Western Bluebirds

These two are starting a nest on our property. I’m cheering for lots of cute kids!

Specific Feedback Requested

All comments welcome!

Technical Details

Is this a composite: Yes
I’m trying to balance getting close enough to the nest with not frightening them off, so using my 600 f/4 + 2X on the Canon R5. f/8, ISO 800, 1/800 sec. I didn’t notice that and could have gone a little slower. If they use the nest I’ll put up my blind.

The two were shot separately, 2 minutes apart, with the camera in the same position so they aligned and masked easily. Cropped to 46% of the full frame.


That’s a clever use of composite, Diane. I don’t think his shadow would have fallen on her! Both are pin sharp. The only thing that would have improved this imho is if he were looking at her. But you can’t have everything.

Lovely birds and great to have the two together ! As you mention they will build a nest on your land, I would recommend to try and frame them early morning or against sun set for warmer color tones, the light in this image is rather harsh and unforgiving :wink: … Still, I do like the image a lot ! Cheers, Hans

Excellent composite, Diane. I do think the female in particular is a bit overexposed-she’s looking pretty washed out. If they do nest, they’ll probably get used to you pretty quickly if you just spend time outside with your camera. I’ve found that once they start taking food to the youngsters, if I’m outside with my camera, they’ll pause on a handy perch for a short while to make sure I don’t have evil intentions, which makes for great images. Sometimes you do have to be careful, because I’ve had very timid ones that wouldn’t go to the nest until I turned my back. However, since they both bring food at frequent intervals, one will usually go in while you’re photographing the other.

Nice poses and also nice that they did not land on top of each other. Good comments about the lighting. I also find not making eye contact and /or wearing sunglasses can help put them at ease.

Thanks guys! I wonder if they think a lens is an evil eye. I always have the shade on, which might help. I’m worried they are deciding between 2 nests, and Ted decided to clean the weed eater closer to the nest than I would have. But I saw them after that.

With luck, they will be my pet project for a while, like nesting Acorn Woodpeckers were last spring. I’ll set up my blind in a few days, sometime when they are not around. Mornings will provide open shade and dappled light.

1 Like

I had the feeling they were building more than one nest, and I’ve only seen the male very infrequently at this one the last few days. I’ve been staying out of sight for fear of frightening them away, but the woodpeckers were harassing them and maybe they also saw too much of us. The house is easily visible from the nest box. If they don’t use it, I’ll relocate it next year.