Monday, December 6, 2010

Pic of the Day

    Prothonotary Warbler – Point Pelee National Park, Leamington, Ontario:  The Pelee peninsula is a migration magnet.  Extending 3 miles south into Lake Erie, Pelee is a destined landfall for migrants moving north across the lake during the spring migration.   Pelee is at its best when a northward moving weather front out of the gulf pushes airborne migrants over great distances.   Exhausted from long flights birds often drop out of the sky once land is sighted.  When waves of exhausted warblers make landfall the event is called a “fallout.”  My most productive trips to Pelee have been mornings after such fallouts occurred.  I have seen as many as 20 species of warblers in a day, in addition to tanagers, grosbeaks, thrushes and other passerines.   
     This Prothonotary was photographed at one of the many wet depression on the Woodland Nature Trail in Point Pelee Nationl Park.  The prothontary is a cavity nesting warbler that reaches the northern limit of its range in southern Ontario.  This bird had established a breeding territory and was making rounds on the periphery of its territory singing its song.  As I observed the warbler it was moving to and from specific perches as it sang its song, making it an easy mark to photograph.
Photography Notes:  Though I shoot with a long telephoto lens, I also add an extension tube between the camera body and lens when photographing small birds.  The extension tube allow the lens to focus closer than its minimum focus distance, thus producing a larger image of the bird.

Nikon F5, Nikkor 500mm F4, 24mm extension tube, Fuji Provia 100

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