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Posts Tagged ‘blackbird’

There were only a few Red-winged Blackbirds at my local marsh yesterday morning, but the loud volume of their calling made up for the smallness of their numbers. The morning light was quite beautiful, which makes these images look almost like they were shot in a studio. It sure helps when you have a cooperative subject, like this male Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus), who enjoys being in the spotlight.

Red-winged Blackbird

Red-winged Blackbird

Red-winged Blackbird

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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As I wandered along the boardwalk yesterday at my local marsh, birds would periodically pop in and out of the eye-level cattails. Most of them were little sparrows that would bury themselves back down in the underbrush. At one point, though, a male Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) emerged and perched near the top of the cattails.

He was so close that I didn’t dare move from where I was standing and I tried to find a visual path through the vegetation to get a clear shot. I cropped this image slightly and made a few minor post-processing, but this is pretty much what I was seeing through the viewfinder as I tried out my new Tamron 150-600mm lens.

The photos were shot handheld at f/6.3, 1/400 sec, ISO 320, and 600mm. Recognizing that the image quality would increase a little if I closed down the aperture, backed off from the maximum focal length, and used a tripod, I am nonetheless pretty happy with the result and it’s definitely cool to more than fill the frame with a bird.

Red-winged Blackbird

Red-winged Blackbird

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Although I wake up to the sound of birds loudly chirping at this time of the year, it is getting increasingly difficult to see most of them as the trees regain their thick covering of leaves. The male Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) is a notable exception, because he does not hide behind the foliage. Instead, he seems to choose the highest point in the open from which to boldly make his loud calls—there is not timidity or shyness in this bird.

The blackbird puts so much energy into his “singing” that at times his perch becomes precarious. I captured this blackbird in one such moment, when his position seems so awkward and distorted that looks like a cartoon to me.

blackbird_cartoon_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Despite the rain yesterday, the male Red-winged Blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) were singing up a storm. It seemed like their entire bodieswould expand as they prepared to call out loudly. I didn’t see any female blackbirds respond to the calls—in fact, I didn’t see any at all.

blackbird_singing2_blogblackbird_singing1_blogblackbird_singing3_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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Usually I spot male Red-winged Blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) perched on the top of the cattails stalks, loudly calling out, but this one decided to perch himself sidewards. It looked a little awkward, but he seemed to manage well enough as he struck a pose for me.

blackbird_hanging_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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Most birds seem to seek shelter when it is raining (and most people too), but this male Red-winged Blackbird (and this photographer) were an exception to that rule in late December.

blackbird_rain_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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Have you ever seen a bird that looked like it was wearing a costume? When I caught sight of  this female Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) in the cattails last week, it looked to me like she had donned a large head scarf and an additional coat of feathers as protection from the cold.

blackbird_feathers_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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