Young And Not Dumb…

Northern Cardinal, Juvenile, Stephen Fisher Photography, Texas Photo RanchI’ve been watching the Northern Cardinals pretty closely at the Texas Photo Ranch. Theres been quite a bit activity at the photo blinds…

The Northern Cardinal fledglings are close to being own their own. They are still trying to get the adults to find and share food, but are more than capable of handling it themselves.

The black beaks of these juveniles are slowly turning the traditional red-orange color of the adult cardinals. I think they’ll be “all grown up” soon and off to start a life independent of their parents. Fun to watch…

This image is a juvenile female Northern Cardinal. She’s almost completed the molting of her nesting feathers. She’ll be a real beauty…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pretty Girl…

Stephen Fisher Photography, Painted Bunting, Texas Photo RanchYesterday my post questioned “where are the boys”, and I was gently set straight by a reader. The Painted Buntings (males for sure) have all headed south. I went back to check the EXIF data on my Painted Bunting images, and sure enough, April through July seem the best times for this area. Lesson learned…

I also got a LOT of comments on how pretty females birds look. I couldn’t agree more…

Here’s another image of the same bird I posted yesterday. In this image, you can see her beautiful iridescent green feathers. This bird is as beautiful as any other species. The females of various species get overlooked in favor of the males, but not always…

 

 

 

 

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Where Are The Boys?

Stephen Fisher Photography, Female Painted Bunting, Texas Photo Ranch, OK…So I’m seeing FEMALE Painted Buntings regularly at the Texas Photo Ranch. I’m still waiting to see my first male this season…

If I could shoot only one species of birds, it might just be the Painted Buntings. Not only are they one of the most beautiful species, they are just fun to shoot.

Painted Bunting are small…about 5 inches in length. Even so, they always get your attention when they fly into the scene. At the Texas Photo Ranch, they seem MUCH more interested in the water at the blinds than the seed.

I’m looking forward to seeing that first male respond to a call and come in. It might just be this week…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It’s Almost Over…

Female Northern Cardinal, Stephen Fisher Photography, Texas Photo Ranch, MoltSlowly…but surely…they are starting to look good again! Mother Nature’s scheme is working once again…

Bird’s feathers get both damaged and lost. A ‘molt” takes care of that. Some birds molt only to replace lost feathers, and some replace ALL their feathers during the molt. Obviously, molting birds don’t reflect their true beauty.

Here’s a female Northern Cardinal image I made a few days ago at the Texas Photo Ranch. While she’s not PERFECT, this bird is well on her way to completing her molt. She’s already pretty…but lust wait another week or so.

 

 

 

 

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WTF?

Northern Cardinal, Cowbird, Brood ParasitesA couple of weeks ago I posted about Cowbirds. I mentioned that this species was brood parasitic…an interesting phenomenon to say the least…

Northern Cardinal, Cowbird, Brood ParasiteBrood parasites…like female Cowbirds…lay their eggs in the nests of other species. This is often at the expense of the native specie’s eggs. Since the hatchlings are ALWAYS bigger than the native specie…they usually survive.

Here’s a couple of  images of a male Northern Cardinal teaching HIS fledgling how to find and eat berries. It was fascinating to watch this cardinal nurture the cowbird like he was his own!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cardinal Update

Northern Cardinal, molt, Stephen Fisher Photography, Texas Photo Ranch, BirdsOK…So they aren’t going to win any beauty contest yet! But they are starting to look a LOT better…

The Northern Cardinal molt is coming to a close at the Texas Photo Ranch. All of the birds I noticed yesterday were definitely putting on new feathers and looking less “shabby”.

This image shows a young Cardinal’s beak slowly making the transition from black to reddish-orange. It normally takes between 60 and 85 days after hatching for this to happen. So my guess is that this bird is between two and three months old.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gulf Coast 2014 Exhibit

Stephen Fisher Photography, Rockport Beach Park, Rockport TX, Pier, Sunrise,

The Look Back

I received some GREAT news yesterday from the Rockport Center for the Arts! This image…The Look Back...has been juried into the Gulf Coast 2014 Exhibit opening September 13. This exhibit will showcase “art inspired by the activities, ideas, and scenery of the Gulf Coast”.

I made The Look Back very early one morning at the Rockport Beach Park. I walked all the way out on one of the fishing piers and shot back toward the pavilion. One of the things I personally like about this image is the small vignettes that show through the railings. It’s like getting 5 or 6 images in one!

I’m very proud of this image and hope you can come see it in person…SEF

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Canon Professional Services

Stephen Fisher Photography, Aransas Bay, Sunrise, Canon 5D Mark III,

“Almost”

I love these guys!

I don’t know about you, but I’m fed up with MOST customer service…and I use the term “service” loosely. I’m tired of long waits with BAD bumper music, pushing buttons, more waiting…and finally being dropped before having ANY resolution of my problem…

I have always exclusively used Canon gear. It’s not that it’s inherently better than Nikon, or any other manufacturer. I just have a LOT of money tied up in Canon glass, and I see NO valid reason to change. For me…Canon ROCKS!

I used my Canon 5D Mark III to make this image. It’s the body I use for almost all of my “‘scapes”…landscapes, seascapes, any scape! I take VERY good care of my gear, but I use it a LOT and it gets dusty and dirty.

Fortunately, I’m a Platinum member of Canon Professional Services (CPS). This organization defines “customer SERVICE”. A human answers the phone…he/she quickly gathers your information…and your problem is well on it’s way to being satisfied. I just recently called to have that 5D Mark III body cleaned along with a Canon 580 EX II Speedlight repaired. Canon emailed me a FedEx overnight label…received and cleaned/repaired both items…and had it back to me on the third day. There was NO charge for the cleaning and I paid for the speed light repairs after a 30% discount! Now that’s SERVICE…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It’s My Turn…

Little Egret, St.Augustine Aligator Farm and Bird Rookery, Stephen Fisher Photography, Nature, BirdsOK…So this is going to be something REALLY different for me!

I have been asked to be one of three judges for the Victoria Photography Club‘s 2014 Member’s Photography Contest. How ’bout that!

I’m usually the guy who asks “What were the judges thinking?” …”Are you serious that they picked THAT image over mine?”…”WTF”…!

This will be a great experience for me professionally. I look at photos ALL day long. Studying the work of others has been a big help in my own growth. I took a look at last year’s contest winners, and was very impressed!

Art is SO subjective. The VPC Contest committee has done a great job in providing a simple…yet thorough…set of criteria that we must follow. The judges independently look at the entries…assign a numerical value to every photo…and the images with the highest scores win. I can do that…

I’ll let you know how this works out for me…SEF

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Photography

Hanging Out

Tufted Titmouse, Texas Photo Ranch, Stephen Fisher Photography, Birds

“Hanging Out”

OK…I’ve really become a BIG fan of these LITTLE birds! Not only are they beautiful, they’re a lot of fun to shoot…

Titmice are really fast! They usually fly into the scene, grab a single seed, and fly back to their cover to eat. They also appear to be creatures of habit. If you study their behavior for a few minutes, you’ll see that they usually fly to the same spot on the perch every time. From there they move to the seed, and then immediately fly away.

I try to prefocus on the perch spot they prefer…and wait. When they do return, I’m ready to make the image. Sometimes it works…sometimes it doesn’t! I REALLY like this lucky shot.

Maybe I’ve become a Titmouse stalker…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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