Yellow Warbler fledgling looking for food – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 800, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
Imagine moving down a gravel road and seeing just a tiny flash of movement and light-colored plumage in a stand of green vegetation and trying to figure out if it is a bright leaf in the breeze or a fledgling Yellow Warbler in a split second. That is what happens for me quite often when in a vehicle being used as a mobile blind, first I have to decide if what I am seeing is a bird then whether to stop or keep moving. I’m more often right that it is a bird than I am not but then distance to the subject comes into play, if it is just a touch too far away then the decision needs to be made by using available knowledge such as is it moving towards me or moving away, if it is moving towards me, is it worth waiting for a closer opportunity? Lots of things go through my mind at lightning fast speed in making those kinds of decisions. Bird photography often requires split second decision making skills, if you snooze you might miss a great opportunity, I know it happens.
When I spotted a little movement three days ago in some vegetation it did turn out to be a fledgling Yellow Warbler and even though the bird was farther away than I usually would have liked and these images are the result of larger crops than I normally would care for I thought they were interesting because the fledgling bird was actively foraging on its own. I was kind of hoping too that the young warbler would move closer to me as well.
Fledgling Yellow Warbler foraging on its own – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 800, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
The fledgling poked around the branches and leaves as it searched for food and many of the photos I took had godawful shadows that showed on the tiny bird, those will be deleted, but some of the images showed the tiny bird out in the open and I took delight in those few.
In my last post about Yellow Warbler fledglings I mentioned that those fledglings only showed a bit of yellow feathers on their wings and tails, this fledgling is just a little bit older than the other fledglings because it shows more yellow plumage than they did on it’s face near the eye and bill and on the scapulars into the mantle. It might only be a few days older than the other fledglings I photographed, at this age plumage changes happen rapidly with these wood-warblers.
Fledgling Yellow Warbler searching for food – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2500, ISO 800, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
There was a male adult nearby and it did bring food into the fledgling at least once while I photographed this little bird but I could not see it being fed because there were so many leaves in the way. I enjoyed watching this fledgling Yellow Warbler while it foraged for prey on its own, looking carefully under the leaves and at the bark on fallen branches.
The fledgling Yellow Warbler may have eventually made its way closer to the vehicle but I’ll never know that because someone walked up the road close by and the fledging dove for cover in the lush vegetation then seconds later flew across the creek which was way too far away to photograph this tiny yellow bird. I didn’t have much time with this young warbler but I think I made the most of the time I had.
Life is good.