Western Kingbird At Daybreak

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The intense June heat profoundly affects the pattern of life in these parts.  Birds and animals that are normally diurnal restrict their foraging to the hours around dawn and dusk.  Consequently, I have to be out and about quite early if I want to find subjects to photograph.

The other day I was driving on a rural dirt road about 40 miles from our home, shortly before six a.m. and only minutes after the sun had cleared the mountains to the east, when I spotted a Western Kingbird resting on a wire fence.  The bird was in a laid back mood and it is possible that it had awakened only shortly before I photographed it.

I often see Western Kingbirds during the summer months in the grasslands and agricultural areas around Tucson.  They’re normally rather difficult to photograph because they are extremely active when they forage.  It’s rare to see one of these flycatchers perching for more than a few seconds at a time.

I like this photo.  The bird is an important part of the composition, of course, but for me the vast agricultural fields and sky, depicted here as abstract shapes tinted purple by the dawn, are just as important.  It’s all a question of taste.

Image made with a Canon 5Div, 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 ISII zoom lens, aperture priority setting, ISO 800, f6.3 @ 1/1250.

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