Butcher Bird At Sunset
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I have no special reason for posting this photo other than that I really like it.
About a week ago, two friends, Carl Jackson, René Clark and I were driving on the Empire Ranch in Patagonia only a few minutes before sunset. If you’ve never been there it’s well worth the trip, especially early or late in the day when the sun is low. The ranch is held in trust and is open to the public. It consists of thousands of acres of pristine grassland and it gives one a glimpse of what the grasslands of Arizona must have looked like before settlers developed them extensively. The ranch is a place of great scenic beauty and it also harbors all sorts of interesting wildlife.
Carl, René and I were leaving the ranch when we spotted a Loggerhead Shrike sitting on a fence post. Shrikes are beautiful birds and fierce predators. They capture and eat all sorts of prey ranging from insects to small rodents and small birds. They are notoriously difficult to photograph. One will normally fly the instant that it is approached. However, this shrike seemed to be enjoying the warmth of the late afternoon sun and was reluctant to take off. I photographed it out of the car window. Attempting to approach it on foot would have been impossible.
Happily, I got this image. I really like the way the bird stands out against the background and how the sky, instead of showing up pure blue, has a slight pinkish tinge to it.
Image made with a Canon 5Diii, 400 DO, aperture preferred setting, ISO 500, f6.3 @ 1/1600.