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Male Red-winged Blackbird

Male Red-winged Blackbird
Photo Information
Copyright: John Reasbeck (ubc64) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 76 W: 21 N: 208] (789)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2011-05-14
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D300s, Nikkor 300mm AF-S f/4
Exposure: f/4, 1/2500 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): CeltickRanger's favorite bird in-flight photos 3 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2011-06-08 11:55
Viewed: 10520
Points: 18
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
For my first posting in just over one year, I selected this male Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) in flight. I was at the Stormwater Ponds in Okotoks, Alberta.

Every spring, several varieties of blackbirds come to Canada and northern U.S. locations, from warmer regions in the U.S. and Mexico, to breed -- a large percentage remain in the south to breed also. The Stormwater Ponds area typically attracts Red-winged Blackbirds every year. The male blackbirds fly over the water to the trees and reeds, sounding the alarm and flashing their bright red shoulder patches, as an intimidation tactic, when there are intruders. Occasionally, a female blackbird will make an appearance, if she's not too busy feeding, minding her nest or taking care of the little ones (which I've only seen a couple of times over the years -- they hide well). The females, by the way, for those who may not know, are not coloured black at all. Instead, they have a varied brown and cream camouflage pattern, which permits them to hide well in marshy locations.

I was fortunate to be fairly close to one of the challenging male blackbirds one morning on May 14/11. The birds fly abruptly and swiftly, but it's possible to photograph one in the air, if you're persistent (and have a fast lens). In this case, I was able to capture one showing both of his red shoulder patches as he flew over one of the ponds.

PaulLees, Mamagolo2, CeltickRanger, Pitoncle, Miss_Piggy, lovenature has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Pitoncle: MRWB - Depth of Fieldubc64 1 06-09 12:44
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi John,

Well what a welcome back shot to TN John, in-flight bird shots are not easy i know but this is a beauty, good detailed sharpness and superb bird angle with awesome wing extension, impressive exposure/white balance control, love the highlighted eye, Major League stuff and well done,
Congratulations John and have a nice evening,
Best Regards,


Hello John,
Yes, what a stunning welcome baack shot this is. One of my dreams is to catch a bird in flight but you've really nailed this one with sharp clear detail and excellent focus with beautiful colors.
Very well done and tfs.

Hello John

Welcome back, a great in-fight shot of the
Male Red-winged Blackbird superbly focused
with excellent sharpness and details, fine POV
and great framing with the free space in front, TFS


Hello John,
A magnificent portrait of Blackbird in flight. Super photo.

Spectacular capture John Reasbeck! Pin sharp precise focus on the Red-winged Blackbird's head and body. Superbly preserved detail even at the shadows and the bright highlights! Love the timing here. The bird is perfectly exposed and the background is nothing short from breathtaking! Well done!
George Veltchev

Bonjour John,
Judicieux angle de prise de vue valorisant bien le sujet dans une splendide attitude mais la profondeur de champ est insuffisante pour apprécier la finesse des détails.
A bientôt sur TN pour de nouvelles aventures.

Nice one john, good to see a new one

great view of his shoulders


Hallo John
You chose a beautiful, beautiful image for your return to the site. The strong colours of the bird is brought accross beautifully against the marble coloured sky as background. I just love the feeling of "free as a bird" like the saying go that you captured here. The black shine on the wings is marvellous. Thanks for sharing. Best regards.

Hi John
It's great to see you posting again too. I love the way you captured this Black-winged Blackbird with his wings spread out to see his wing bars. I love the call of the Red-winged blackbird, it means that spring has finally arrived (I think).

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