Favourite Images from a Recent Visit to Bird Kingdom

My world has been a pretty significant blur as of late, with a number of client projects taking high priority. This article features a selection of my favourite images from a recent visit to Bird Kingdom. Well… not that recent… it was back in February… but I only had time to go through my photographs this evening.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 287 mm, efov 774.9 mm, f/5.6, 1/125, ISO-3200

Many captive birds can be quite stoic, sitting quietly on their perches. I always find it fascinating when a bird opens its beak and provides a glimpse of its tongue. Somehow it helps a bird’s personality show through. Its almost as if they are whispering to me.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 138 mm, efov 372.6 mm, f/5.6, 1/80, ISO-3200

The bird in the above image was gnawing away at a thick branch adjacent to its perch. I had to time my capture when the bird paused momentarily to change its beak hold.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 183 mm, efov 494.1 mm, f/5.6, 1/50, ISO-3200

Details always grab my attention. Whether it be a bird’s eye, beak, feet, or feathers.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 141 mm, efov 380.7 mm, f/5.6, 1/160, ISO-3200

Some of the birds in the small aviary were more cooperative than normal. This provided opportunities to get a few full body photographs with nice, muted backgrounds.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 224 mm, efov 604.8 mm, f/5.6, 1/80, ISO-3200
Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 157 mm, efov 423.9 mm, f/5.6, 1/60, ISO-3200

Small birds can be quite nervous and jumpy, even in captive situations. Patience is often needed to capture a bird during a momentary pause in its animated behaviour.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 234 mm, efov 631.8 mm, f/5.6, 1/100, ISO-3200

Photographing a bird while it is in song almost always makes for a good capture.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 267 mm, efov 720.9 mm, f/5.6, 1/160, ISO-3200

For whatever reason, some of the specimen allowed me to get in fairly close to them, allowing me to capture some nice feather detail.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 204 mm, efov 550.8 mm, f/5.6, 1/160, ISO-1600

It isn’t often that I can get close enough to the silvery-cheeked hornbill at Bird Kingdom so that a photograph captures the details of its eye lashes.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 280 mm, efov 756 mm, f/5.6, 1/60, ISO-400

When visiting Bird Kingdom I often position myself in such a way that I can shoot towards a muted, monochromatic background. Then I wait for a bird to come into my shooting zone.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, efov 810 mm, f/5.6, 1/320, ISO-800

Patience is often required, as I wait for a bird to turn its head to give me a nice front quarter view.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, efov 810 mm, f/6.3, 1/250, ISO-1600

When photographing birds in captive venues, pre-selecting shooting angles and backgrounds often helps create good subject separation in an image. This can be especially important when shooting with a smaller sensor camera.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, efov 810 mm, f/5.6, 1/250, ISO-1600

I very seldom do any spot adjustments to my bird images in post. The egret image above happens to be one of those ‘classic’ poses and exposures that requires some attention to detail. In this case it was dodging the iris of the bird.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 116 mm, efov 313.2 mm, f/5.6, 1/50, ISO-1600

One of the newest residents of Bird Kingdom is the boat-billed heron pictured above. It was perched quietly in partial shade, making it difficult to get an even exposure. I decided to try for a tighter image.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, efov 810 mm, f/5.6, 1/80, ISO-1600

I made sure to move slowly and quietly as not to disturb the heron. This allowed me to get a good shooting angle and fully extend my 1 Nikkor 70-300 mm zoom.

Nikon 1 V3 + 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300 mm, efov 810 mm, f/5.6, 1/60, ISO-1600

Our last image is one of a Mandarin Duck, one of the most spectacular birds at the facility. I took quite a few images of these striking birds… an article featuring them may follow once I’ve had time to examine my images more fully.

My recent visit to Bird Kingdom proved to be very fruitful. Even though I’ve been to Bird Kingdom countless times in the past, I view every new visit with a sense of adventure.

Technical Note:
All images were captured hand-held using camera gear as per the EXIF data. All images in this article were produced from RAW files using my standard process of DxO PhotoLab, CS6 and the Nik Collection.

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2 thoughts on “Favourite Images from a Recent Visit to Bird Kingdom”

  1. I also like when you visit the Bird Kingdom and bring back such delightful photos! The bird singing is a male canary. The little bird that is blue is color is so pretty! So is the Mandarin Duck – GREAT photos of them both.

    1. Thanks Joni – I’m glad you enjoyed the photographs! I may post some additional articles using images from that particular visit to Bird Kingdom. It has been over two weeks since that visit and I haven’t had time to even look at my photographs until recently.
      Tom

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