Category Archives: Avian Photography

Terns in Flight

A while back one of my camera bodies failed. Since it was getting a bit out-dated I decided to replace it with a newer Canon 7D. Of course I’m all too familiar with the internet chatter about this model being bad for noise and other pixel peeping short-comings but decided to buy one anyway. I haven’t used the camera enough to come to a concrete decision about how I like it but I do know it’s pretty dandy for shooting birds in flight. The auto-focus is quick and accurate, doing a good job of tracking birds, even those coming almost straight at the camera. With an 8 fps rapid fire mode it’s great for catching action. Here are a few shots of some terns in flight I took while on a recent paddle.

Tern in flight over the Rachel Carson Estuarine Reserve

Tern in flight shot with a Canon 7D

Tern in flignt near Beaufort, NC

Tern in flight

wildlife prints

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A Few Bird Shots from This Morning

A few days ago I received a new camera. One of my primary bodies had died unexpectedly so I decided this might be a good time to try out a different body so I ordered a Canon 7D. Depending on who you ask this model is either a great camera or a noisy piece of junk. I’m not a “pixel peeper” and am well versed in how to show to reduce noise. I also have the knowledge and software to deal with a bit of noise if necessary. My first impression is that I’m going to be very happy with this camera. Only time will tell.





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American Oyster Catchers, One Banded

The other morning I had the pleasure of photographing a couple American Oyster Catchers. One of them was banded and I was able to read the markings in the photo. I then reported the sighting online at There’s a fairly simple online form you fill out, providing as much information as you can. Once your bird is confirmed the sighting is added to their data base. They also send you an email telling you when the bird was first captured and banded as well as listing other sightings of that bird. If you sight a banded American Oyster Catcher and you’re able to read and of the codes I encourage you to file a report.

American Oyster Catcher along Taylor's Creek.

Banded American Oyster Catcher feeding on a oyster bed in Deep Creek.

Amercian Oyster Catcher.

coastal prints

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Black Bellied Plover – Winter Plumage

While on my paddle the other morning I spied a plover searching the mouth of Deep Creek for a morning snack. I made a slow, drifting approach to see if I could get a few photos. As I got nearer I could see that it was a Black Bellied Plover, still in its winter plumage. It didn’t seem to mind my presence and I was able to get a few photos of this little bird as it worked the shoreline hunting for a few tasty morsels.

A Black Bellied Plover near the mouth of Deep Creek  in the Rachel Carson Estuarine Reserve.

The Rachel Carson Estuarine Reserve is a wonderful location for viewing shorebirds.

Black Bellied Plover photographed near Beaufort, North Carolina.

The Crystal Coast is home to a large varitey of birds.

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Snowy Egret at Low Tide

I decided to go for a paddle yesterday morning. As always, I had my camera along with the hope of getting a few images. I was fortunate to come across a couple of very cooperative Snowy Egrets that allowed me to watch and photograph them as they hunted an oyster bed exposed by the low tide. Here are a few of the shots.

A Snowy Egret hunts along the mouth of Deep Creek

Snowy Egret at the Rachel Carson Estuarine Reserve

Snowy Egret near Beaufort, NC

A Snowy Egret stalks its breakfast

A Snowy Egret fishing

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American Oyster Catcher in Flight

Just a simple, single image post today. Here’s a photo of an American Oyster Catcher in Flight near Beaufort, North Carolina. In reference to my previous post of tricks to improve your photography you may notice that I used the rule of thirds in selecting the placement of the subject, made sure the eye was sharp and in focus and left space in front of the bird for it to “move into.” Can you find any more of my “ten tricks” applied in this image?


American Oyster Catcher in Flight

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American Oyster Catchers on Taylor’s Creek

The Crystal Coast is blessed with one of the largest populations of American Oyster Catchers along the North American East Coast. Their black and white plumage is strikingly highlighted by their bright orange bills, yellow eyes and eye circles. It’s hard not to find these birds a pleasure to see. For these images I used my kayak to get close to the birds and to get me to a near eye-level point of view for my camera.

From a photographic stand point some folks my find these guys a bit challenging. Anytime you’re photographing two tonal extremes there is a risk of your camera’s onboard metering system being fooled. This is where it a) pays to know your camera or b) makes sense to use the histogram to insure you’re getting proper exposure. You don’t want to blow-out the detail in the white feathers, end-up with muddy gray-white feathers, or lose detail in the dark feathers by blocking the blacks. Here are a few shots from a few days ago.

American Oyster Catcher near Beaufort, North Carolina

Amercian Oyster Cather on an oyster reef.

American Oyster Catcher at the junction of Taylor's and Deep Creeks

Also posted in General Photography, Kayaking, Nature Photography, Wildlife Photography

Juvenile White Ibis Along the Crystal Coast

The White Ibis exists in large numbers along the eastern Carolina coast. I see many, many of them and, to be honest, find photographing them to be a bit boring. While the down curved bill is kind of interesting the plain white plumage is kind of… well… ho-hum! That said, I find the young birds quite a bit more interesting. Immature White Ibis are anything but white! The browns and grays make their plumage more interesting… at to me. While paddling along Taylor’s Creek the other morning, on my way to visit the wild horses hanging out on Town Marsh Island, I came upon a juvenile White Ibis perched in a tree. I couldn’t resist stopping to take a few photos. I thought the bent, crooked limbs of the tree created an interesting frame around the bird. Below are a couple of the resulting images.

Juvenile White Ibis perched along Taylor's Creek on the Crystal Coast of North Carolina.

Immature White Ibis.

bird photos

Also posted in General Photography, Natural History in the Carolinas, Nature Photography, Wildlife Photography Tagged , , , , , , , , , |

Humming Bird!

I have a strong fondness of Humming Birds. Every year I get three or four visiting my feeder and every year I promise myself to set-up to do some photos of them. Sadly I seem to always delay until they’ve began their arduous trip towards their southern wintering grounds. This year, however, I didn’t procrastinate. Here’s the result of my first attempt at photographing these amazing, fast little birds.

Ruby Throated Humming Bird.

Also posted in General Photography, Nature Photography, Wildlife Photography

White Ibis and Little Blue Heron Along the Beaufort NC Waterfront

I had the opportunity to launch my kayak and do a little wildlife photography the other morning. It was an extremely winding morning, making it a little difficult to hold position while shooting. The fast moving air, however, help provide some relief from the heat and humidity of the morning. All in all it was a nice way to spend the morning.

White Ibis along Taylors Creek

Little Blue Heron along North Carolina's Crystal Coast

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