Western Meadowlark At Rest And In Flight
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Recently, I was driving in rural country when I spotted a Western Meadowlark perching on a fence post. I love these beautiful little birds and will never pass up an opportunity to photograph one. I stopped, pointed my lens out of the passenger side window of my car, and fired off a burst of photos. That’s easy to do with my camera. In “burst” mode, one just needs to depress the shutter button, hold it down, and the camera will shoot images at six frames per second.
I was about 6 or 7 yards away from the bird, and it flew as soon as it heard the sound of my shutter clicking. I assumed that I’d made an image of the bird on its perch and I was right.
I had a nice image of the perching bird. But, I also assumed that, once it flew, I’d have nothing useable. The bird would have had to fly in the identical plane of focus as it was in while perching in order for me to get a sharp image.
To my delight, that’s exactly what the bird did, flying parallel to the camera, and giving me a sharp in-flight shot in the very next image. The camera made the second image exactly 1/6 second after it made the first one.
Aside from being an interesting shot, this image tells us something about how quick are these bird’s reflexes. In 1/6 second, this little Meadowlark had turned its body at almost 180 degrees to its perched position, launched, and flown at least two feet. Pretty impressive, I’d say.
Images made with a Canon 5Diii, 100-400 f4.5-5.6 ISII zoom lens+1.4x Telextender, aperture priority setting, ISO 1000, f8 @ 1/1600.