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I’m posting early today because Louisa and I very shortly will be driving over to the Elkhorn Ranch in the Baboquivari Mountains southwest of Tucsonfor a week’s vacation. Consequently, this blog will likely be on hiatus for a week. I promise to bring back some nice images. The ranch, aside from being beautiful, picturesque, and a wonderful place for a vacation, is a haven for songbirds. I hope it will be worth the wait to see what I return with.
Meanwhile, today’s subject is a little Orange-crowned Warbler that I photographed the other day over at Sweetwater Wetlands. This species can be found pretty much all over the continental United States at one time or another during the year. There are several subspecies, but the differences among them are subtle, and I have no idea what subspecies this bird belongs to. The bird gets its name “Orange-crowned” because it supposedly has a few orange-colored feathers on the top of its head. Good luck finding them! I’ve seen and photographed several representatives of the species and I’ve yet to find one with an orange crown.
I generally have terrible luck photographing warblers. They’re easy enough to find. Go over to Sweetwater Wetlands, particularly in autumn through spring, and the trees are full of them, happily chirping away as they go about their business. But, photographing them? That’s another story entirely. Warblers are much more often heard than seen. They love to hide in dense foliage, sometimes just a few feet or yards away from the photographer, but nearly always invisible.
But, luck was on my side with this bird. I was walking by a reed bed at the wetlands when the bird landed about 10 feet away from me and began feeding on the seeds of cattails.
It was so engrossed in its feeding that it pretty much ignored me. And so, I got these images. Best of all, the sun was in precisely the right position, coming from over my left shoulder, to enable me to get good exposures and a brightly lighted bird. As I’m wont to say, sometimes it’s much better to be lucky than good.
Back next week!
Photos taken with a Canon 5Diii, 400 DO, ISO 400, aperture preferred setting, f6.3 @ 1/2500.