Egret fight (large post)

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It took me a while to post-process the following sequence (courtesy of the machine gun aka D2H) after my visit to the Palo Alto Baylands Preserve a few weeks back: I just got around to it.

I didn't know that these big birds could fight each other that agressively with the biggest weapon they have: their long beak! It's amazing that an eye was not put out in that conflict, and it looks like the one which was there before held his ground, errr, branch! :)

Just landing to cause trouble
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Maybe if I look bigger, he'll be intimidated?
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Uh-Oh! This is not going so well after all!
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Now I think I really p$ssed him off, didn't I?
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Ouch, he's just huuuuurting me!
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This is no good, I gotta do something, quick!
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He's getting tired, I know it, I can win this, I'm telling you I can!
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Oops, I think I spoke too fast...
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At least I still have all my limbs and eyes!
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All with D2H + 70-200VR + 1.7TC, probably shot too tight (no cropping there!) but the sequence went down so quickly that I didn't react on all fronts: I kept firing trying to keep the action in the finder, that's about it! :oops:
 
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Excellent series Philippe. These guys are very aggressive. We saw constant squabbles between individual Snowys and with other species as well at the Alligator Farm.

Very well done.
 
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Great post they look fantastic, of all the birds I saw down in FLA the Snowys seemed to have the most attitude between themselves. Great series thanks for sharing
 
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Ken-L

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Great shots! I see that one has a yellow mask, the other is black - was this a male & female?
 
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Thank you very much folks for your kind comments! :p

I have no idea if this was a male/female thing, a young protecting his nest or just a routine fight so they have something to do, or even something else: is it a snowy vs. a (young) great white egret, by the beak markings?

Anyway, I had never seen this behavior before but that does not mean much, given that I am not an experienced "birder" by any means... And, yes, I was thrilled to be able to keep pace with the action in the viewfinder. That would have been an impossible sequence with the D70, I think. :roll: :lol:
 
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Hi Philippe

Most excellent series :D Beautifully done, luv the colors, the whole pkg and great sequence. Hope you printed that first shot, most fabulous!!!!

Keith
 
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Philippe Roger said:
]I didn't know that these big birds could fight each other that agressively with the biggest weapon they have: their long beak! It's amazing that an eye was not put out in that conflict, and it looks like the one which was there before held his ground, errr, branch! :)
That's a remarkable series, Philippe. Compliments.

From their appearances, they're both adult and into mating season, as witnessed by the long feather trails on their chests. I think it was sex play, rather than a fight. He said "yes", she said "no", and he retreated.

All with D2H + 70-200VR + 1.7TC, probably shot too tight
I felt the same way when I used the Kenko 1.4X with the 80-200. Next time, I'm just going to use the native lens.
 
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Thanks a bunch again guys and gals! I am blushing now from so much praise of truly accomplished photographers, including all you birdies shooter masters! :oops: ;-) :lol:

As far as post-processing, it was very light really, done in Capture, but the WB (Auto -1) was pretty much spot on, as was the exposure (-1.0 EV) in A mode with a rather small aperture, F11, for good DOF. I also had a smidgeon of fill flash in FP mode, but given the distance of perhaps 25-30ft, I doubt it had a big impact... A bit of USM after resize, framing in PS and voila! :p

I haven't printed any of these yet, but I think I will: heck, I may even try one of the online outfits for a larger size, say 16x20, not sure they would withstand 20x30 though: any tips for doing that :?:
 

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