BPN is Rockin’! « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

BPN is Rockin'!


Rather than waste our time at the flooded East Pond at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Queens, NY on Friday morning, I opted to meet Jake Levin at Nickerson on Friday afternoon. The winds were supposed to be from the south but they were from the southeast and that hurt us a bit. We had lots of good flight opportunities but many were relegated to the trash bin because the birds were angled slightly away from us …


As mentioned here previously, the Avian Forum on BirdPhotgraphersNet has been blazing hot for the past few weeks. All of the Avian Moderators have been in fine form and there have been lots of great images posted, more than a few reposts both by the original posters and the mods, and lots of great educational discussions. I will share a bit of each with you below.

Mega-Educational Threads

The RAW file was perfect, but … See the thread here.

Image too dark? Click here to learn to make a Curves Adjustment.

To learn to avoid man crops … (Cropping too tightly) click here.

Even the Mods disagree as to the best way to deal with very warm light. See the 27-pane (civil) discussion here.

Peregrine Falcon, male intent in flight
Image courtesy of and copyright 2018: David Salem
Click on the image to see a spectacular larger version

David’s Original Comments on BPN

In the world of North American raptors there are three basic models. The short wing hawks, which consist of Sharpies, Coopers hawks and Goshawks. Broad wings, which consist of Red Tailed, Rough legged, Red shouldered hawks and many other Buteos. And the Long wings, which is the term used for true falcons, like Prairie falcons, Gyr falcons and this beautiful male Peregrine. You can see in this shot why it is named long wing.

Those thin long wings are made to cut through the air and when folded up in a dive (stoop), they are the fastest animals on the planet. There used to be a lot of controversy about the actual speed a falcon can atain in a full stoop, but now with modern micro speedometers the true speed of a falcons stoop is measured much higher than ornithologists and falconers ever thought. One specific falcon was trained by a professional high speed sky diver and the bird was trained to dive along side of him. This falcon was recorded at 244mph in a stoop as she left her trainer in the dust, and he’s sky diving at 190mph!! That’s as fast as a 2 million dollar Bugatti super car!!

I’ve been having a great time with my new gear and I can honestly say that I nailed a lot more shots this year at he peregrine eyries due to the killer AF system. Shots just like this one. A high speed pass with a varied BG and the bird coming at me. A very difficult shot for any system!!
This male is always hauling a$$ as he comes into his nesting cove, so getting locked on to him is a real feat and you need to be panning with him pretty fast as he rips by. This fortunate frame is one of about 5 or 6 really nice frames from the same sequence and pass. He was probably doing 80mph in when I caught him and I got some of my best peregrine images ever from this pass with different BGs, but the ones I missed as turned on the afterburners and folded his wigs up are heartbreaking. They started turning a bit soft as I started loosing him. I guess that’s what keeps us coming back

D5 — 600mm f/4 VR and TC-14E — f/5.6 –ss 1/2500th — IS0 1000 — Handheld@10:45am — 35% crop

Thanks as always for looking and for your input. I appreciate it.

Click here to see what others are saying about this image.

Thanks David

David Salem is one of seven crack BPN Avian Moderators. He is more active on BPN during the cooler months as he is busy building swimming pools in the summer around Riverside. California. He is one of the young gun/rock star bird photographers who hand hold the 600 f/4 lenses. He used Canon gear until his recent switch to the dark side.

Chestnut-headed Bee-eater pair, Darjeeling, India.
Image courtesy of and copyright 2018: Debapratim Saha
Click on the image to see a spectacular larger version

Debapratim’s Original Comments on BPN

Canon 7D,700mm,f7,1/800s,ISO 640. Thanks for looking,comments welcome.

From Debapratim via e-mail

This photo was made in the Himalayan foot hill forest of Darjeeling, India. Debapratim, who lives in Siliguri, India, covered the whole Chestnut-headed Bee-eater breeding season from March through May, 2014. This courtship display (on a green bamboo shoot), was created while he was on foot. Later, he set up some perches in front of the bird’s nest hole (which is on the ground) and used bag hides for many long days.

It Ain’t the Camera …

It is wonderful to see such a stunning image created with the original Canon EOS 7D.

Your Favorite

If someone were holding a gun to your head and you were forced to choose, which of the two spectacular images above would you say was your favorite? Why?


In all blog posts and Bulletins, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos or errors. Just be right :).

3 comments to BPN is Rockin’!

  • Larry Rudnick

    The colors in #2 are great as is the composition and interaction between the birds but the Peregrine is my favorite. Aside from the difficulty in getting the shot, the image shows the raptor’s intensity and mastery of flying. I’ve seen these birds at great distances and could recognize them but would love to see them in my viewfinder this way.

  • Michael Eckstein

    #2 is also my favorite. The mixture of colors makes this image pop. Beautiful capture of beautiful subjects too!

  • James Saxon

    #2 is my favorite. The colors of the birds in the image pop against the background. The composition is nice with the birds in the center of the frame and the bamboo they are perched on is arced which leads your eye left and right.

    Image #1 is nice and I understand how hard it is to get an image of that caliber but #2 is my favorite.