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All photographs by David Lilly
There are not many small birds in the Higher Alpine areas of the Rocky Mountains in the winter. So, it was a surprise when I saw a Townsend's solitaire today sitting on a stump above Lake Minnewanka in Banff National Park.
They range from Alaska to Mexico. In the winter they migrate to the lower elevations in search of Juniper Berries.
The Townsend's Solitaire could be mistaken for a Grey Jay. However, it does have some distinctive marks - the white eye ring is a giveaway.
This Solitaire sat and posed for me, maybe because it was so darne cold and he did not want to move.
Photographing birds in flight is getting much easier with the new cameras.
Not to long ago I purchased the Nikon D 500. It has proven to be one of the best Nikon cameras I have ever owned for birds in flight.
Setting the focusing to 153 focus points I never missed a photo that was not sharp. The two Golden eyes above were against the snow, but the camera never had a problem locking on.
1/2000 sec at F 6.3 ISO 2000
I keep saying there are some good photograph of birds in the winter even though it is -20.
In the winter driving around and looking can be very productive. Keep your camera at the ready. The birds in these photos will not wait.
The House Finch is not native to Canada. However, it has thrived in one of the coldest places on the planet.
Its success is due to the fact many avid birders take the time to put out feeders in the winter. Wherever there are feeders there are most likely House Finches. Hose Finches eat just about any bird food bought in stores.
The males are very colorful especially when the light is good.
To learn more about the House finch < click here >
1/1000 sec at F 7.1 ISO 560 500mm F 4 Nikon lens D 500
The immature Bald Eagle was across the Bow River in Calgary. It was a long shot but with the Nikon D 500 and a 500mm F4 lens TC 1.4III.
I was able to get some photographs that were sharp. A few years ag this photo would not have been possible. I would't have even tried to take a photo with my D 300 at this distance. With the quality of the sensors in the D 500 it was not a problem. I probably will not make a poster but it will be ok for a magazine cover.