Scrub Jay

Eating peanuts. There is a park in our community that has had Scrub Jays, Blue Jays and BC’s provincial bird the Stellar Jay all winter. I finally decided to go see if I could get a look at them. The first day I found them up high or in mixed underbrush and hard to get a clean shot. I did bump into another photographer after the same thing. We exchanged a few words.
I went back the next day hoping for better luck now that i had the lay of the land. And right away I met the same photographer. He went one way I the other.
It turned out the birds were between us and headed his way. I rounded the corner and there he was all set up in the bush just off the trail. I approached and as we exchanged a few thoughts a darn jay landed on the stump behind me. The other fellow had the peanuts out! I quickly got a couple of shots of this jay.

Specific Feedback Requested

I cropped out as much of the stump as I could. Too much?

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
R5, 500mm + 1.4 Ext., f/5.6, 1/500, ISO 1600 Cropped to 87% of full frame. I removed a branch directly behind jay and a few other straight lines in the bg.

1 Like

Wonderful detail, and a typical pose of a Scrub Jay, with a mouthful of food from the nearest feeder. The crop of the stump looks good to me – I could even do with a bit more of it visible. Do wish I could see the feet but we gets what we’re given. I could do with a bit more off the top, to balance the composition.

I’m with Diane that I wouldn’t mind seeing more of the stump, but it’s a fine capture nevertheless. Good detail and I like the softness of the color.

Thanks @Diane_Miller and @terryb

Here is what I started with. As you can see the stump is not great.
After I had finished the photo I also had a twinge that I should look at a pano crop to take some off top, but it passed.

Thanks for your comments.

I like the overall balance with more of the stump, and I think it offers some opportunities if you’re into painting. I like the areas below the bird and you could do some cloning from there to give more interest to the brighter OOF areas, and then darken the remaining lighter areas. Good work on the BG!

David, I too love this photo for the clean BG and it offers a lesson to me for cleaning up straight lines in the BG. More stump looks a bit better. Great shot.

Love this photo! As bold as these birds are they are so hard to capture! Maybe if I bring food with me like you did I could get them to come out in the open for a bit. Awesome capture!

Excellent, David. Peanuts are a pretty good bet with any of the jays. I’m curious when you started getting Scrub Jays up there? They just started moving into this area about 15-20 years ago.

Thanks everyone for the comments. Really good ideas.

I am not sure how long they have been around Dennis. I do seem to remember Scrub Jays creating quite a birders reaction ten years or so ago when they first showed up in Vancouver City. And I was probably going into another regional park seven or eight years ago to try for photos.