Hairy Woodpecker feeding fledging with suet cake from my feeding station.

RAW image

Critique Style Requested: Initial Reaction

Please share your immediate response to the image before reading the photographer’s intent (obscured text below) or other comments. The photographer seeks a genuinely unbiased first impression.

Questions to guide your feedback

I thought the bird subjects were better with a large crop which introduced more noise. I used Topaz sharpen to deal with the noise. The fledgling birds eye was almost closed which made it look sick.

Other Information

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Technical Details

Photo taken with Canon 5ds-r and Canon 100mm x 400mm x 1.4 extension, using tripod at f-8, 1/640 sec. and ISO 800 on overcast day. I believe the fledgling fell out of its nest and the female was following it around with food from a suet cake.

Specific Feedback

Aesthetic and Emotional

I think it’s an interesting view into the dynamics between the parent and fledgling. That chick looks hungry and scared. I like how you’ve shown the coloration and pattern on the back of the bird. Very clear image with nicely blurred background. My initial thought on composition is that I might have left more room at the bottom and taken it down a little from the top. Perhaps the birds could be brightened some. Maybe this comment is more than you were asking for, though. Interesting photo.

My initial reaction is - Neat behavior. The little one does look a bit out of sorts for sure and the interaction is nice to see - hope the little one made it once it got stronger. Great parenting! There is a severe green cast present here, most obvious in the blacks so I’d see if that can be corrected. Chris’s suggestions are good, too - mostly it lacks contrast IMO and has the cyan issue. Keep out there watching and shooting - they look to be terrific subjects.

Thanks Chris and Kristen, I appreciate your comments and I will check them out.

Hi John,

Chris & Kris have already mentioned some good ideas for improvement so I wont pile on there.

But will say that this is a very fine image showing the behavior of mom looking out for her child! :slight_smile:
That little bit of suet on the tip of the little one’s beak is cute! :slight_smile:

They appear to be pretty close to the ground, I hope they managed to gain some height to a safer environment.

We lost a few baby Robins and one parent to a black snake a couple of weeks ago because the nest was built on a ivy covered fence, I tried to protect them but… :frowning:

Hi Mervin, I maintain a large feeding station and the tree trunk the woodpeckers are on is exactly that. Found this cedar tree stump and decided to keep it near for a landing point for various birds. The fledgling made it to another much taller cedar tree and then on to a tall oak tree. I have a set up where various limbs of trees or plants are used as backgrounds. I post most of my bird photos on a site, " Maryland Bird Watchers and Identification Group" under John Williams.