Caracara @ Viera

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May 5, 2005
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Say that 10 times... :p

Ok, understand that I realize people have posted much better shots than these but these are my very first Caracara shots. The last time @ Viera, one landed in the tree and by the time I got there, it had taken off.

This trip there were at least 2 Caracaras, if not more. At first I thought this guy was an Osprey from a distance. I snuck up to the tree and fired off a few shots, trying to inch closer.
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He got tired of me and took off....(sucky pic, I know)
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I chased him down to this tree and took quite a few more shots. Can't decide which one I like better.
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or
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As my luck would have it, when I was shooting a bird like this, I would sweat profusely from the stifling heat (95+). As soon as I saw sweat dripping down the back of the camera, I'd wipe my face off and the darn birds would take off. Too late for me to do anything but cuss! ;)
 
B

bfjr

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nice shots, which I had to choose which one I liked !!
#3 for me :)
 
G

Gordon Large

Guest
Hi Kevin -

I'll vote for #4. Nice exposure - you got details and no blown areas. Tough to do in the overcast day it looks like you were having. Hey, no complaints about the heat allowed from anyone who lives as close to bird heaven as you do! :evil:

Gordon
 
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Cool bird Kevin, cant say I have ever seen one, are these fairly common! Cool captures, looks like you made the most of yoru opportunity........
 
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Kevin, can you send a couple of these up to the Pacific Norhtwest for us please? We don't see them here at all. As to "favorite shot", I like the slightly open beak in #3, but then I like the feather on the top of the head better in #4. How about next time you get the bird to combine those 2 for you? You do have them well trained, don't you :?: :?: :?: :wink:

Nice shots, pretty bird.
 
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Alabama
Kev,

The first an only time I've ever seen this species was in and around Viera, and I think they are very cool looking with their 'toupee' looking hairdo. :lol:

Nice shots. You need to get one to light in the big dead tree in the late afternoon to get the best light and perspective. Then they look like this one:

http://flew.smugmug.com/photos/23171379-O.jpg

The golden light makes getting the shots so much easier. :wink:
 
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Gordon Large said:
Hi Kevin -

I'll vote for #4. Nice exposure - you got details and no blown areas. Tough to do in the overcast day it looks like you were having. Hey, no complaints about the heat allowed from anyone who lives as close to bird heaven as you do! :evil:

Gordon
Ok, ok. I won't complain. Fortunately I have a high tolerance for sweating. Figure it's good for cleaning out the pores!

Lighting was rough. It was hazy, then sunny, then overcast, then sunny again. Then I forgot to set my blinkies on and didn't notice until a while later. Had to go back and shoot a few of my shots. Fortunately at Viera, that's pretty easy to do. It definitely was one of the more difficult days to shoot.
 
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Keith said:
Cool bird Kevin, cant say I have ever seen one, are these fairly common! Cool captures, looks like you made the most of yoru opportunity........
Thanks Keith. Not sure how common they are, Harry B. probably could enlighten us. I've only seen one once before and don't recall ever seeing one when I lived over there for 5 years (of course I wasn't into birding then). I've been to Viera 3 times and this was only the 2nd time I saw one. The last time one showed up only for a few minutes. These guys were there the whole time I was there. Moving from one tree to another.
 
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Flew said:
Nice shots. You need to get one to light in the big dead tree in the late afternoon to get the best light and perspective. Then they look like this one:

The golden light makes getting the shots so much easier. :wink:
Yeah, that was my plan was to visit there in the afternoon. I wanted to go to the Port also so ended up leaving at about 430p. The next time, I'll probably go a little later in the day. I didn't really care how bad the light was as I was so excited to see them in the tree and I was relatively close that I just shot. ;)
 
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Thanks Ben, Bill, Mike and Vinod. These are very unusual birds and very much fun to watch. They're neat to watch fly, too, as they have some white patches in their wings.

Hopefully posting more of these birds will entice more people to come down for Merritt Island III. It'll be a great time, Frank promises! :D
 
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Hi Kevin,
It must be such a rewarding feeling to be able to catch such a beautiful specimen in the wild like that. Living in the middle of a major city, most of the wildlife tends to be behind bars at the zoo and I always felt like that was sort of cheating in a way.

One thing that would interest me and perhaps others. The #4 shot shows the head in profile at a distance with a lot of background. Could you please crop the head to show a close up of just the head filing the shot. I want to see how much detail is captured with an extreme crop of a nice shot like this. Also, which lens did you use?

Thanks for sharing.
 
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Scott Sherman said:
One thing that would interest me and perhaps others. The #4 shot shows the head in profile at a distance with a lot of background. Could you please crop the head to show a close up of just the head filing the shot. I want to see how much detail is captured with an extreme crop of a nice shot like this. Also, which lens did you use?
Thanks for sharing.
Hi Scott, I've never done this kind of thing before so I hope it's what you were looking for. First off, these all were shot with the 300/f4 AF-S and a Tamron 1.4x teleconverter.

So what I did was enlarge the photo to 100% and then cropped a section of his head. In full disclosure, I did a slight levels adjustment and USM before resizing for the web.

Let me know if this is helpful.

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Joined
Jan 26, 2005
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Viera Fl
Nice kevin. They are not easy to photo...

I know the plastic baggggggg!!!!!!!!!

Darn I forgot and forgot yesterday.

How did yours turn out...Mine aren't all that great.. Just a couple worth keeping (maybe)

Got two very nice GWE Flying. So hard for me to do.
 
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Toronto Canada
Great shots of a very strange looking bird!!! LOL They almost look grumpy with those head feathers.... #1 and #4 are my favs
 
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