Juvenile Flycatchers

Juvenile FlycatchersA pair of juvenile Flycatchers in the high Uintas, Utah – D200, tripod mounted, f6.3, 1/90, ISO 500, 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

In August of 2009 I had the pleasure of going camping in the high Uintas near Christmas Meadows. The campsite was a dream, it was quiet, graced with tall trees, a bank of willows near the water and the sound of the river gurgling nearby. The views of the nearby mountain peaks were delightful.

Near the camp site one afternoon I could hear tiny peeping sounds in the pines and I went to investigate, the sweet calls were coming from these juvenile Flycatchers. I must admit my ID skills with some species of Flycatchers are abysmal. An adult did come into to feed these juveniles but it was silent thus I did not hear its call, which can be used to ID flycatchers.

I quickly got my camera gear, mounted it on my tripod and hoped to get some decent images even though the juveniles were staying well under the canopy of the trees, the light wasn’t the brightest nor was I able to get the light behind me but I am still satisfied with the images I took that day.

The pinkish background in this image was created by sunlight on a rusty colored, dying pine bough in the distance.

Juvenile FlycatchersVertical image of a pair of juvenile Flycatchers in the high Uintas, Utah – D200, tripod mounted, f6.3, 1/90, ISO 500, 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

I really like the unique color of the background in these photos and I’m glad that I created these images despite the challenges of the light, setting and very slow shutter speeds. I would never have been able to get sharp images of these birds handheld at 1/90. Having a sturdy tripod can make a huge difference.

Juvenile Flycatcher with pine beetleJuvenile Flycatcher with a pine beetle, high Uintas, Utah – D200, tripod mounted, f6.3, 1/180, ISO 500, 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

The juvenile flycatchers were being fed by the adult but they were also foraging in the pines on their own, I am not as happy with the quality of the image above compared to the two photos with the pinkish backgrounds but I rather enjoyed seeing this little flycatcher catch and eat the pine beetle in its bill.  Pine beetles are causing enormous damage to the forests of the west.

I am hoping to improve my flycatcher ID skills so that if I ever am met with a similar situation I will be able to ID the species.

Mia

One Comment

  1. Chuck Gangas November 8, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    Mia-Lovely story to go with these three wonderful images. Really nice job of capturing these images with a total lack of noise in this light at ISO 500.

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