Fresh Fledgling

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This past Monday was rainy, windy and cool, yet the Western Bluebirds chose this day to fledge. Often the female and male will each take a couple of the fledglings to different places and continue to feed them. In this case two of them were in our backyard. This happened to be the same day the Sharp-shinned hawk started hanging out in the back yard. My wife eventually succumbed to temptation and put the two in the back yard back in the box. The next day, we saw the adult male feeding them in the box, so it turned out to be a good choice.

Specific Feedback

I chose not to clean up the bird because I was trying to convey the bedraggled appearance of the bird. Does that work? The only cleanup I did was to remove some bright tips on the grass where it had been cut.

Technical Details

Sony A1, FE 200-600 + 1.4 TC @ 700 mm, f/9 1/1250, iso 1600. Preprocessed in DxO PureRaw 4, processed in LR & PS CC. Cropped to 7674x5298. Taken at 1:35 pm under cloudy skies between rain squalls.

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He does look a bit bedraggled. Snuggled down in the grass is a perfect setting! Excellent details and colors and the DOF works so well.

I’m surprised she could catch it and return it to the box. Last year I was watching for ours to fledge, hoping to get them on a perch I had put up just a few inches from the hole. Heads had been poking out of the hole for a few days – one at a time so I didn’t know how many there were. One morning I was watching, with the camera set up, as one wiggled out and took off like it had been shot out of a canon – toward the oaks along the creek where I often saw the parents heading. Then a second one did the same thing. Then a third. It was so cool to see, but they obviously didn’t want pictures. And sure looked like they knew just where to go. I never saw them again, but maybe I had missed some earlier comings and goings.

Really nice Dennis. This shows where soon-to-be fledglings sometimes end up. Nice focus on the bird through the grass. Setting and bird look good to me. Glad the rescue turned out well.