Say Cheese!

Guest blogger: Nicole Richer

As you know from my previous posts, I love taking bird pictures. Nature photography is fun but also a bit stressful for me. I end up having to make all sorts of arrangements with my camera to compensate for my pounding heart and shaking hands. I often take photography using an increased shutter speed and I also use a continuous mode which enables me to take as many pictures as possible in a short amount of time. What's exciting about this method is that it often yields unexpected surprises when I download my session on the computer. Let me share a few with you!

Purple Finch, I like my tuque!

Purple Finch, I like my tuque!

In magazines and books, birds are mostly shown from their sides allowing us to easily identify them.  Shape, color, size of beak, lines over or under the eyes, wing markings… all these characteristics and field marks are essential for proper identification. In case you were wondering what field marks are, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology defines field marks as "the distinctive stripes, spots, patterns, colors, and highlights that birds have in such abundance and variety". You can find more information on field marks here.

When we look at bird pictures face on, they tell such a different story! Here are some of my favorite surprises that I have found in my camera over the past year... Which one is your favorite? Mine is the purple finch!

Downy Woodpecker, the Inspector!

Downy Woodpecker, the Inspector!

Hairy Woodpecker, Peek-a-Boo!

Hairy Woodpecker, Peek-a-Boo!

Cedar Waxwing, Zorro Impersonator!

Cedar Waxwing, Zorro Impersonator!