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Everything posted by lonestranger

  1. 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.
  2. Thanks for the correction, The Bird Nuts. Having never seen anything but house wrens, I was guessing they were Carolina wrens.
  3. Your last photo didn't load either, cobal.
  4. 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.
  5. Your images aren't showing for me, @cobal.
  6. Nice shot bearcat6. Any idea what it is I'm seeing draped across the duck? It almost looks like he's got a camera strap on his shoulders.
  7. 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. Now that I know what to look for, I will be paying closer attention to the less obvious flycatchers.
  8. For what it's worth, my first thought was night heron based on GISS(General Impression, Size, and Shape) and the fact it was seen nightly, at night.
  9. Welcome to Whatbird, @mdawn. I suggest that you try reposting the pic again. Quite often when a pic disappears, it's because the the photo was removed or renamed after being IDed. If that's not the case, then there's a glitch somewhere and the photo needs to be reposted.
  10. Welcome to Whatbird, @Beth S. A photo would definitely help with an ID, but the behaviour sounds similar to that of a Northern Mockingbird. I've never seen their aggressive behaviour but I've heard it spoken about often.
  11. I noticed that this bird is being discussed in two different threads, possibly confusing the OP as much as it first confused me. Perhaps @Aveschapines could merge the two threads together for the benefit of all of us. Here's the other thread that I'm referring to.
  12. Not your typical reflection photo, but a reflection photo all the same. Baltimore Oriole hiding from the camera almost as well as the hummingbirds do.
  13. Red-breasted Nuthatch getting bossy over the feeder with the chickadees.
  14. Keep your eyes open for the un-panted bunting. They're even more flashy. ?
  15. 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.
  16. 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?
  17. I'm pretty sure that the better your gear is, the better your auto focus will be, both in speed and accuracy. I stumbled across a video with focusing tips that might be worth looking at, pretty straightforward approach going from beginners to more advanced techniques.
  18. There is no correlation between the focus point and depth of field. Using centre point focus makes it easier to avoid the branches and leaves in front of the birds, but it does not affect DOF at all.
  19. 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.
  20. If you click on your name in the top right of the screen and then click Profile, you should see your older posts and such. Clicking on the title of one will take you to that particular thread.
  21. Yes, I believe that was the consensus. Leucistic or dilute Eastern Bluebird.
  22. Perhaps an Ovenbird? It doesn't have black and white stripes on it's head, but it does have dark and light stripes and is thrush size. Edit- That doesn't really match your description though.
  23. I'd say Pine Siskin myself, but don't ask me to explain why beyond the pointy beak and yellow in the wings. I just had some at my feeders a few days ago here in the Acton area.
  24. White-crowned sparrow is my guess based on the description provided, and knowing first hand how easy it is to mis-judge size. When I first joined the forum about 10 years ago, I argued for days that the yellow bird in one of my photos was way too big to be a goldfinch. I'm still embarrassed by the way I argued with the experts that my bird was too big to be an american goldfinch. I look at the photo now and wonder how I could have missed the goldfinch field marks and have ruled them out just because of the size, it was obviously a goldfinch but I was hung up on the size, which I had misjudged. A photo or two, even bad ones, would be a big help with the ID, and help rule out any possible confusion about the size.
  25. If you're going to use one of the semi auto modes, I would also recommend Aperture Priority and peter571's suggestions. By setting the Aperture wide open and allowing maximum light to reach the sensor, you'll see sharper images because of the faster shutter speeds you'll get. Less light means slower shutter speeds, which runs the risk of blurring from camera shake or subject movement. Whether you use Aperture or Shutter Priority, you'll need to set two of the three variables yourself in order to get the desired effect. If you only set one of the variables, you're allowing the camera to control the other two variables and you'll have to trust me when I say the camera will get it wrong under certain conditions. As an example, if you set your camera on Shutter Priority and just set the shutter speed to 1/800, the camera might use an aperture of F/5.6 and an ISO of 800 or it might close down the aperture to F/16 and push the ISO up to 6400 to get the same exposure. By dialing in two of the three variables, shutter speed and ISO or aperture and ISO, the camera only has one variable to control and it's more likely to give you the desired results. I hope that's helpful and not more confusing.
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