Starling Box

So, a few days ago I posted an image to Facebook (You should probably follow me there if you aren't already) of one of the starlings that had invaded my bluebird box delivering food to the newly hatched babies.

My good friend, fellow workshop instructor and Tamron Image Master, David Akoubian tells me "Your photo sucks!".  Well, that's what he normally says, because we rib each other pretty good.  Actually he said something like "I wonder how it would look if you had even more of a side angle?".

Well, this morning, I had the chance to get that angle David had suggested.  I sent him the image via email and he said to me "This shot is the best thing I've ever seen!".  Ok, he actually said "You suck!", which means the same.

Here is the shot of the starling coming back to the box with some worms...from even more of a side angle.

ISO 1600, 300mm, F/6.3 @ 1/4000th second

I was sitting in my "bird blind" for this shot.  That is a hunting blind that is typically used for hunting turkey that I purchased at a local sporting goods store and is fat friendly...meaning I actually have a bit of room in there.  

I knew I would need a blazing fast shutter for this shot, so I kept my ISO "high"...hey 1600 is high for me.  Once I got my lens focal length set, I manually focused on the area where the bird would be then left the lens in manual focus.  I was shooting in aperture priority at F/6.3, which gave me a shutter of 1/4000th.  Now it was just a matter of me getting lucky.

The starlings were coming from behind the box with food, so they would have to bank around and come in from the front.  I would basically just hold the shutter button down and let it fire off 10-12 frames as soon as they started to bank.  Out of those 10-12, I might get one where the bird was fully in frame.  I had about 3 tries at this...and on one of them I got lucky.

Image captured with my Sony A77ii and Tamron 150-600mm Lens.  Both mounted to a Vanguard Photo US Alta Pro 283CT tripod.