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Bird Photos - Pg2

Taking photos of birds is a great way to learn about our delightful feathered friends and how to identify them.

As a late-developing wildlife enthusiast, I often feel overwhelmed by the expertise of my bird-watching companions when we're out in the bush or on safari.

These are guys who don't need a spotting scope or even binoculars to spot a tiny Chestnutbacked Finchlark in the scrub and grass 20 or 30 meters away.

All I see is the scrub and grass, never mind trying to photograph the little creature!

Click on picture to enlarge.
Yellowbilled stork African Spoonbills Blackheaded Heron
Hooded vulture, immature specimen Hooded Vulture on tree stump Southern Ground Hornbill
Helmeted Guineafowl Helmeted Guineafowl Crested Frankolin
wildlife reference photos
Bateleur eagle in flight Lesser Masked Weaver Male Ostrich
White Faced Owl White Faced Owl, immature specimen Scops Owl
Redheaded Weaver Bateleur Eagle, immature Whitefronted Bee-eater
Long Lens Adds New Dimension
But the purchase of a Canon EF 100-400mm image-stabilized lens has allowed me to start taking better bird photos.

Coupled to a crop-sensor Canon EOS 450D SLR digital camera, this awesome piece of glass gives me the equivalent of a 640mm F5.6 lens when fully zoomed.

Camera Shake Remains a Threat
On various safaris to Kruger National Park, Chobe National Park in Botswana and Zambia's Lower Zambezi National Park, I've had to photograph from a vehicle, so use of a solid tripod is impossible, making a beanbag essential.

Essential Reference Guides
Taking bird photos forces one to identify the subject. Previously neglected books like Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa, the Field Companion to Roberts, and Ian Sinclair's Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa, are now in regular use.

These books have different strengths: Roberts is still regarded as the "bible" and contains in-depth information; the Field Guide is handy for finding information quickly, while Sinclair's book offers actual photos of birds rather than drawings, so is useful for comparisons.

Bird Photo Captions
Row 1:
1.Yellowbilled stork, Kruger National Park, South Africa
2.African Spoonbills, Tala Private Game Reserve, S. Africa
3.Blackheaded Heron, Tala Private Game Reserve, S. Africa

Row 2:
1.Hooded Vulture, immature, Kruger National Park, S.Africa
2.Hooded Vulture, Kruger National Park, South Africa
3.Southern Ground Hornbill, Kruger National Park, S Africa

Row 3:
1.Helmeted Guineafowl foraging, Kruger Park, S.Africa
2.Helmeted Guineafowl, Kruger National Park, S. Africa
3.Crested Frankolin in tree, Kruger National Park, S.Africa

Row 4:
1.Bateleur Eagle in flight, Lower Zambezi, Zambia
2.Lesser Masked Weaver, Kruger National Park, S. Africa
3.Male Ostrich foraging, Tala Game Reserve, S.Africa

Row 5:
1.White Faced Owl, Kruger National Park, South Africa
2.White Faced Owl, immature, Kruger Park, South Africa
3.Scops Owl, Kruger National Park, South Africa

Row 6:
1.Redheaded Weaver, summer plumage, Kruger Park, S.Africa
2.Young bateleur eagle, Kruger National Park, South Africa
3.Whitefronted Bee-eater, Kruger National Park, South Africa

See also: Bird Photos Bonus Page

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