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Old Aug 23, 2005, 10:49 PM   #1
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I went out to one of the best places to see & photograph shore birds on the east coast (of the US.) I haven't gone through all the shots, but I liked this pair of shots. We got to watch them hunt in a swarm at a school of fish. When this one caught the fish, another went after it as it left. So when it landed it tried to look "bigger" to scare off the other. It worked, as the other left after only one pass to steal it.

I don't normally post (or like) shots from behind the bird, but I think this one works as it clearly shows how large the bird was trying to look.

Does anyone know what type of Tern this is? I thought it was a Common (they are the most common where I am/was.) But with the bill turning from black to red, it could be an Arctic turn and I don't know them well enough to say. Anyone?

I wish the eye had stood out better. I actually blame myself, as I believe it was my contrast ehnancement caused the problem... it was clearer in the unedted origional. So I'll probably try to draw it out more and post it again.

I don't have the technical info on the shot, so these are guesses:
Both were taken with the Canon 20D, 600mm f4 + 1.4TC from a tripod.
Camera: 1/2000 f5.6 ISO200
Photoshop: contrast, crop, reduce, sharpen

Camera: 1/1600f5.6 ISO200
Photoshop: contrast (selective), crop, reduce, sharpen

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Old Aug 24, 2005, 8:52 AM   #2
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Just beautiful Eric

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Old Aug 24, 2005, 11:02 AM   #3
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I like the 1st shot the most - Hard to get since theses guys don't like to pose for you... :-)
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Old Aug 25, 2005, 6:53 PM   #4
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Hi Eric - nice shots and especially interesting that that puffing up behavior is shown. Making oneself look larger is a very common behavior to ward off dangers or competitors among many different animals (including people).

BTW, this would be a Common Tern. The Arctic Tern would have a much shorter bill in comparison.
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Old Aug 25, 2005, 9:21 PM   #5
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Glad you all like the shots.

The odds were highly in favor of it being a Common, but the way I tell an Arctic from a Common is the bill color... and this one is at that transition time when the bill changes so I was kinda lost.

I've heard that leg length is another way to tell its a common, but I hadn't heard bill length. Good to know.

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