Tag Archives: Blackbird

“Female Red-Winged Blackbird”

“Female Red-Winged Blackbird” - Stouffville Reservoir

“You are the only guardian of your own truth, so know your truth and protect it at all costs.”
― Gugu Mona

This is an older photo which I find myself going back to from time to time. The photo was among the first I made with my then newly acquired 70-200 mm, f/2.8 lens. That lens has been my go-to lens ever since, despite it being quite heavy. It is just so very versatile in so many situations, from moderate zoom to close up studio work and event photography.

The image above is, to me, very calming. I enjoy the colour contrast of the golden cat-tails against the blue water as well as the fanned tail feathers of the blackbird, as it balances on the delicate stem. I can almost feel the gentle spring breeze floating over the water’s surface.

As with many of my images, I can still recall where this was made and the process of composing the photo. The bird was very cooperative and seemed to pose for me, which is rarely the case with birds in the wild.

Nikon D300
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 200 mm
1/3200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 400

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“Hawk!”

“If you are made for flight, intended for it,
you had better find a pursuer, fast.
Otherwise, all that fleeing is going nowhere.”
― Dan Chiasson

As I stood by the roadside, a large flock of birds suddenly lept to the air, spinning and weaving above the cornfield from which they had erupted. They flowed in the air like an apparition, then just as quickly, they descended and disappeared once more. All was still.

Then, within minutes, the pattern repeated, only this time, from the corner of my eye, i spotted the source of their flight, A Red-Tailed Hawk soared high above looking for some unwary prey. As soon as the hawk dropped behind the treeline, the birds settled back down till it’s next visit.

At the time, I did not know what variety of bird this was and assumed they were starlings, since starlings tend to form these groups, the larger ones being spectacular murmurations which seem to be some singular, living thing. As I looked closely at the photo, I noticed that these were in fact red-winged blackbirds. It’s the first time I’ve seen so many together. I suppose they are on their migration to warmer climes.

Nikon D800
Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G I AF-S VR Zoom
@ 140 mm
1/160 sec, f/6.3 ISO 400

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“Alarm!” – Red Winged Blackbird

“Alarm!” - Red Winged Blackbird

“Laughing in the face of danger doesn’t negate the fear, it simply enables you to smile at it.”
― Richelle E. Goodrich

I really wanted to title this “Get off my land!” but, “Alarm!” won out.

This is very typical behaviour for male red winged blackbirds, especially during nesting season. They are very protective of their shoreline nests. The female will also join in with rapid chirps and tail fanning, but the male squeals out loud alarms and puffs itself up when agitated. I’ve seen some dive bomb and peck at people who have inadvertently or deliberately come too close to the nest . This guy was happy to sit on his perch and vocalize his dissatisfaction without getting too aggressive.

Nikon D800
Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G I AF-S VR Zoom @300mm

1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/EdLehming
or my website (some images available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com