Monday, March 29, 2010

Cleared For Landing

Another bird in flight at the Venice Rookery, this is a black-crowned night heron, one of the species you don't see too much out there. But there was at least one pair nesting on the island, and every time one of them would fly off to get a new twig to add to the nest, 20 cameras with lenses as long as your arm would click away as fast as they could until the bird was out of sight. I count myself lucky to be able to get these shots.

These aren't the most common birds in any situation, so to get pictures of them in flight is pretty cool. Notice the long single thin feather, yellow against the black background of the head and neck, streaming out onto his back.  You'll see in some of these shots that it's actually loose, not a line on his back. I don't know what the purpose of that is, but it's pretty showy.

It takes a lot of trips to get enough twigs to build a proper nest. All of these shots are from the same flight, but I shot several back-and-forth trips. I may post more, I may not. These pretty much tell the whole story.

This was the last shot before the heron disappeared into the darkness where he was building a nest. You can really see that long, thin, yellow feather streaming out behind him in this shot. That's an anhinga cluttering up the background. Once you get onto the island where the rookery is, it's hard to get a picture of just one bird. They're packed together pretty tightly out there.

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