Killdeer Calling in Habitat

Adult Killdeer callingAdult Killdeer Calling – Nikon D200, f9, 1/800, ISO 400, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 280mm, natural light

As a “Nature” photographer one of my goals is to create  images that show the bird or animal’s natural habitat within the frame which is why the photograph above is very appealing to me.

I enjoy the green hues of the of the vegetation combined with the drying seed heads of the grasses behind the Killdeer and the one little yellow area of out of focus flowers because they all give me an idea about the location where the picture was taken.

I used f9 for my aperture because the Killdeer was fairly close and I wanted enough depth of field to get the entire bird sharp. I was fortunate that the grasses and other vegetation were several feet behind the bird or they would have been more in focus and might have competed visually with the Killdeer.

I dialed in some negative exposure compensation because the whites in the light I had could have easily been blown out,  using just-0.3 EV controlled the whites well.

I suspect that the bird was calling because of an approaching motorcycle, just before the motorcycle got to the area the Killdeer took off.



  1. Deedee O'Brien July 7, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Thanks for the photo tip. I love the feather detail, and the whole bird stands out against what could have been a busy background without that correct depth of field.

  2. Nicole MacP July 4, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    Gorgeous shot!

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