricks the camera into reading the lighting wrong. When you change directions the background changes and the meter will reflect that by going up and/or down, even though the lighting hasn't changed. Manual photography is almost a set it and forget it adjustment, if you take a few test shots and find the right exposure, you can pretty much ignore the meter and just leave your settings alone. It'll need to be reset when the lighting changes but if the lighting stays the same, set it and forget it.

    Try this Charlie. Set your ISO to 400, set your aperture to f/5.9(your largest aperture at max zoom), and set your shutter speed to 1/500, and then take a test shot and review it on your display screen. Increase your shutter speed if it's too bright and take the same shot over again and review it, repeat this until your test shot looks the right brightness. Reverse the process and decrease your shutter speed if your test shot comes up too dark. Once you have found that magic spot where your picture isn't too bright or too dark, turn the camera away from your test subject and, without making any more adjustments, take a few different test shots, a stick on the ground under a tree, a branch in the middle of a tree, max zoom of the top of a tree, etc. Review these new test shots and see if they work for you, if they're all under or over exposed then make a shutter adjustment accordingly and repeat the same shots and review the results. It might take a bit to get the right settings at first, but after a few tries you'll get faster and faster at pre-setting the camera and be able to forget about the camera settings and focus on finding the birds and just pressing the shutter button.

    • Like 1
  11. 2 hours ago, Jefferson Shank said:

    @Tony Leukering, Are you leaning toward Cooper's or Sharp-shinned?

    I think Tony already answered your question.

    7 hours ago, Tony Leukering said:

    I like the tawny aspect to the the head, the deep head (front to back), the curve and attachment of the bill lining up with the curve of the head, the thick legs, the long tail, the seemingly rounded tips to at least some of the tail feathers as support for Cooper's.


  12. I suspected that the UFO in the first photo was an artifact of sorts showing the wings separated from the body, but I had never heard of rolling shutter effect before and had no idea how the artifact/UFO came to be until reading this thread. Thanks for enlightening me.

    *smears @Charlie Spencer with offal and stakes him out for the vultures knowing that he has opened this thread yet again* ?

    • Haha 5
  13. 8 hours ago, Charlie Spencer said:

    I don't think I'm learning much indoors.  Or maybe I am but don't realize it, but is that learning? 

    Whether you're learning or not, an outdoor classroom is always preferable. ?  While you're indoors though, here's a link to an online source of tips and tutorials that might be helpful. I found the author to be easy to read and understand and the topics are pretty much anything you could think of and some topics you may not have thought about. I took the liberty of finding a short lesson on Manual mode because of the relevance, but if you look up top you'll see links to the Tips and Tutorials and the How do I? sections where you can find all kinds of topics in a similar format as this.  https://www.digital-photo-secrets.com/tip/3400/take-photos-in-manual-mode-for-a-month/

    • Like 1
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