Sage Thrasher Portraits

Immature Sage Thrasher PortraitImmature Sage Thrasher Portrait – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 400, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

Yesterday I had an immature Sage Thrasher get so close to me that I was able to take portraits of it as it perched out in the open. I was photographing another thrasher on a pile of brush when I took my eye away from the view finder long enough to adjust a setting and when I did I saw this young thrasher perched even closer, it must have flown in while I was focused on the other bird. So I turned my focus onto it.

Sage Thrasher close upSage Thrasher close up – Nikon D810, f10, 1/800, ISO 400, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

When I am presented with the opportunity like I was yesterday where a subject moves or flies in this close to me my instinct is to take portraits of it, I don’t hesitate, I take them. It kind of seems silly to me not to take them when I have the chance to.

I spend a great deal of time in the field and I know that opportunities like I had yesterday with this thrasher perching so close to me don’t happen all that often.

Sage Thrasher close up at 100% resolutionSage Thrasher close up at 100% resolution – Nikon D810, f10, 1/800, ISO 400, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

This is a section of the image above but at 100% resolution. I can see the rictal bristles above the gape, a smudge of dirt below that, the dirt on the bird’s bill and I can count the feathers that circle this young thrasher’s golden eye. I love the details and the clarity I can see in portraits.

Sage Thrasher PortraitSage Thrasher Portrait – Nikon D810, f10, 1/800, ISO 400, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

I was able to take about a hundred images of this immature Sage Thrasher before it flew away and I am glad that I was able to take those images.

Life is good.



  1. Todd Henson August 11, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    Beautiful portraits, Mia! Amazing detail. You really took advantage of the opportunity. Being out there on any day is a good day, but days that give you images like these are just fantastic.

  2. Kathie Brown August 10, 2016 at 11:41 pm

    What a beauty, Mia. And what a golden opportunity! I have yet to see this species of bird.

  3. Elephant's Child August 10, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    Amazing. So much detail. So much beautiful detail.

  4. Linda Laugen August 10, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    What dignity the young bird seems to bear! And I have never, ever seen photos of birds so close up you could distinguish every part of every feather. Eye of bird, and I think, Eyes of God. As He counts the hairs on our heads, so also every part of every feather on His flying creatures! Thank you for a God’s Eyes point of view – you must see it too, Mia! Your work renews and refreshed my spirit. Thank you.

  5. Larry Muench August 10, 2016 at 11:21 am

    Beautiful photos. I love the close-up of the eye.

  6. Ilze Long August 10, 2016 at 10:02 am

    Brilliant! Especially like the close-up close-up to see the feathers around the eye. Enjoy your pictures and
    narrative a lot. Thank you, Mia

  7. Kathy Lopez August 10, 2016 at 9:19 am

    Beautiful Close up detail!

  8. Patty Chadwick August 10, 2016 at 8:32 am

    These are truly amazing! Like you, I was struck by the detail being so precise, I could see(and count!) the tiny feathers that suuround that golden eye!!!

  9. Bob mcpherson August 10, 2016 at 7:33 am

    Beautiful photos, Mia.

  10. Liz Cormack August 10, 2016 at 7:15 am

    Oh, my! The close up of the eye is stunning.

  11. Kim August 10, 2016 at 7:06 am

    Oh, wow! Such detail! Gorgeous!

Comments are closed.