Sunday, April 4, 2010

Pic of the Day

Common Egret – Venice Bird Rookery, Florida: At the turn of the 20th century the Common Egret, along with other aigrette plumed waders were almost hunted to extinction by plume hunters for the millinery trade. Efforts of the newly formed Audubon Society and its wardens of the day final halted the slaughter. Now scenes like this displaying egret are common during the breeding season across the birds range. The heron rookery in Venice, Florida ; where this image was shot, is one of the best locations in the state to photograph nesting herons, egrets and other wading birds. This egret was photographed during a breeding display to its mate. The display involves a sweeping motion of the body of the bird downward, then forward and upward, -- while at the same time tilting the beak toward the sky and lifting the aigrette plumes on its back perpendicular to the body. These displays can last only a minute or for a quarter of an hour or more. They are never boring and always provide great shooting opportunities. For this image I positioned my point of view to include trees at some distance behind the island as the background. The trees were far enough away to render out-of-focus, and dark enough to expose almost black, thus isolating the egret against an undisturbed background.
Nikon F5, Nikkor 500mm f4, Provia 100

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