A quick visit to Bird Kingdom

Earlier this week I made a quick visit to Bird Kingdom as part of some photography coaching I did with one of our readers. As always, Bird Kingdom was a fun experience, and even though I didn’t capture very many images I did end up with a few to share with you.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 229mm, 618mm, f/5.6, 1/25, ISO-1400
Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 229mm, 618mm, f/5.6, 1/25, ISO-1400

We started out in the Explorer Base Camp section where a number of reptiles, macaws and parrots can be found. The image above is a typical capture. To make things a bit more challenging I shot it at 1/25th of a second, timing the movement of the Green Winged Macaw.

Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 136mm, efov 365mm, f/5.6, 1/40 ISO-2800
Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 136mm, efov 365mm, f/5.6, 1/40 ISO-2800

As the bird had just brought its foot up to its beak I tried to time my capture at the moment the bird appeared motionless.

Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 173mm, 466mm, f/5.6, 1/160, ISO-3200
Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 173mm, 466mm, f/5.6, 1/160, ISO-3200

I increased my shutter speed to 1/160 to try to avoid blurring of the bird’s tongue.

Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 170mm, efov 459mm, f/5.6, 1/25 ISO-560
Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 170mm, efov 459mm, f/5.6, 1/25, ISO-560

The image of the Blue and Gold Macaw above is another slow shutter speed test photograph captured at 1/25th of a second. While getting usable images using this slow shutter speed technique is more challenging it does help to keep ISO’s relatively low as you can see with the EXIF data below the photograph.

Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov.810mm, f/5.6, 1/50, ISO-640
Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov.810mm, f/5.6, 1/50, ISO-640

Tortoises and turtles are often very static subjects and I seldom hesitate to capture images at fairly slow shutter speeds, using 1/50th of a second with my CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 fully extended for the above image.

Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 272mm, efov 735mm, f/5.6, 1/60, ISO-3200
Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 272mm, efov 735mm, f/5.6, 1/60, ISO-3200

The light was more challenging for this ‘nose first’ image and even shooting at 1/60th resulted in me having to use ISO-3200.

Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 234mm, efov 633mm, f/5.6, 1/160, ISO-320
Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 234mm, efov 633mm, f/5.6, 1/160, ISO-320

Spending a few minutes in the Small Bird Aviary resulted in a couple of usable image captures, including the Green Singing Finch above, and the D’Arnaud’s Barbet below.

Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/160, ISO-160
Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/160, ISO-160

We paused for a few minutes in the Night Jungle. Given the tiny 1″ CX sensor in my Nkon 1 V2 getting usable images in this room has always been a challenge for me as I usually shoot at ISO-6400.

Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 110mm, efov 297mm, f/5.6, 1/10, ISO-3200
Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 110mm, efov 297mm, f/5.6, 1/10, ISO-3200

Shooting hand-held at 1/10th of a second with the 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 yielded the Egyptian Fruit Bat image above. Not great by any means, but a tad better than my usual attempts by being able to keep ISO at 3200 with a slower shutter speed.

Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/200, ISO-2000
Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/200, ISO-2000

We spent the balance of our limited time at Bird Kingdom in the Main Aviary where I was able to capture the above image of a Silvery-Cheeked Hornbill, and a couple of photographs of some Scarlett Ibis nesting…

Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/250, ISO-1600
Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/250, ISO-1600
Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/200, ISO-1100
Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/200, ISO-1100

One of my favourite birds at Bird Kingdom is the Blue-Breasted Kingfisher. I was finally able to get a decent photograph of one during my recent visit.

Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/200, ISO-900
Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/200, ISO-900

Using the dark shadows of its nesting box as a frame added some dramatic contrast to the following image of a Blue and Gold Macaw.

Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/40, ISO-800
Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/40, ISO-800

As you’ll see in the EXIF data, I’ve been continuing to experiment with slower shutter speed captures. The image above was taken at 1/40th with my CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 fully extended.

Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/250, ISO-1100
Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, efov 810mm, f/5.6, 1/250, ISO-1100

The pair of Sun Conure were preening each other, necessitating a faster shutter speed of 1/250.

Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 216mm, efov 581mm, f/5.6, 1/60, ISO-900
Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 216mm, efov 581mm, f/5.6, 1/60, ISO-900

No trip to Bird Kingdom, regardless of how long the visit, would be complete without images of a Guinea Turaco, or a Green Iguana.

Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 198mm, efov 534mm, f/5.6, 1/200, ISO-2800
Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 198mm, efov 534mm, f/5.6, 1/200, ISO-2800

Technical Note:
All images were captured hand-held in available light using a Nikon 1 V2 and 1 Nikon CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 and 1 Nikon 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 lenses. All images were processed from RAW files using my standard process of DxO OpticsPro 10 Elite, CS6 and Nik Suite.

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7 thoughts on “A quick visit to Bird Kingdom”

  1. Fantastic images Tom!

    BTW was the one at 1/40 sec hand-held, where you were experimenting with slower shutter speeds? (I know the 70-300 VR is great for hand-holding, but that image is unbelievably sharp!)

    1. Hi Dave,
      Yes, all of the images in this article were taken hand-held. When I go to Bird Kingdom I often use it as a practice venue for my hand-holding technique. The CX 70-300 is a wonderful lens to shoot at slower shutter speeds without a monopod or tripod. I find that my Nikon 1 gear is much easier to shoot at slower shutter speeds and as long as the subject is stationary, or in the case of the animals and birds in this article semi-stationary, I have no hesitation shooting hand held at much slower shutter speeds than I would have used with my Nikon DSLRs.
      Tom

  2. Hi Tom,

    thank you for sharing this nice pictures, i love birds 🙂
    if then the green iguana is my fav or the Kingfisher …?

    haylebob

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