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Old Mar 9, 2004, 3:52 AM   #1
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Default Black Kites on the Wing

Black Kites (Milvus migrans), called tonbi or tobi in Japanese, are common around Lake Sagami where I live. This afternoon a crowd of about 20 were wheeling around behind my house and the backyard mountain, I assume as part of some kind of rite of spring.
I caught these on the wing. Oly C-755, manual focus set on infinity, zoom at 10x. With programmed exposure, shutter speeds ranged around 1/400 and I panned to keep the birds in the viewfinder. I took eleven shots, but only about 3 were salvageable in PSP.



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Old Mar 9, 2004, 7:23 AM   #2
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A very good result, getting a bird of prey in flight like that.

Regards,
Graham.
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Old Mar 9, 2004, 7:49 AM   #3
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Dark birds on a light background (the sky) are not easy to get exposed correctly. Looks like you did a fairly good job of it.

I'm a huge raptor fan, so its nice to see some from other parts of the world.

Eric
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Old Mar 9, 2004, 3:28 PM   #4
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Thanks. Black kites are quite numerous around here so there are lots of chances to try taking them, and from previous experience I knew most of the photos would be underexposed; I tried to catch the birds when they were flying at an angle to the sun, and lightened them up a bit in PSP afterwards as well.

Black kites eat mostly dead fish, frogs, and snakes, although people of late seem to be putting out food for them in some places as well. At certain times of the year they gather in great groups (casts? committees? strings?) of upwards of thirty birds.
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Old Mar 9, 2004, 6:27 PM   #5
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great shots! that was only 10x zoom!? how low where they flying?
good job
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Old Mar 9, 2004, 6:40 PM   #6
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They were flying quite low, although I won't try to guess the altitude, circling over my house and the hill behind. For a while I almost wondered if they were eyeing my cat :roll:
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Old Mar 9, 2004, 6:43 PM   #7
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that is awesome (except for the cat part lol)

my g2 has 11x zoom but 3.6x is digital....so it isn't the greatest quality but i also have a 2x teleconverter so that works pretty well....
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