White-throated Sparrow Nest Builder

It was a morning without birds so I began photographing wild lupine and to my right this WTS landed on a dead branch and looked me straight in the eye. Maybe I was close to his nest building. A very special moment I will not soon forget.

Specific Feedback Requested

any feedback is welcome

Technical Details

camera - Nikon D500
lens - Nikon 500mm F5/6
exposure - 1/1600 sec, F5/6, ISO 2200 - manual mode


That is a special moment! White throats are some of my favorite sparrows and I just love the mouthful this one has. Sharpness looks good, but the placement of the bird is a little too dead center for my taste. If you could crop to offset it somehow, I think that would be more interesting. But oh, that direct look. That you’re on the same level as the bird adds to the level of engagement which is very high! Nice.

I should have mentioned I did crop it to remove the branches on the right and left. This is a different image show them.

Hi Norma
He does have that look of your in my way. The photograph is nicely frame with good image quality.

Norma, what neat shot. I love the mouthful she has, but that face on stare down it really good. I think by making it a square composition, and the diagonal line with the limb, it helps make the subject in the center not as bothersome to me, but, if you can work around the limbs and get her off center, it may be an even better image. Great just as posted in my opinion.

I love this! Great subject, pose and setting! For me, moving the bird just subtly off center with a crop from the left and top works, with the limb in the LR balancing the weight. I could also like it with even more off the top. Nice cleanup on the branches.

There was no embedded profile so I assigned sRGB (which seems to be right as it didn’t change the color appearance) and checked the box to tag the profile when I exported.


I like @Diane_Miller’s crop, Norma. It adds a bit of dynamic movement to the scene.

Yes, I do too. Thanks Diane

I like this version, great shot and a bit funny, makes me smile

A wonderful pose, Norma, and your focus was dead on. I think you could crop this a bit tighter to remove the remaining out of focus branch, or alternatively, you could clone it out. Excellent work.

Thank you Dennis, I agree with you with a tighter crop but others wanted to see more and not centered. In doing a tighter crop are you more inclined to keep the bird in the center or off to the side. My fealings were dead center with the bird and a little tighter crop makes the image a more dramatic one. With the birds direct stare obviously he saw me. I am sure I could crop and move and flip and turn for a different reaction but I like the tighter crop and center eye to eye. His environment really isn’t adding or distracting from his dramatic stance. . . anyway these are my thoughts and I appreciate yours and will post one crop a bit tighter, yes that out of focus branch is distracting, agree.

Hi Norma, this is a great image! Such a perfect moment you captured! Looks like he/she has a mustache disguise! I was reading everyone’s comments. I like @Diane_Miller crop. But I personally don’t think there’s anything wrong with centering the bird, like you and @Dennis_Plank said, with a tighter crop. The sparrow is the star of the show! Joel Sartore, who I am a fan of, centers much of his work.

Thank you Venessa it really helped to hear your opinion. I will take a look at Joel Sartore’s work. Sometime the journey is so special the excitement of seeing a sparrow with all the grass in his beak was a great moment in time.

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With a bird head on like this, I see no reason for not centering it horizontally, Norma. There’s really nothing else in the image that would make that a bad idea and it usually works well with head-on views.

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Tight crop version. I do think I like this one better after the little experiment. Thanks everyone!!!


Perfection in my opinion!

Wonderful! Well exposed and super detail. Pose is perfect.