Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Sunrise and a Resident Band-tailed Pigeon

It was a beautiful sunrise over the Mendocino Range and the fog filled Little Lake Vally this morning. After breakfast I set about photographing birds and squirrels coming to a new feeder that I put up yesterday to replace the old one that was destroyed by the squirrels. It's amazing what the squirrels can chew through! While photographing I heard the very distinctive sound of the wings of a Band-tailed Pigeon coming down from the trees. It landed on the ground below the bird feeder and began eating the loose seed that had been knocked off the feeder by the Steller's Jays. I froze then waited and waited. I knew that there couldn't be too much seed on the ground and it would come up to the mossy branch next to the feeder. After what seemed like forever it flew up to the branch. Very, very slowly I composed the camera. At the first click of the shutter it froze and looked around. Band-tailed Pigeons are quite nervous and can be fairly hard to photograph as they are quite alert to danger. This Band-tail is part of a small group of resident pigeons that spend the winter here rather than migrating southward. I often hear them in the trees but rarely manage to capture them at the bird feeder. This morning was one of those rare times. I carefully took as many images as I could before it got too nervous and took off back up to the trees over head. After editing the images this one was my favorite. God's love and blessings upon your day, chris Both images were created with a Canon 7D and a Canon 100-400 IS lens. For the pigeon the camera settings were AV mode, ISO 400, F 8.0 at 1/125th of a sec. The camera was supported by a ground pod and a Bogen 3055 heavy duty ballhead on our bedroom window sill.


  1. These are beautiful pictures! Do you do this full time?

    1. Caleb, thank you I photograph full time but I don't make my living at it.