Forum Role: Participant
Active Since: November 16, 2017
Topics Started: 0
Replies Created: 15

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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
  • Linda
    Participant
    lindacunico
    My biggest challenge in the editing process had always been noise reduction; learning to keep ISO to a minimum and "expose to the right" always confused me!  (I always though what I saw through the lens was the correct exposure with only my eyes to judge; but what I discovered while editing was that my shadows and blacks were always blown out!!! And of course generated a lot of unnecessary noise.   So now I spot meter on the  lightest part of an image.I heavily depend on my histogram, along with my RGB histogram.  Important to read the red, green and blue histogram so you don't blow out those colors, especially in a sunset image or sunrise.   I look for "blinkies" too, to judge my image exposure. It taking me a lot of time and patience to learn a new editing program-LightRoom Classic & Photoshop.  I'm still trying to catalog my images  that are scattered into the correct folders and collections so that I can find them in a few strokes of my keyboard-someday! I am sharing an unusual behavior of Killdeer parents who use a "broken - wing display, also known as "injury feigning",  a predator response. Before displaying this fascinating dance,  First, he ran away from his young chick, who was hiding behind weeds, and began to make alarm calls.  I suppose it was the father Killdeer, because mama was with the chick.  (After they hatch, both parents lead them out of the nest to feeding territory.) _C3A1627._Killdeer__C3A1641_Killdeer-Dance_When the bird had the predator's attention, he turned his tail and displayed the threatening orange color of the rump.  He then crouched, drooped his wings, and lowered his tail.  With increasing intensity, the wings are held higher, & the tail fanned out.  Accordinging to Wikipedia, this is done to protect a chick that is likely to fledge, since sadly, about 53% of eggs are lost to predation by various birds and mammals. This image was taken at Gilbert Water Ranch in Phoenix, AZ.
  • Linda
    Participant
    lindacunico
    I was about to call it a day, it was so windy and HOT,  10:15am. But an Osprey's call stopped me in my tracks.  Flying over me, then lost sight of him in the thick trees near the Arkansas River.  I hightailed it as fast as I could, following his screams.  I'd seen the resident Osprey with her fledgling in this Lake Pueblo, (Colorado) State Park last week.  I reached the river and there he was, circling the river; he didn't catch a fish this time, unfortunately for both of us!  The blustery, easternly wind seemed to pause him in his tracks,  he was flying into the wind,  facing the sun,  so this was my best shot in a series.  I tried using Melissa's field techniques, with the  sun east and west, but not at my back, because I would have had to run another 30 yards to get the sun at my back for better frontal lighting.  Didn't want to risk losing any shot, and he did fly away less than a minute later.   I cropped this image about 20%.  7D Mark ll; 100-400mm 4.5-5.6L IS ll with 1.4xlll teleconverter; 1/1600sec; ISO 800; spot meter.  _E8A1508_OSPREY FLYING_ROCK CANYON_11X8.5_jpg
  • Linda
    Participant
    lindacunico

    @Linda It really is heart breaking, as you can see how hopeless and forlorn he looks in the photo above.  I was in the right place at the right time.  I don't really know how long he suffered.  The fisherman threw him a fish,  (in the reply photo I sent  to Isabelle, but he couldn't eat it.). Thank goodness for the  perseverance of the wildlife officers!  Hopefully those who were there that day at the lake who witnessed  this pitiful scene learned a lesson.

  • Linda
    Participant
    lindacunico

    @Marcia _E8A9259_FORLON GBHERON _V

  • Linda
    Participant
    lindacunico

    @Isabelle Thank you Isabelle, happy you enjoyed it!

  • Linda
    Participant
    lindacunico

    @Isabelle _E8A9257

  • Linda
    Participant
    lindacunico
    During a photography day shoot  at Lake Pueblo State Park, I was thrilled to see a Great Blue Heron near a fishing lake.  After a few shots, I realized he was in serious trouble!  Broke my heart to see fishing line and a metal weight  entangled in his beak!!!  I immediately phoned the state park office of his dire situation.While I was waiting for the Colorado Parks & Wildlife officers to arrive, I watched as he kept walking close to the lake's shoreline, wanting to eat but couldn't open his beak wide enough to catch his food.  The whole time I observed him, he hopelessly  walked back and forth to the tall grasses, then back to the shoreline. I took some photos of him until  three officers  rounded the walking path forty minutes later.  One was carrying  a blanket.  Of course as soon as they walked towards him, he flew off!  I showed them my pictures, and they told me they'd keep tracking him, until they found him.   I couldn't get him off my mind, so I returned two days later.   My friend Les, who  takes walks every morning with a 33 gallon trash sack, collects garbage lazy, thoughtless slobs leave EVERYWHERE, endangering wildlife & people!   Les saw the GB Heron two days later, immediately got into his truck to the Wildlife office a few minutes away to report his sighting.    This time the rangers had a fishing net they'd  borrowed from the Pueblo State Fish Hatchery, and were able to free the GB Heron!   Les says he sees him, & he looks healthy now too! _E8A9282_GB Heron walking Up Hill_E8A9239_E8A9208_GBHeron flying over Anticline LakeI love stories with a happy ending!
  • Linda
    Participant
    lindacunico
    Colorado breeding season for Scaled Quail begins in February.  I observed unmated males  perching on top of the highest point they could find, like my mailbox post, readily seen, calling out to attract a mate in a hoarse, single note.  He also does this to defend his territory.  As of today, July 22, there is still one bachelor who mournfully belts out his call a few times a day, especially at sunrise and sunset. In this photo I took last week,  a torrential rain storm had just washed the atmosphere clean; ( a fire had been burning west of me for three days, polluting the atmosphere) .  So I grabbed my camera to take advantage of beautiful, clear light, finally!  Luckily the sun peaked out from the clouds for a few minutes, as I snapped this portrait of Mr. Lonely, perched on my patio swing. The background is weedy green scrubs and yellow tumbleweeds but this composition is an enigma; the sad bachelor with a happy background.  I could have posted a shot where his head is hanging, eyes downcast;  I SAW & FELT his mournful sigh in this moment.  But I decided to share this one, showing an important element to wildlife photography, pinpointing my focus on the eye/ eyes as the focal point.  Another reason I am showing a happy background is because it is attracting to viewers.  So the viewer feels happy hopefully at first glance, but then X4A0965-1.CR2__Lonely Bachelor Scaled Quail__2020.07.15reads the story and feels sad.  (Mother Nature shown brightly from the west, an hour before sunset, in this series, so the opportunity for a  gloomy shot didn't happen.)
  • Linda
    Participant
    lindacunico
    Gorgeous Blue Grosbeak, he's on my bucket list!  I really like the drift wood, makes a lovely, natural setting!
  • Linda
    Participant
    lindacunico
    Thank you for sharing wonderful photos of Australian birds, and I always like to hear a good story!  I take photos at a small lake near my home where there are American Coots, who have yellow-green feet &  American Coots' beaks aren't totally white.
  • Linda
    Participant
    lindacunico

    @Carole Many thanks Carole!  Yes, water is extremely important for our birds, but as Melissa has taught & I have discovered is that bird feeders are invaluable way to enjoying birds!   It's true that you will get to know individual bird behaviors just by observing your bird feeders, & really knowing their personalities is special beyond words!  They have really become my pets.   Before I hung this feeder in mid- March, I could only see Scaled Quail from a distance in the tall prairie grasses & weeds.  Now they come to me!  They visit my front yard all day long, from sun-up to sunset, thanks to my feeder!  I love my Duncraft Absolute ll feeder-it has two spring-weighted perches to keep large birds, like pigeons, from eating me out of house and home when I was just throwing seed out to all birds under my piñon  trees.  This Duncraft brand feeder is an all-metal squirrel-proof feeder, although there are NO squirrels in the area where I live.  When a large bird or squirrel steps on the perch, a metal shield drops down to shut off the seed supply.  I enjoy watching birds from two separate perches on either side of this feeder.  The metal overhanging roof protects my birds from sun, rain and snow.  the roof also  lifts up for easy  refilling & cleaning.  I have seen very smart Grackles figure out that by fluttering on an edge of the perch, they could hang on and get a couple of mouthfuls.  They eventually give up, figuring it was no work just to find seeds on the ground underneath this feeder that the smaller birds scattered for them and many other ground feeders.  Different birds like different feeders, just as we saw in Melissa's video. Doesn't matter if your bird feeders are homemade or bought, just get some Carole, you won't regret it!

  • Linda
    Participant
    lindacunico

    @Lucy Thanks Lucy, makes me happy that you like my photos, and share the joy :).  Just looking out my windows, I see two Canyon Towhees, found in the southeastern part of Colorado according to e-Bird phone app.  But on my Audubon I-phone app, it shows that their range is NOT in my area! Also, I'm  seeing two Curve-billed Thrashers; this species has been my backyard resident for at least ten years. In my Merlin eBird ID mobile  phone app,  it's map shows the Curve-billed Thrasher located ONLY in a MINUSCULE  TIP of SOUTHEASTERN COLORADO.  According to Audubon, they show he's found in southeastern Colorado, BUT not extended in a large enough range to include where I live; they show them in an area concentrated FURTHER  southeast. (I live 5.7 miles away from Lake Pueblo State Park. Last year  I  joined  an Audubon birding group from Colorado Springs who utilize the same apps that I have used for about four years.  Lots of reporting going on!)   So I  hope someday to see updated map range entries,  that would help contribute to birding conservation efforts.

  • Linda
    Participant
    lindacunico
    _E8A1071_Sky is Falling_7x5_300__E8A3511_Little Miss Sunshine_Since the corona virus has kept me and my husband homebound, I made sit spots in my yard.  On my backyard patio, I figured a large, plump cushioned patio chair would make a decent blind, with me crouched in a second chair behind it!  It worked, as shy Western Tanagers, skittish Bullock's Orioles & cautious Black-headed Grosbeaks -bird species I'd NEVER SEEN BEFORE- didn't seem to notice me there, while bracing my 600mm Tamron lens on the top of the "blind" chair.  I discovered all three species  in my backyard Ash trees for the first time EVER, in mid-March, so I decided to put up a Oriole jelly feeder.  I am elated to say that two different pairs of Bullock's Orioles decided  to nest in the Ash, & I make sure their  jelly feeder is always full.  I now have fledglings, yellow balls of fluff, from one couple, still waiting for arrival of second nestlings, any day now.  I learned feeders have made a huge difference getting birds near perches in my trees. The shy Western Tanager in the photo below stayed a week, thankfully! Lastly, my favorite subjects, Scaled Quail. In this photo, a very young chick is scanning the sky for predators, in between drinks of water.  This is one of  many fascinating behaviors I've observed daily, how fast they depend & learn from their extremely protective & loving  parents.  I have to practice being very quiet, play "Red Light Green Light" all the time, staying low/eye level to the ground.  I crouch, sandwiched between  a wheel barrel  & a very large pot of flowers as a blind in my front yard.  I learned an important lesson from Melissa to not approach birds straight on, so now I practice moving in angled zig-zag motions, when I  follow them into the prairies for environmental photos, as they go about their daily lives.  The weeds are so tall though,  the chicks are hidden._E8A2875_Upside Down Bullock's Oriole_05-1.12.2020_ (1)
  • Linda
    Participant
    lindacunico

    @Isabelle Thanks for your interesting fact, & yes I think they are very cute too Isabelle!  It's amazing that the range of the Scaled Quail and is concentrated only in the southwest:  CO, AZ, western Kansas, western Texas, south to central Mexico.  They are the only quail who don't have black on their faces.

  • Linda
    Participant
    lindacunico
    Since March, sheltering indoors with the corona virus, I have spent time observing Scaled Quail who live in the arid, undisturbed prairies which surround my home in southeastern Colorado.  April is the start of breeding season. My photo shows three very young quail just starting to venture a few yards away from their parents, baby steps to leaving the nest.  My favorite insight is that Scaled Quail are extremely protective & cautious parents, who will chase off any other birds who get near their chicks. The male acts as a guardian, constantly surveying the surrounding area for any potential predators, allowing his mate (for LIFE!) a chance to eat with their chicks in peace.   They eat seeds of trees, shrubs, sunflower seeds and "forbs"/non woody plants, like the Russian thistle weeds, otherwise known as tumbleweeds!_E8A2171_Advice From A Sunflower_
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)