The Stripe-throated Hermit, like most Hermit Hummingbirds, rarely perches where anyone can see it…or get a photo of it. Even field-guide photos are mostly flight shots. And, unlike the other Hermits, it is small…one of the smaller hummingbirds of Central America, so it is not easy to catch in flight. This is my best shot from 16 days in Costa Rica, taken at Dave and Dave’s Costa Rican Nature Pavilion in La Virgen. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. My custom flight mode modifications of Program. 1/1000th. Processed in Polarr.
No one knows, exactly, what function the extended tail coverts on the Resplendent Quetzal serve in the male’s life…though the suspicion is that they are purely decorative…and serve only in attracting the right females. They loose them after breeding season. This male posed nicely in the breeze, giving us the full effect. Sony RX10iv at 3.5 frames per second and 600mm. Program mode. Assembled to an animated gif by Google Photos, and edited in ImgPlay.
Our brief stop at Miriam’s Quetzals, half way down the road from 11,000 feet on the PamAm highway, to 7000 feet at Savegre Mountain Hotel and Resort, did not get us a Quetzal (wrong season for Miriam’s Quetzal tree), but it did get us (the ZEISS Birding group in Costa Rica) a exceptional view of an Emerald Toucanet. Google Photos found this sequence of 3.5 frames per second shots from my Sony RX10iv, and stitched them into an animated gif, which I then edited and improved in ImgPlay. I have posted a still from this sequence previously, but I can’t resist posting the animated version. I mean, can you really get too much of an Emerald Toucanet? Sony RX10iv at 600mm. Program mode. Processed in Polarr.
This is a series of shots at 10 frames per second of a White-necked Jacobin Hummingbird, taken at Dave and Dave’s Costa Rican Nature Pavilion in La Vergin, Costa Rica. Dave and Dave, father and son, have a wonderful set up for bird photography around their home, including a hummingbird feeding station that combines just enough feeders (with a low sugar content) to attract the birds, and enough natural nectar sources (with a higher sugar content) to keep them coming back and provide natural perches for photography. Google Photos found this sequence in images in my photo roll, taken with the Sony RX10iv, and animated it to a gif, which I then cropped and edited in ImgPlay, before re-saving it as a high quality gif and as a short video. Note the tongue 🙂 Dave and Dave’s is a must place to visit if you are in the Sarapiqui area of Costa Rica.
In going through some pics from early in the ZEISS Birding trip to Costa Rica, I came across this set of unprocessed shots of the Brown Violetear Hummingbird from La Paz Waterfall Gardens on the continental divide north of San Jose. Given the Polarr treatment, and assembled for viewing in ImgPlay, here they are. The Bird Name Gods have renamed the Green Violetear to Lesser Violetear. Can it be long before the Brown Violetear is the Greater Violetear? Not that they are not distinctly Green and Brown as well as Violeteared, but when has that ever mattered? Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode. Processed in Polarr.
I am back from 15 days in Costa Rica. I will, maybe, do a make up post in the next few days with some of the images I posted to Facebook and Instagram while on the trip. This is the Green Hermit, caught in the act at a little Soda (mom and pop restaurant) just over the continental divide in the Central Volcanic Range on the way from San Jose to Selva Verde Lodge. For $2.00 you get a cup of coffee, a slice of cheese quesadilla, and the privilege of watching birds coming into their feeders from the deck overlooking the San Francisco waterfall. Such a deal! Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode. Processed in Polarr.
When I saw this flock of birds murmurating (which is what that swirling motion of a flock of birds is called…it is a murmuration of birds) I assumed they were Starlings, or at least mostly Starlings with a few Brewer’s and Red-winged Blackbirds mixed in. Starlings are the famous murmuraters. However, when I got the image up on my iPad’s larger screen and zoomed in, I realized that they were all Red-winged Blackbirds, males and females. That makes the image just that much more interesting to me. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode. Processed in Polarr.
Many of my photos from Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico were taken within an hour of dawn or sunset. That is when the birds are most active, leaving their night roosts or returning to them. This Sandhill Crane was taking off a half hour after dawn to go out to the corn fields at the north end of the refuge to spend the day feeding. The low golden light picks out every detail. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. My birds-in-flight and action modifications of Program mode. Processed in Polarr.
At dawn at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico, the Snow Geese gather in huge flocks before rising in mass with sun to move out to the fields where they feed for the day. If you are in the right place, in this case, the Flight Deck Pond, you can see them come into the pond to join the flock, and then watch them lift off as the sun rises. I took my Point and Shoot Nature Photography class out in temperatures well below freezing to be there for the whole show. Here the Snow Geese are coming in just ahead of sunrise. Sony RX10iv in Anti-motion Blur mode. 3 shots at 1/250th and the equivalent of ISO 1000 at around 50mm equivalent. Processed in Polarr.
During November, when thousands of Sandhill Cranes gather to winter at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in the high Rio Grande Valley of south central New Mexico, there is always a lot of action among the flocks. Sandhills mate for life and some mating behavior goes on all year, as does ritual combat between males. It is often hard, for the causal observer, to tell the difference between the two. 🙂 These two birds were doing an abbreviated dance of one kind or the other, but this is the first time I have caught this particular variation…with their beaks locked. Interestingly, my colleague Bill got a similar shot this year on his very first visit to the Bosque. Sony RX10iv in my special birds in flight and action modification of Program mode. Processed in Polarr.