woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker Nest

Last week sometime I heard there was an easily accessible Pileated Woodpecker Nest in Huntsville.  I was a little late to the party, which is usually the case, but I got to go check it out on Saturday morning.

It's a good thing I got there Saturday morning, too.  I heard later that afternoon all of the babies fledged the nest.  I could tell they were about to when I was there photographing them.  They were really big.  They were getting really brave with how far they were coming out of the nest on their own.  The parents weren't feeding them very frequently either.  I think it was their way of telling them it's time to get out of the house.

While I was there dad did come in and feed once.  I didn't get a shot of him feeding all the chicks, but I did get a shot of him feeding this one. 

The leaves were really grown and in the way.  You basically had to wait on the wind and the birds to cooperate enough to get a shot without the leaves blocking the scene.

Sony A6300, LA-EA3 Lens Adapter, Tamron 150-600mm Lens, Sirui tripod and PH-20 Gimbal Head.

Aperture Priority, F/6.3, ISO 6400, 1/500th second, Exposure Compensation +0.3

My Nemesis

When you look at the photo associated with today's blog post you may think, "Ok, a shot of a Hairy Woodpecker.".  But it's much more than that...

These dang woodpeckers have been my nemesis for years.  I've tried and tried to attract them to my backyard with no success at all.  As part of my feeding ritual I place suet in small cracks of the posing tree.  I do this for a few reasons.  First, I want the birds to spend time on the tree digging out the suet.  Secondly, I want to hide the suet so it doesn't show up in the photographs.  Over the last few days I noticed something had been eating almost an entire suet block a day out of the cracks and crevices of the tree.  I had my suspicions it was a woodpecker, but I had no way of confirming it.  A few days ago I was out in the backyard doing some yard work and there it was.  A Hairy Woodpecker.  Eating all of my suet.  Taunting me.  I watched him for several minutes as he was pretty content.  Most likely due to my lack of having a camera in hand.

So, yesterday, armed with my new knowledge that this guy liked to stop by in the evenings, I put out a fresh block of suet, sat in the blind and waited.  Sure enough, that little guy showed up again.  He wasn't there but a few seconds, however I still managed a few frames of him.  It was like a victory.  

Now for some technicals...

Sony A6300, LA-EA3 Adapter, Tamron 150-600mm Lens, Sirui Tripod and PH-20 Gimbal Head.

300mm, Aperture Priority, 1/1000th shutter speed, F/6.3 Aperture, ISO 1600, Exposure Compensation +0.7

Wildlife photography is so much different from other genres in nature.  When shooting landscapes or waterfalls, I want my ISO as low as possible, usually 100.  When I go out with the intent to shoot wildlife, I usually start at ISO 1600.  I may end up adjusting that according to the light, but that is usually where I feel comfortable starting out.

Get out there and tackle your nemesis today! 

 

Woodpecker

This is one of the woodpeckers I got the chance to photograph out in Grand Teton National Park this past spring.  Although there were several woodpeckers to be photographed in this area, this was the best looking one, in my opinion, and the hardest to photograph.  He was pretty camera shy and stayed hid out most of the time in one of the nesting holes.

He was only out here for just a few minutes, but I got several shots of him.  This image was taken with the new SP Tamron 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD.  I had it mounted to my Canon 7D and they were locked down to my Vanguard Alta Pro 283CT Tripod.  I'm glad I had the tripod, too.  Not only for image stability reasons, but there was a lot of time spent waiting.  I got to spend that time not holding my camera ;)