Red-winged Blackbird maleRed-winged Blackbird male – Nikon D200, f7.1, 1/1250, ISO 400, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

Yesterday while taking the auto tour route at Bear River National Wildlife Refuge I heard a Red-winged Blackbird loudly singing the songs of spring. The light was terrible yesterday so I looked around in my files for a male Red-winged Blackbird to share this morning and came across this one taken at Bear River NWR a few years ago.

I’ve mentioned before that black birds are difficult to expose properly and that often times I need to use exposure compensation to make sure the blacks aren’t too dark or they won’t show fine detail but when I took this image the light was just right and I didn’t need to adjust my exposure to get it right. I love it when that happens!

Fairly soon I’ll be seeing many more of the male Red-winged Blackbirds perching at the top of rushes and cattails singing springtime serenades for the females and flashing their brilliantly colored epaulets! For black birds they are kind of flashy.