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Tag Archives: Northern Cardinal

…is not like the others! ūüôā

“Hugh Hefner” (Male Northern Cardinal with Bunny Statues) Nikon D300, 390mm (200-400mm w/1.4x teleconverter), F/7.1, 1/160s, ISO 640

Seeing a Cardinal¬†sitting still is not a common occurrence, so I found it remarkably strange, then, when¬†I spotted a¬†male¬†just leisurely ‘hanging out’ amongst the two¬†small rabbit statues under one of our garden benches. Perhaps he thought he had made some new friends??¬†¬†

The bird stayed in this exact spot for quite a long time (well, for a Cardinal, mind you, as they are typically very skittish birds), even shutting his eyes to rest! I actually began to get concerned he was injured or sick, but, just as I was about to investigate further, I accidentally startled him and he flew off.

Most likely he was a young male, simply getting his bearings. I’ve been seeing many juveniles lately, from squirrels to chipmunks to birds to rabbits, sporting atypical animal behavior and it has been humorous to watch them try to make sense of their surroundings without the aid of the parents. Kids! ūüėČ

Oh, well. Just another day in Milkay’s Animal Kingdom, where the critters never cease to amaze! ūüôā

We’ve been having some spectacular spring weather and the birds have been all a-flutter!

Monday was the first day in a very long time I felt inspired to haul out my 600mm lens (the ‘big gun’) equipped with my 1.7x teleconverter.¬†Earlier on in the day I had spotted an Oriole high up in the tree-tops with the hopes of scoring a photo. No such luck on the Oriole but, I did manage to catch a few shots of the elusive male Northern Cardinal, despite¬†his best attempts to¬†thwart my efforts!

Here they are¬†for your enjoyment. ūüôā

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“Ozzie” (American Goldfinch, Male, Summer Plumage) Nikon D300, 650mm (200-400mm w/1.7x teleconverter), F/6.7, 1/80s, ISO 640

Whenever I’m out shooting with any of my¬†larger lenses, I invariably end up photographing some of the birds as they make their way about the landscape, snacking on all the free food. Yes, it’s a pretty sweet deal for them. ūüôā¬†

Early this season, we added a thistle feeder with the hope of attracting the goldfinches we’d seen sporting about (those bright yellow feathers are hard to miss!)¬†It took awhile, but I’m happy¬†to report that several families¬†visit the feeder daily and they have gotten used to us so¬†they are no longer¬†spooked¬†by the camera.¬†With their stunning golden plumage, they are not only delightful to watch but¬†always make for a nice subject.¬†


“Harriet” (American Goldfinch, Female, Summer Plumage) Nikon D300, 650mm (200-400m w/1.8x teleconverter), F/6.7, 1/50s, ISO 640

I typically prefer to capture birds in a more natural setting (e.g., sitting on a branch or tucked into the trees), but sometimes, you take what you can get. ūüôā

Since they habitually land on the curved part of the bracket that holds the feeder before making their way to an open perch, I naturally aimed my camera there. As usual, first to arrive was the male to scope out the situation before calling to the missus, who shortly followed suit. 

Recently, the black-capped chickadees discovered the wonders of the thistle feeder and have been giving the finches a run for their money! Fortunately, all seem to get along. It simply means the feeder gets emptied quicker!

Above the Curve

“Above the Curve” (Black-capped Chickadee) Nikon D300, 650mm (200-400mm w/1.7x teleconverter), F/6.7, 1/50s, ISO 640

This little chickadee seemed to be egging me on and with so much personality, I couldn’t resist!

Mr. Red

“Mr. Red” (Northern Cardinal, Male) Nikon D300, 650mm (200-400mm w/1.7x teleconverter), F/6.7, 1/200s, ISO

I didn’t even realize I had actually captured one shot of the male cardinal until I looked through the media card! Although I do¬†like the natural setting here, it still isn’t quite THE image I’ve been striving for.¬†

In any event, the cardinal¬†does seem rather pleased with himself, doesn’t he? I think he enjoys this game of tease and fly! And, I suppose, a part of me does as well because, what is the fun of the capture without the thrill of the chase? ūüôā

"Redbird" (Northern Cardinal, Adult Male, Cardinalis cardinalis) Nikon D300, 1000mm (600mm w/1.7x teleconverter), F/6.7, 1/200s, ISO 640

If you’ve been following my blog, then you know I’ve been trying to photograph the elusive male Northern Cardinal for quite some time. While all the other birds will sit and pose for me (the least they can do after snacking on all the free birdseed, right?), the cardinal simply refuses to play nice-nice. What gives?¬†

Even on this day, he took flight after a single click of my shutter. Damn. 

But¬†at least this time, he’s in focus!¬†

In the life of a nature photographer, a small victory is better than no victory at all. 

Until we meet again, mon petit oiseau rouge! ūüôā

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