Roseate Spoonbills

Roseate Spoonbill

One of my favorite wading birds is the Roseate Spoonbill.  And there were no shortage of them around the Titusville, FL area during The Space Coast Birding Festival.

I love the pink coloration of the bird and the oddball shape if it's bill.  Much like the American Flamingo, the pink coloration of the Roseate Spoonbill is derived from their diet.

A common breeding grounds for these birds is the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, so it's no surprise that we found the largest concentration of these birds there.  We spent most of our time on a portion of the refuge known as Black Point Wildlife Drive.  It is a 7 mile drive along a gravel road with prime birding habit.  We saw several different types of birds here...we saw herons, egrets, eagles, osprey, kingfishers, blue-winged teal, pintails, redhead ducks and of course roseate spoonbills.  It is a great area to visit if you are in the area!

Here is an image I really wanted to get while I was there.  A roseate spoonbill in flight.

ISO 800, 600mm, F/6.3 at 1/8000th second

Be sure to hover your mouse over the image to see the camera settings.  Also, don't forget you can click the image to enlarge it.

This image was made with my Sony A77ii and Tamron 150-600mm Lens.  I had the combo mounted to my Sirui P-324S Monopod and L-20S Monopod Head.

On my Sony A77ii camera body there is a camera setting that allows the camera to shoot at 12 FPS.  That came in incredibly handy during my trip.  The only catch to using this mode is that it forces you to shoot at a wide open aperture.  I was totally cool with that, because that's what I normally do anyhow when I am shooting birds.  

Heed this warning...you WILL get tired of seeing bird photos in the coming days and weeks ;)

 

Roseate Spoonbills

On my trip last month to the St.Augustine Alligator Farm I really wanted to get some photos of Roseate Spoonbills.  It's a very colorful bird and it's one of the coastal birds we never get to see in North Alabama.

While they were certainly there at the Alligator Farm, they didn't present near as many photo ops as the other bird species did.  I did manage to get a few keepers, though.

ISO 400, 600mm, F/6.3 @ 1/1600th second

When these birds got in just the right light, their eyes lit up like crazy!  

ISO 400, 500mm, F/6.3 @ 1/2000th second

I know I was mentioning the eyes, but this image I managed to catch one "blinking".  I thought the shot with the eye membrane was cool.

ISO 400, 600mm, F/6.3 @ 1/2500th second

All of these images were captured with the Sony Alpha 77ii and Tamron Lenses 150-600mm Lens.  These shots were also made handheld.