Readers’ wildlife photos

Reader Colin Franks (website here, Facebook page here) sent a batch of ten lovely bird photographs, all taken in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Colin’s IDs are indented:

Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna)

Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronate)

House Finch (being chased by another)  (Haemorhous mexicanus)

American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)

Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerine)

Bewick’s Wren (Thryomanes bewickii)

Chestnut-backed Chickadee (Poecile rufescens)

Orange-crowned Warbler (Vermivora celata)

Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)

Bushtit  (Psaltriparus minimus)

38 Comments

  1. Posted May 4, 2018 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    Gorgeous, Colin, wow! Thanks for sharing these. Love the cannonball house finch!

    • Posted May 4, 2018 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      What is (are) your main lens(es)?

      • Colin
        Posted May 4, 2018 at 8:18 am | Permalink

        It’s been a journey with the birding lens. I started with the first generation of the Tamron 150-600, then got a Canon 500 f/4 and used that for two years. I sold it last summer and tried to see if I could be happy with the newer Tamron 150-600 G2, but sold that in favour of the Canon 100-400 II (on a Canon 5DIV or 7DII).

        I’m really liking this lens. It’s super sharp, works well with the 1.4 II extender, and is relatively small & light. I can just use a sling-strap to carry it (bought the aftermarket Hejnar foot) and don’t get fatigued like I did with the big 500 prime on a tripod and gimbal-head.

        • Posted May 4, 2018 at 9:06 am | Permalink

          The bokeh is gorgeous. What is the max aperture?

          • Colin
            Posted May 4, 2018 at 9:10 am | Permalink

            Depends on the lens. Tamron is 5.6 to 6.3; Canon 500 was f/4, and the 100-400 is 4.5 to 5.6, but is f/8 @400 with 1.4 extender.

            • Posted May 4, 2018 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

              Wow, not that big — but at 400mm you have short DOF almost no matter what, I suppose.

              • Colin
                Posted May 4, 2018 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

                Yes, if one is fairly close to the subject, even f/8 offers a razor-thin depth of field.

        • Posted May 4, 2018 at 10:09 am | Permalink

          Nice photos.

          The Canon 500mm f4 is tough to lug around, but it’s a superb lens for wildlife. I use it with a 1.4x extender and nearly always shoot hand-held at ISO 800 on a 5D4. After trying different strap and harness combinations, I now just carry it strapless, holding it from the tripod foot. I have the Canon 100-400 I also — very sharp for a zoom.

          • Colin
            Posted May 4, 2018 at 10:12 am | Permalink

            The thing is, my 500 was the “IS” version, not the more recent and 1.5 lb lighter “II” version. It was a beast and I don’t miss it one bit. The 100-400 II is also very fast focusing.

            • Posted May 4, 2018 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

              Less moving mass: enables faster movement!

              (Yes, I am an engineer!)

        • Mark Sturtevant
          Posted May 4, 2018 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

          I just got the Canon 100-400 II as well. Have not yet had a chance to use it much, but I am sure looking forward to it.

  2. Terry Sheldon
    Posted May 4, 2018 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Lovely photos! Especially love the house finches!!

  3. Blue
    Posted May 4, 2018 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    These, Mr Franks, are d a r l i n g !
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_goldfinch#/media/File:American_Goldfinch-27527.jpg = Iowa’s bird of our State.

    Fabulous.
    And soooo, so y e l l o w = both genders !

    Blue

  4. darrelle
    Posted May 4, 2018 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    All of these are beautiful but, my god, that action shot of the finches is extraordinary!

  5. Posted May 4, 2018 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Nice.

  6. Christopher
    Posted May 4, 2018 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    Lovely shots! Any ID idea of the plants in the hummingbird and chickadee photos?

    • Colin
      Posted May 4, 2018 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      Oregon Grape and a Rhododendron

      • Christopher
        Posted May 4, 2018 at 11:38 am | Permalink

        Thanks. Cool. I’ve never heard of Oregon grape. According to Wikipedia you can make wine out of it (there’s a tradition of European barberry wine?!) or jelly. Nifty.

        • Posted May 4, 2018 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

          Wow, not that big — but at 400mm you have short DOF almost no matter what, I suppose.

        • Posted May 4, 2018 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

          Ignore that misplaced comment above this one.

          I lived in the Pac NW for a long time (not currently) and I never met anyone who used Oregon Grape fruit for anything. And most of my friends were serious home-brewers (anything you can think of), fermenters, foragers, etc.

          • Christopher
            Posted May 4, 2018 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

            I live in the Midwest and hardly anyone uses persimmons for anything either. I lack the skill but I’d love to see someone make an ale with persimmons.

  7. Posted May 4, 2018 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    These are technically and artistically stunning!! Congratulations. A joy to look at, over and over again.

    • Colin
      Posted May 4, 2018 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for the kind words. One or two more images on my website.

  8. Paul Doerder
    Posted May 4, 2018 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful! Especially like the Bewick’s Wren and Chestnut backed Chickadee, birds I’ve never seen. Also like the fresh spring background.

  9. Posted May 4, 2018 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Technically marvelous, but the patience and setup are even more so!

  10. Mark R.
    Posted May 4, 2018 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    These are marvelous. I loved the chickadee on the rhododendron. That house finch photo is just…whoa.

  11. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted May 4, 2018 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    These are simply stunning. I don’t know if they can be done better.

  12. Heather Hastie
    Posted May 4, 2018 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    Wow, just wow. These are wonderful, in the true sense of the word.

  13. Grania Devine
    Posted May 4, 2018 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    Also wow! Love the bow wave in the bufflehead shot.

  14. Posted May 4, 2018 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Excellent little birds!

  15. ploubere
    Posted May 4, 2018 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    Excellent!

  16. Posted May 4, 2018 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    What an adorable Bushtit!

    • Colin
      Posted May 4, 2018 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

      Yes, they have to be one of the cutest (and tiniest) birds going. Pretty tough to photograph as they don’t sit still for a second!

  17. Posted May 4, 2018 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, Colin. You never disappoint. Outstanding work as usual!

    • Colin
      Posted May 4, 2018 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

      Thanks!

  18. eheffa
    Posted May 5, 2018 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Fantastic work!

  19. Andrea Kenner
    Posted May 7, 2018 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    Such beautifully composed photos!


%d bloggers like this: