Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Birds in Flight

Small, fast moving birds such as the Common Snipe can be as hard to hit with a camera as they are with a shotgun. Except I am using one focus point in the center of the lens to "hit" the bird which may be harder to do than hitting one with a scatter of shot.

The word "sniper" actually was borne of British soldiers hunting snipe in India in the 1700's. Someone who could shoot these elusive birds became known as a "sniper."

Most birds do not announce their entrance. This Killdeer, an exception to that rule, called out repeatedly as it flew in, however. It was all I needed to train my lens on the bird despite it flying in from behind me.

They are very vocal birds and can often be heard in fields. In fact, in the binomial Latin name, "vociferous" is the generic name assigned to this bird. While they frequent marshes for food, they nest in dry uplands — If you can even call what they build a nest.

I think the posture of this plump little snipe landing is comical. His little toes are flared out in preparation for it's descent. There is some overlap of habitat use but, in general, the snipe and sandpipers separate off into slightly different areas to feed. The snipe usually occupy muddy areas above water while the sandpipers will wade up to their bellies in the shallows.

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