Painted Bunting Heaven Part II « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Painted Bunting Heaven Part II

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Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens with the 1.4X II TC and the EOS-1D MIII. ISO 400. Evaluative metering at zero: 1/640 sec. at f/8. Fill flash at -2 stops with the Better Beamer.

My last morning at the Cozad Ranch was fantastic. I was joined by my good friend Rex Hewitt of San Benitos, TX.  Above is my very favorite Painted Bunting image from the trip.  (You can click on any of the images to see a larger version.)  It was created as the as the bird got ready to take a bath. To see the original image and to see how it evolved, click here:

The next week or two should be spectacular for photographing Painted Buntings (and other species like Green Jay, Audubon’s Oriole, and Black-throated Sparrow among others) at the Cozad Ranch; we had as many as four male painteds and several females on the set at once.  To arrange a visit, click here:  And be sure to tell Johnny that I sent you.

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Same gear as previous image. ISO 400 in bright sun. Evaluative metering at zero: 1/1000 sec. at f/10.
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Same gear as previous images. ISO 500. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/100 sec. at f/11. Fill flash at -2 1/3 stops with Better Beamer.

I photographed this Green Jay as it explored for bits of a peanut butter/suet/corn meal mix that I had rubbed into tiny crevices on the tree. (The recipe is Roel Ramirez’s.)  I was lucky to make a sharp image at 1/100 sec.  I would have been much better off at 1/200 sec. at f/8 as depth-of-field would not be an issue with a large bird far away.

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I photographed my last morning's feeder set-up with the 28-105mm IS L lens handheld at 40mm.

There are two male Painted Buntings, one Green Jay, and five cardinals on the set at once.  Again, you can learn a ton about feeder set-ups by studying this image carefully.  Thanks to Phil Echo for the meal worms (in the tiny white paper cup).  The Green Jay above was photographed on the distant taller tree in the center and the male Painted Bunting on the left edge of the bird bath.  We found that by placing a few mesquite branches on the feeding table that the birds were more likely to land on the perches before coming down to the table for the seed.

Thanks again to Johnny and Jane Cozad for their hospitality and to ranch-hand Jesus for all of his help.

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