Nuttall's Woodpecker fledgling

I hadn’t seen our Nuttall’s, apparently just one pair, for maybe a month or two and thought they had moved elsewhere, but just the other day a neighbor said she had them at her suet feeder. I had taken my suet down when it got hot but put it back up and by about the next day they were back! Then today they were there feeding a fledgling!!! The light was low and I didn’t get sharp pictures of the feeding, and the adult was reaching around from behind the suet feeder, so not exactly to my “natural” taste. But then the youngster gave me a nice pose. (I was in my blind with my morning coffee.)

I need to find a way to put the suet cake on a spike so I can ditch the cage, which is too intrusive in a composition. I’m thinking the carving fork might work…

Specific Feedback Requested

All comments welcome!

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
Canon R5, 100-500 + 2X at 800, f/13, 1/400 sec, ISO 3200. Morning light filtered through trees behind me. BG is trees 200 ft away, down a slope. Minimal tonal tweaks in LR, Topaz DeNoise, small amounts of suet cleaned up.

A nice pose with a pleasing BG. Lights and darks are fine as well. …Jim

Good job on the color, detail, and background. I’m impressed that you are able to get such depth of field at F 13.

Thanks @David_Schoen – I was surprised too. The perch is 18 ft away from the sensor plane and the image is full-frame top to bottom. (The camera was in landscape orientation and I cropped from the sides for composition and to remove the suet cake.) I think AF just hit the best midpoint. I didn’t do any sharpening beyond the LR default and the subtle amount that Topaz DeNoise throws in.

Just for interest I checked DOF Master and the DOF calculates as 1.3", which would just about cover the bird. Cambridge in Color gave about the same. Photo Pills gave half that. I always wonder if the value these things use for the circle of confusion is really good for today’s high-hes sensors, as calculated DOF values have often felt too large for my taste.

Nice pose, detail and the background is done perfectly. very nice image.

A great background, interesting perch, and an absolutely wonderful perch, Diane. Excellent image. I’ve always found suet difficult for photography. One think that I’ve seen work is to drill holes about 1" in diameter in a log or old branch and fill them with suet then orient it so the holes are perpendicular to your line of sight. You can often get a pose that looks like it’s just on the side of a tree. Unfortunately, it doesn’t keep other critters away, if that’s an issue.

@Dennis_Plank, I’ve been meaning to do that – thanks for the nudge! I need some variety in the perches. Just as soon as it’s cool enough to venture out of the house…

Hi Diane
Your Woodpecker is giving us that “I am read for my close up now” look. Very nice photograph. I did think the 1.4 or 2X change the depth of field. What I am alway happy to see is the great detail you are getting with a 2X on the 100-500mm lens.

Thanks everyone! @peter, I’ve been delighted with the detail with the 2X on that lens. I think it compares well with the sharpness of the 2X on the 600 f/4, back in the days of EF lenses. The equation for DOF is complex, depending of distance to subject, focal length and aperture, with a fudge factor called circle of confusion, which is sort of “how sharp do you want it to be”. And some of the factors offset one another – a longer focal length may let you be farther away from the subject.