Bird photographs from New Brunswick < Click Here >

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All photographs by David Lilly

Which Bird is the Smartest?

There has been a lot of research done on the American Crow. The conclusion is Crows are very intelligent birds. They are able to remember people. Read more about the Crow.


Crows are not easy to photograph unless you gain their trust. This crow was forging along the side of a quiet road and didn't seem to be bothered by my presence.


Crows are black but reflect light. Without the proper exposure, the photo will contain hot spots. My approach is to underexpose the Crow by two F-stops and change the exposure in post-processing. 


I waited a short time as the crow went about its business of looking for Grubs in the grass. As the Crow looked up and sort of posed I got some great photos. The background was good and I had direct sunlight on the bird. As with any bird I tried for a sparkle in the eye. I did notice as the Crow turned its head in a certain direction he did have steel eyes, so to eliminate steel eye I waited for the bird to turn its head. Steel eyes are when the birds-eye looks white from the reflection of the sun.


Nikon 500mm PF lens with a Nikon D 500 body.





Winter Plumage

Some birds change their summer feathers to winter feathers - we call it their plumage.


The Common Loon and the Black Guillemot are two birds that change their plumage from summer to winter. The two birds in this article are in their winter plumage.


There are many reasons for this change. The males change to a different plumage in the winter because are not mating as a result have no reason to have fancy colours to attract females. More about bird plumages.


In winter plumages some birds are not attractive to photograph. However, if the opportunity arises a bird photographer should photograph a bird in winter plumage. It is always nice to have a photograph of a bird in both summer and winter plumages.


Nikon 500mm PF lens with a Nikon D 500 body.

Environmental Bird photography

Many bird photographers crop in tight when photographing birds. I am guilty of this myself.


Many times the photograph is much better when there is more of the environment in the photograph. It shows the whole story - the complete story.


Cropping to close leaves the viewer guessing as to where the bird in the photograph was actually sitting or flying as in the top photo to the right.


In the bottom photograph to the right of this article, I deliberately did not crop the photo.  The  Cooper's Hawk is being shown as it was sitting on a branch in his or her environment.


Nikon 500mm PF lens with a Nikon D 500 body.