On a recent visit to the Saint Augustine Alligator Farm I was ecstatic to find a nest of young spoonbills within easy reach of my camera. I have visited the rookery of wild birds many, many times over the last twenty – five years, but this was the first time I had seen such young spoonbills. I so badly want to get a photo of the adult and chicks, but tree limbs were causing some serious problems.
The nest was tucked away near the trunk of the tree with just a small opening for a clear shot. While the chicks were quite active the adult stood over the nest with its head obstructed by an arching tree branch. After taking a few photos I waited for the adult to move into a position that would make a more pleasing image. I waited for half an hour or more, but the adult spoonbill never moved. It simply stood above the nest with the obtrusive branch running right through the bird’s eye.
The images that I was getting just wasn’t cutting the mustard. Then, just as I was about to give up, the adult spoonbill began to move around, and then the chicks became more active. For a brief moment the adult lowered its head toward the nest and all three of the chicks turned toward the camera. For a moment everything came together, and it is because of moments like this this that I am a bird photographer.
Nikon D800, Nikkor 500mm f/4 with a 1.4 teleconverter, 1/160 second @ f/8