Monday, December 17, 2012

Sandhill Crane. Other Photos.

Every once in a while, the Sandhill Crane would assume this posture, as though looking to the skies for others of it's kind. Or perhaps I am just imposing my own assumptions upon it.  But, it sure looked like it was looking for something in the sky. The down-turned "bustle" at the back end, the tertial feathers of it's wings, is one difference between cranes and herons.  Herons don't have that.

Here is another photo clearly showing a corn kernel it was eating. For you photographers - I kept my camera set on an ISO of 1600 which, for this particular model (Canon 40D) is fairly noisy.  I have found, however, that photographs will appear less noisy if they are not underexposed.  I was adding anywhere from 1/2 - 1.0 exposure value to the "correct" setting. They are not overexposed because it was a cloudy day. The few brief times the sun did appear, I backed off the EV by 1/2 to prevent the whites from blowing out. I also use a noise reduction program which I can recommend without equivocation: Imagenomic Noiseware. Once you learn how to take advantage of the settings, it is amazing how much the noise can be reduced without losing detail.

The crane seemed to know where it could find a puddle for slaking it's thirst. I think it has hung around this neighborhood long enough to know it's way around pretty well.  Where the best worms are, the best corn, etc.

It would first try to swallow the water without straightening up, but it never seemed able to get it down without putting it's head straight up in the air.

When last I saw it, it had crossed the road once more and entered yet another yard. It stopped along the edge to do a little preening and then got a little more active.  I had returned to my car at this point, but I decided to wait, hoping it might fly once more and I could try to get more flight shots. But it didn't fly and I gave up. One thing I am proud of (despite the temptation crossing my mind more than once) is that I have never spooked a bird intentionally so that I could take pictures of it flying. It crossed my mind on that day too, but I resisted the temptation.

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