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Old Feb 5, 2014, 8:26 PM   #1
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Default North American Eastern Bluebirds in the snow

Well it's that time of year when the feeder brings the birds to the tree and if I'm lucky I get to capture some shots.

These are of my favorite birds, the North American Eastern Bluebird. We have two pairs that travel together, as near as I can tell one of the males is the offspring of the other pair as we started with one pair three years ago, then we had a little male and this season and past season we have had two pair. These birds should appear familiar to those who were hanging around these parts last winter.

We had some heavy snow today, getting upwards of a foot or more (seems about 14" but not sure the official total) and these were shot late afternoon with snow still falling. Not an easy thing but I've learned (from my friends here) that I need to set the shutter as fast as I can, 1/400 in this case, and given the snowy background turn the exposure compensation up, +1EV in this case, with ISO capped at 1250. All hand held, E-PL2, VF-2, single point AF, shutter priority, Zuiko 70-300 with Panasonic DMW-MA1 adapter.

A shot of a pair @190mm - female is the darker feathered one on the left


P2054036-2 by ramcewan, on Flickr

a couple shots of the male, you can see the snow was falling faster than he could shake it off while he let his mate have a go at the feeder.


P2054043 by ramcewan, on Flickr


P2054041 by ramcewan, on Flickr

thanks for looking!
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Old Feb 5, 2014, 11:12 PM   #2
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Beautiful little creatures. Classic captures.
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Old Feb 6, 2014, 9:37 AM   #3
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.....we don't have a lot of 'pretty' birds around our place but I did see a cardinal pair in our yard a few days ago and today it is snowing a bit so who knows, maybe some more birds to the seed; no bluebirds though.

Yours are surely pretty, thanks for showing them.
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Old Feb 6, 2014, 10:28 AM   #4
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Bluebirds are so beautiful, never had the chance to photograph this beauty.

You did a great job with your camera/lens combination.

Marcelo
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Old Feb 6, 2014, 10:38 AM   #5
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Those are nice Ramce, beautiful birds but none like that around my area. The only colorful bird that visits our feeders is the Goldfinch. Did you take those with the 70-300mm?
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Old Feb 6, 2014, 11:10 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiPersei View Post
Beautiful little creatures. Classic captures.
Ditto
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Old Feb 8, 2014, 11:19 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarceloLI View Post
Bluebirds are so beautiful, never had the chance to photograph this beauty.

You did a great job with your camera/lens combination.

Marcelo
Thanks Marecelo - I can't wait to move up to the 16mp sensor which does better at high ISO, these are always a balance between ISO noise reduction and loss of detail on my camera, hence why I cap it at 1250 - I would be able to go faster shutter and not have so much noise with a useable ISO 1600 and above on the newer sensors.

Thanks for your comments, I'm very happy to have these colorful visitors, it's an advantage of living somewhat in the woods.

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Originally Posted by James Emory View Post
Did you take those with the 70-300mm?
Yes all taken with the 70-300mm always a favorite even if it requires an adapter. I find it is pretty good at 300mm but even better at under 300mm. I have no regrets swapping out the Lumix 45-200mm for this lens, there is a noticeable improvement in IQ IMHO. I've heard the Lumix 100-300mm is better than the Lumix 45-200mm on IQ but I've also heard the 75-300mm, although it being a bit slower aperture wise, has a higher hit rate because it focuses better/faster, at least on non-em1 43 bodies, which I am inclined to believe having had more than my share of missed focuses with the 70-300mm. So for now I think I'll be sitting tight but might consider the 100-300 or the 75-300 someday as a replacement... although a modern Zuiko 50-200mm f2.8-3.5 plus a 1.4x TC might just change my mind as it seems to best IQ and faster aperture is always an advantage.

Have to say speaking of older 43 tele lenses, there's a guy on flickr shooting a adorama.com Zuiko 300mm f2.8 with an EM-1 and it is spectacular for wildlife. If money was no object (it's a $7k lens ) I'd gladly pick up this combo for birding lol !!

His tag is ak-oly and here is his photostream if interested

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ak-oly/
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