Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Least tern delivers a fish, Sandy Point State Reservation

Photograph of a least tern delivering a fish to its partner

While I was watching this least tern incubating its two eggs on the beach, I had the pleasure of observing its partner bring it a fish. In the excitement of this unexpected moment, I unfortunately clipped the tips of the wings of the bird who stopped by only briefly enough to hand off the fish and fly off again. While I'm excited to have a nice record of the moment, I'm a bit bummed that I made such a technical error. I waited around for a while longer to see if I would be lucky to witness another exchange, but unfortunately it never came. A valuable lesson that I've heard before, but failed to execute, is that when photographing birds that are likely to flap their wings (like in this case, or especially with birds that are bathing in shallow water), it's always better to zoom out and leave extra space. You can always crop away the excess later, but you can't regain the tips of those wings in post-processing.

Photograph of a pair of least terns on their nest sharing a fish

View more photographs of terns.


Submitted to Wild Bird Wednesday -- follow the link for this week's posts!


32 comments:

  1. They are pretty birds, great shots of the Terns!

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  2. Great catch, Pat! You are absolutely right about space for the wings. I've had that happen when photographing herons.

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    1. Thanks, Brian! It's always disappointing when it does happen, but sometimes hard to avoid when you get an unanticipated moment like this.

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  3. A great moment to capture - regardless of clipped wings!

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    1. Thanks, Mick! I think the top one works a bit better for me, having only one clipped wing adds a bit of a dynamic edge, but with both in the bottom its more clearly a mistake. oh well, fun moment for sure!

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  4. The important thing is that you caught the action, and your photos are nicely composed as well.

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  5. Great images of the Tern. So crisp and sharp.

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  6. Great action shots! Thanks for dropping by my blog.

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  7. It's an exciting moment...and the photos are wonderful! Don't worry about the clipped wingtips!

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    1. Thanks so much, Marie! It was a really exciting moment to witness through my lens

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  8. Amazing shots of the birds. I like the clarity.

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  9. Great captures of the birds feeding!
    I have never seen this bird in person and so I enjoyed seeing your photos all the more.
    Have a Beautiful Day!
    Peace :)

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  10. Nice shots Pat. Don't worry about those wing tips, my eyes just focused on those yellow bills. I hardly ever see Little Tern (our equivalent) now as they have suffered a downturn from predation and disturbance on beaches etc.

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    1. Thanks, Phil! These birds are under pressure here as well -- in MA they are officially a species of "Special Concern".

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  11. Excellent and quite beautiful too~

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  12. such wonderful photos. Loved to see them feeding. :)

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    1. Thanks, NF! It's always exciting to have a chance to incorporate an extra element like feeding behavior into an image

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  13. These are fantastic shots, so clear and clean and colorful.

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