Colorful Birds

More birds-striking-dramatic-poses in the back yard.

A house finch and a pine siskin appear to be in separate worlds at our feeder. The move really quickly, but the camera freezes their motion and it is fascinating to see what poses they strike as they go about their feeding. They interact with each other a lot, in various ways—from angry attacks to odd negotiations.

Technical info: this was a new type of setup for me, involving a special bus-powered USB cable as a tether between computer and camera. The new camera has very sophisticated remote capabilities using this method. (I did not buy the latest and greatest, so I need a USB cable between them. The ‘bus powered’ bit means that the USB cable has a built-in repeated for the extra long length, and it gets its juice from the USB in the computer.)

I used a high ISO to freeze the motion, and relied on the camera’s huge dynamic range to be able to pull the image back out cleanly. I also used a fast shutter speed (1/1000th of a section) and a small aperture (for deeper focus) so this was really pushing the capabilities of the camera. It came out really well.

The other nice thing about tethering is that I am no longer out there very close to the feeder, so the birds are more relaxed and come more willingly to feed.