Gray Catbird with Black Twin Berry berries in its bill – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
I’ve been having a great deal of fun photographing Gray Catbirds in a Wasatch Mountain canyon even though they are such a challenge to take images of out in the open because they often hide in the thickets. But, I like a challenge and they do keep me on my toes trying to spot them and get my lens focused on them in time to take a few pictures before they hide themselves again.
I’ve been seeing them snatching berries from Black Twin Berry shrubs next to a creek in the canyon, most of the time they are nearly completely hidden when they are foraging for the berries but once in a while they pop up onto a branch to eat the fruit.
Black Twin Berry Shrub close up – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/640, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
Eve Wills, a friend of mine, helped me ID the shrub a few days ago because I was having trouble with the identification. Eve works as a Soil Scientist. Thanks Eve!
Black Twin Berry (Lonicera involucrata) is known by many names, among them are Bearberry honeysuckle, Black twinberry honeysuckle, Twinberry honeysuckle, bush honeysuckle, and bracted honeysuckle.
In the close up photo above the spent tubular yellow blooms can be seen at the bottom of the frame beneath green twin berries, the bracts above are red. Higher up in the frame ripe berries can be seen.
Black Twin Berry showing the berries – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 500, -0.7 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
The Black Twin Berry shrubs are honeysuckles and the berries are bitter but that sure doesn’t seem to bother the Gray Catbirds at all. I’ve been watching them scarf down the berries for some time now.
Click here for more information on Black Twin Berry. The seeds are available commercially.
Perched Gray Catbird with Black Twin Berry berries – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1000, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
I’m going to keep trying to obtain better photos of the Gray Catbirds with the Black Twin Berry berries and perhaps before long the catbirds will bring their young to feast on these berries too!
Life is good.