I’m not a big fan of Blackbirds but I found this one interesting. I was out photographing birds at the Pedernales Falls State Park bird blind when I spotted a Red-winged Blackbird. Photographing dark birds is difficult as the dark feathers create a gap against brighter backgrounds. So, I had to take special care in order to make sure that I did not lose the details in the bird while capturing the desired background.
Red-winged Blackbirds are one of the most abundant birds in North America. Glossy-black males have scarlet and yellow shoulder patches they can puff up or hide depending on how confident they feel (apparently this one was not very confident). Females are a subdued, streaky brown, like a large, dark sparrow.
Male Red-winged Blackbirds fiercely defend their territories during the breeding season, spending more than a quarter of daylight hours in territory defense. He chases other males out of the territory and attacks nest predators, sometimes going after much larger animals, including horses and people.
This image was taken with my Canon EOS 7D Mark II using my Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 II Lens set on 400 mm. The camera was set on Manual mode with the aperture set at f/7.1, shutter speed at 1/320th of a second and the ISO set at 160. This is a single image processed in Lightroom.
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