More of Rondeau Rocks « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

More of Rondeau Rocks

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This immature male Baltimore Oriole was photographed with the Canon 500mmm f/4L IS lens, the 1.4X II TC, and the EOS-1D MIII. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/250 sec. at f/6.3. Fill flash with Better Beamer at -1 stop.

This image was created at a feeder set-up (see below).  An orange half (on which the bird was feeding) and the small bit of branch upon which it was impaled, were removed from the image with a series of Quick Masks and some Clone Stamp and Patch Tool work.  You can learn to do all of this and more in Digital Basics:


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This female Rose-breasted Grosbeak image was created with the same rig as above. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/640 sec. at f/6.3. Fill flash at -2 1/3 stops with Better Beamer.

I like a log on the back of the feeder table to prevent the birds from landing there consistently without presenting any photo opps. 

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White-breasted Nuthatch. Same gear as above. ISO 640. Evaluative metering +1 1/3 stops: 1/200 sec. at f/8. Fill flash at -2 1/3 stops with Better Beamer.

When working at a feeder set-up on cloudy days you are free (as I did here) to photograph birds on natural perches on the periphery of the set-up.   On sunny days this is much more difficult to do as you would have to move your tripod a good distance in order to attain the proper sun angle (with your shadow pointed right at the bird).

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This is the campground feeder set-up from my last day at Rondeau. Graham Smith of Toronto whom I met on BPN hired me for a private day. Along with his girlfriend Angie, we had a wonderful day that lasted about 13 hours! This image was created with the Canon 24-105mm IS L zoom lens at 24mm.

Note the Blue Jay landing on the spike perch and the male Rose-breasted Grosbeak atop the small log on the left side of the large log.  You can learn a ton about feeder set-ups by studying this image closely.  (As always, click on the images to enlarge them.)   And you can learn a lot more on creating feeder set-ups in the Practicalities chaper in my e-book, “The Art of Bird Photography II” (ABP II, 916 pages on CD only):


  1. What are the plastic bags for?
  2. Why the logs on the ground?
  3. What is the vertical perch on the left for?

(Post your answers in comments please).

Today, I am taking my 86 year old Mom back to the neighborhood where she was born in downtown Brooklynnear DeKalb Avenue and Ashland Place.   Then we will take a drive down memory lane (in this case Flatbush Avenue) and visit the old neighborhood and the house where I was raised:  2046 East 38th St in the Marine Park section of Brooklyn.  Our phone number was NI(ghtingale) 5-7760.    No area code.  Amazing.

7 comments to More of Rondeau Rocks

  • Cool, will try the plastic trick tomorrow

  • No perfect scores but between the four of you you got them all;

    1-the birds will not land on the plastic; the idea is to get them to land on one of the perches or the log, not on the table.
    2-the logs are there in hopes that the ground feeders like the sparrows might land on them instead and pose for a moment.
    3-the vertical perch is put up primarily for the woodpeckers, and yes Randy, with some peanut butter in the crevices.

    Thanks all for playing!

  • 1-Birds may not land on plastic. If they do, they will move off the plastic. Looks as if there is water in the top bag which drips into the bowl. Dripping water attracts birds
    2- For ground feeding birds
    3-For large birds

  • Randy Stout


    Logs on the ground, for ground feeding birds to hop onto, get them up out of the grass

    Vertical perch, possibly for woodpeckers. Perhaps you put peanut butter or suet in cracks to attract them.

    Plastic bags. Well, to keep bird droppings off the table, to reduce reflections or give you a “black” screen to allow fancy post processing with different backgrounds. Don’t know on that one Artie.

    Sounds like you had a great day.


  • 1) Plastic bags make it easier to clean up when feeder is dismantled?

    2) Logs on the ground lift non-feeding birds out of the grass?

    3) Isolate the bird in front of a smooth green BG?

    Just SWAGs.

  • Ilija Dukovski

    Quiz answers:

    #1 I think to stop the birds from landing on the bench and force them to land on the
    “natural” perches.

    #2 Not sure, make a feel of larger set and mask the bench?

    #3 For nuthaches and woodpeckers etc.

    How did I do, sir?