Wishing for Warblers

A change in the weather is sufficient to recreate the world and ourselves. –Marcel Proust

Prothonotary Warbler, Dauphin Island, Alabama
Prothonotary Warbler, Dauphin Island, Alabama. This bird was drinking nectar from bottlebrush flowers. A cavity-nesting species, this songster breeds in the swamps of Brazos Bend State Park. Canon EOS 7DII/600mm f/4L IS (+1.4x TC). High-speed synchronized fill-flash.

This weekend we went binocular birding at Brazos Bend State Park, again. We decided to leave the photo gear at home given the dense clouds and patches of rain and drizzle. While we were sitting on the bench on the west side of Old Horseshoe Lake, I was grousing about how I was tired of only seeing the usual suspects. Just as the words left my mouth, I spotted a pair of Cinnamon Teal drakes dabbling among the aquatic vegetation right off shore–a personal first for this park. These birds were likely early migrants at the extreme eastern extent of their migratory range. A nice sighting, but even with that I’m ready for a change. Of course, the next big change is spring migration . . . and the passage of dozens of glorious wood warbler species across the Upper Texas Gulf Coast.

Nashville Warbler, Lafitte's Cove, Galveston Island, Texas
Nashville Warbler, Lafitte’s Cove, Galveston Island, Texas. Warbler photography usually involves finding birds in woods with dappled sunlight. The options are flash or no flash. With no flash in dense woods, artsy shots like this are possible (but rare). Canon EOS 7D/600mm f/4L IS. Natural light.

Now is the time to start brushing up on Warbler identification. It’s amazing how quickly this skill fades over the year, but equally amazing how quickly it returns after a few days in the field in April. Last spring was a fairly good one for seeing new or unusual warblers. Specifically, we saw Blackpoll Warblers, Golden-winged Warblers, Cape May Warblers, and a single Prairie Warbler at Lafitte’s Cove.

Chestnut-sided Warbler, Lafitte's Cove, Galveston Island, Texas
Chestnut-sided Warbler, Lafitte’s Cove, Galveston Island, Texas. We were lucky enough to hear this species sing on the North Shore of Lake Superior a few summers ago. Canon EOS 7D/600mm f/4L IS (+1.4x TC). High-speed synchronized fill-flash.

After about six years of serious birding, my personal warbler species count stands at thirty-eight, with decent images of about half that many. Soon we’ll be planning trips to see specific tough-to-find species: Big Bend for the Colima Warbler, Michigan for Kirtland’s Warbler, and so on.

Spring brings hope for, if not new species, then better images of birds we’ve seen and photographed before. Maybe this is the year I will find the holy grail of bird photography–a technically perfect shot of a rare warbler, a big juicy caterpillar in its beak. Spring migration brings the sense that anything is possible –yes, Virginia, a storm could blow a Black-throated Blue to Galveston! Dream big or stay home!

Palm Warbler, Myakka River State Park, Florida
Palm Warbler, Myakka River State Park, Florida. Canon EOS 7D/600mm f/4L IS (+1.4x TC). Natural light.

©2018 Christopher R. Cunningham. All rights reserved. No text or images may be duplicated or distributed without permission.

Fishing Through the Glare

There are two kinds of light – the glow that illuminates, and the glare that obscures. –James Thurber

Great Blue Heron (Breeding) with Gizzard Shad, 40-acre Lake, Brazos Bend State Park, Texas
Great Blue Heron (Breeding) with Gizzard Shad (Dorosoma cepedianum), 40-acre Lake, Brazos Bend State Park, Texas. This bird spent a good deal of time with its head low to the surface of the water, neck outstretched. It seemed to be searching for prey by looking for minor disturbances in the surface of the water–and then the bird would go dashing after the makers of these ripples among the aquatic vegetation. Canon EOS 7DII/500mm f/4L IS (+1.4x TC). Natural light.

On Sunday we took a much-needed trip to Brazos Bend State Park. The light in the early morning was white, and the water shone like a mirror. Colors were washed out, and there was a general sense of omni-directional illumination. Shadows were pale, and the water lacked clarity. More than just a problem for photographers, these conditions necessitated particular hunting strategies on the part of waders . . . .

Tri-colored Heron Fishing, Pilant Slough, Brazos Bend State Park, Texas
A Tricolored Heron Utilizes an Underwing Feeding Strategy, Pilant Slough, Brazos Bend State Park, Texas. This bird was shuffling its feet to scare up prey. Likely the shadow of the wings cut the glare from the surface of the water allowing prey to be spotted more easily. Canon EOS 7DII/500mm f/4L IS (+1.4x TC). Natural light.

American Bitterns, Great Egrets, Great Blue Herons, Little Blue Herons, and a Tricolored Heron were harvesting little (and big) fish galore from vegetation-choked water. And a Great Blue Heron bullied a Great Egret into dropping a fish it had caught in 40-acre Lake . . . .

Most interesting, perhaps, was a Tricolored Heron that was employing a (single) underwing feeding strategy, and from time-to-time, a double-wing feeding strategy. Among herons and egrets, these behaviors involve a continuum of postures from shading the water with a single wing, both wings separated, to a complete canopy in which the wings meet in front of the bird as it crouches, feathers touching the surface of the water. This latter behavior, “canopy feeding” sensu strictu, occurs only in the Black Heron of Africa (Egretta ardesiaca), although the Reddish Egret and Tricolored Heron can approach this configuration.

Several functions for these wing positions have been proposed from scaring fish into divulging their positions, to getting fish to swim into the shade (and presumably under cover) after being be spooked by foot movements, to cutting the glare so that the bird can see its prey better. It is the latter I generally favor, primarily because I tend to observed these behaviors on days with a lot of glare. As an aside, the nickname of the Black Heron is the “umbrella bird.” If the shading to reduce glare is the correct interpretation of this behavior, then perhaps the parasol bird would be a better moniker for this creature.

Note: Special thanks go to naturalist and friend R.D. for sharing his high-speed video of a Tricolored Heron that plainly show how much clearer the water appears in the shade of an outstretched wing.

Tri-colored Heron Fishing 2, Pilant Slough, Brazos Bend State Park, Texas
A Tricolored Heron Utilizes an Underwing Feeding Strategy 2, Pilant Slough, Brazos Bend State Park, Texas. The head of this bird swayed back and forth between outstretched wings. Canon EOS 7DII/500mm f/4L IS (+1.4x TC). Natural light.

©2018 Christopher R. Cunningham. All rights reserved, No text or images may be duplicated or distributed without permission.

Chasing Greater Roadrunners

The vast sage desert undulates with almost imperceptible tides like the oceans. –Frank Waters

Greater Roadrunner, World Birding Center, Edinburg, Texas
Greater Roadrunner, World Birding Center, Edinburg, Texas. This bird is in a characteristic hunting posture. Canon EOS 7D/100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS. Natural light.

When the weather is dank and dreary like this along the Texas Upper Gulf Coast, my mind turns to just about anywhere else. Getting back out to the desert is always a top priority. Among the most interesting desert birds to pursue is the Greater Roadrunner (and the Lesser Roadrunner, too, I’ll bet, but that species doesn’t occur in the U.S., and I’m not up for living The Treasure of the Sierra Madre). Greater Roadrunners occur all across Texas, but we rarely see them anywhere but in the desert or scrublands.

Roadrunners are highly predatory, mostly terrestrial cuckoos. A common birding occurrence is to be walking in the desert and to see a Roadrunner skulk off into the brush as the bird detects your presence. Sometimes you’ll see one scurry across a trail ahead with a lizard or small snake in its beak. Sometimes the tail of a large snake (or lizard?) will be poking out of the beak. In this case, the anterior portion of the herp is being digested, and the rest of animal is slowly being fed down the gullet.

Greater Roadrunner, World Birding Center, Edinburg, Texas
Icy Stare: Greater Roadrunner, World Birding Center, Edinburg, Texas. Canon EOS 7D/100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS. Natural light.

Roadrunners are masters of dispatching dangerous prey. Scorpions, centipedes, horned lizards, even venomous snakes are on the menu. Seeing a Roadrunner with prey is one thing, photographing it is another. Several times I’ve gone after Roadrunners in the field, prey dangling from their beaks. By the time I catch up to them, the prey is down the hatch! But with effort, documenting a Roadrunner with a dangerous, squirming victim is just a matter of time!

Greater Roadrunner in Tree, Big Bend National Park, West Texas
Greater Roadrunner in Tree, Big Bend National Park, West Texas. Roadrunners spend most of their time on the ground. If you startle one, it may fly a short distance–although it will more likely just quickly scurry away. This bird was just sitting around on a branch early one morning. Perhaps a big juicy snake was digesting away inside its belly! Canon EOS 7DII/600mm f/4L IS (+1.4x TC). Natural light.

©2018 Christopher R. Cunningham. All rights reserved. No text or images may be duplicated or distributed without permission.

Santa Ana NWR: Fortress America

Be thine own palace, or the world’s thy jail. –John Donne

Altamira Oriole, Santa Ana NWR, South Texas
Altamira Oriole, Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), South Texas. Santa Ana is one of the few places in our country where a birder can see this bird easily. Note the orange wing-bar. Canon EOS 7D/500mm f/4L IS (+1.4x TC). Natural light.

Many birders inside and outside Texas are aware (and horrified) that planning for construction of Trump’s border wall with Mexico at Santa Ana National National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) near McAllen, Texas continues to progess. Often described as the “crown jewel” of the National Wildlife Refuge System, Santa Ana is nationally and internationally famous as one of the birding destinations in the United States. Some of our earliest and most profound birding adventures have occurred here. In fact, it is here where we became serious birders. Over the strenuous objections of world biologists and birders about the obvious threats to habitat and the exceptional beauty and biodiversity of the place, the plans continue.

I suspect that it would be useless to enumerate the types of specific threats to particular animal species–from hindering migration for purposes of finding mates and food to loss of availability of escape routes during floods–that the wall poses. The weird populist political support this boondoggle enjoys is quite beyond the bounds of reason. The work (and destruction) will continue until Trump is out of office–but then the damage will have been done. The wall will (obviously) be incomplete, and Santa Ana will be scarred.

In contemplation of the border wall, I am reminded of the history of palaces in Western Europe. Reaching back into antiquity one finds that the early residences of the nobility were fortresses. Often the power these men and women exerted over their subjects was enforced at sword-point, and rivals often staged armed insurrections. Power and influence were tenuous. However, as the power of the state increased into the early Modern Era, a curious thing happened. Kings and queens no longer lived behind moats and fortifications: They lived in palaces. The Versailles of Louis XIV was not a fortress. Nor was the Buckingham Palace of George III. Security, yes–moats, ramparts, massive walls, no. Power was exercised with the stroke of a pen, orders dispatched from an office, not a turret.

Those advocating the building of the border wall must agree that if the United States requires a physical wall, a fortification, to contain illegal immigration, then our government no longer enjoys a rule of law capacious enough or one even worthy of a Modern civilization. Rather, we must consider ourselves Medievals cowering behind stone walls and iron gates.

Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, South Texas
Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Santa Ana NWR, South Texas. This bird is in the process of excavating a nest cavity. Canon EOS 7D/500mm f/4L IS (+1.4x TC). Natural light.

©2018 Christopher R. Cunningham and Elisa D. Lewis. All rights reserved. No text or images may be duplicated or distributed without permission.

Wilderness Therapy

Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit. –Edward Abbey

Portrait: Brown Pelican in Flight, East Beach, Galveston Island, Texas
Portrait: Brown Pelican in Flight, East Beach, Galveston Island, Texas. Note that the cloudiness of the eye is due to the translucent nictitating membrane. Canon EOS 7DII/600mm f/4L IS (+1.4x TC). Natural light.

The weather was right, we had the time off, and there was nothing more to be done about Harvey . . . So we set out for the field. East Beach was glorious. A south wind blew across the island slowing the progress of the big, slow-flying birds as they traced the edge of the land. They were the usual suspects: Herring and Ring-billed Gulls, Forster’s and Royal Terns; Brown Pelicans. But as is often the case when I haven’t been shooting for a while, most of the images turned out to be mush, but it was good just to be out again.

Carolina Wren with Attitude, Pilant Lake , Brazos Bend State Park, Texas
Carolina Wren with Attitude, Pilant Lake, Brazos Bend State Park, Texas. The log is at least partly hollow. Likely the beginnings of a nest are inside. Canon EOS 7DII/500mm f/4L IS (+1.4x TC). Natural light.

The next day I returned to the field. To Brazos Bend State Park I went. This time I took Elisa’s 500mm f/4 lens, rather than my 600mm–I was giving the old shoulder a break. Again the usual suspects. The only thing unusual was the number of warblers. They were everywhere.

Large flocks of Myrtle Warblers probed leaves and hawked bugs from the air. Sometimes they joined Blue-gray Gnatcatchers in hunting in the grass. Common Yellowthroats hopped among the aquatic vegetation. Orange-crowned Warblers were also up to their normal tricks, fishing spiders and insects from dead, rolled up leaves. I spied a single Male Wilson’s Warbler pretending to be a Common Yellowthroat as he plucked aquatic insects from Pilant Lake. Of this bird’s reflection in the water, Elisa quipped: “Look, he brought his own sunshine!” The only missing warbler was the Pine Warbler–perhaps these birds got wind of the coming inclement weather.

All in all, a lovely few days. Can’t wait for the sun to shine again.

Male Wilson's Warbler, Pilant Lake, Brazos Bend State Park, Texas
Male Wilson’s Warbler with Larval Insect, Pilant Lake, Brazos Bend State Park, Texas. Canon EOS 7DII/500mm f/4L IS (+1.4x TC). Natural light.

 ©2018 Christopher R. Cunningham. All rights reserved. No text or images may be duplicated or distributed without permission.

What’s going on at Two Shutterbirds?

For only love can conquer hate
You know we’ve got to find a way
To bring some lovin’ here today, oh oh oh–Marvin Gaye, What’s going on?

Summer Tanager, Lafitte's Cove, Galveston Island, Texas
Male Summer Tanager, Lafitte’s Cove, Galveston Island, Texas. Canon EOS 7DII/600mm f/4L IS (+1.4xTC). Natural light.

Regular readers of Two Shutterbirds may be wondering what’s going on: Our posts have become sporadic, our commentary, elliptical . . . .

Neotropic Cormorant wit hShad, the bridge, Fiorenza Park, Houston, Texas
Neotropic Cormorant with Shad, The Bridge, Fiorenza Park, Houston, Texas. Canon EOS 7DII/600mm f/4L IS (+1.4x TC). Natural light.

In a nutshell, we’ve been making the big push to get over Harvey. Both our our destroyed house and our new house are under contract.

Great Egret in Fight, Fiorenza Park, Houston, Texas
Majestic Great Egret in Flight, Fiorenza Park, Houston, Texas. Canon EOS 7DII/600mm f/4L IS (+1.4x TC). Natural light.

The whole have-your-house-destroyed, sell it, and buy another one has not been the worst experience of my life, but it is on the list.

I have bought two houses before, but as those who have purchased/sold real estate since the housing crisis of 2008/2009 can tell you, it is a different world out there. It seems not to matter if you have money or a perfect credit rating or not: You are in for a [expletive deleted] nightmare. The amount of red tape has generated some real frustration. Luckily, Elisa has been a trooper and kept me in the game when I was about to give up–on repeated occasions.

So, for a while longer, all we’ll be able to do is peruse the archives, revel in the birding joys of the past, and dream of even greater birding adventures in the future . . . Stay tuned.

Tufted Puffin, St. Paul Island, Pribilof Islands, Alaska
Tufted Puffin (Breeding), St. Paul Island, Pribilof Islands, Alaska. Canon EOS 7DII/600mm f/4L IS (+1.4x TC). Natural light.

©2018 Christopher R. Cunningham. All rights reserved. No text or images may be duplicated or distributed without permission.

Merry Christmas!

That’s the true spirit of Christmas; people being helped by people other than me. –Jerry Seinfeld

Arctic Tern, near Potter Marsh, Alaska
Portrait: Arctic Tern, near Potter Marsh, Alaska. Canon EOS 7DII/600mm f/4L IS (+1.4x TC). Natural light.

What a year! But we wanted to take time to wish all our readers and naturalist friends the merriest Christmas. May joy find you! Cheers, Chris and Elisa

Parakeet Auklet, St. Paul Island, Pribilof Islands, Alaska
Parakeet Auklet on Rock, St. Paul Island, Pribilof Islands, Alaska. Canon EOS 7DII/600mm f/4L IS (+1.4x TC). Natural light. Natural light.

©2017 Christopher R. Cunningham and Elisa D. Lewis. All rights reserved. No text or images may be duplicated or distributed without permission.

Two Shutterbirds Takes Another Break!

It’s dèjá vu all over again.–Yogi Berra

Coues Deer, Barfoot Park, Cochise County, Arizona
Portrait: Coues Deer Fawn, Barfoot Park, Cochise County, Arizona. Coues deer are a diminutive subspecies of white-tailed deer. Canon EOS 7DII/600mm f/4L IS (+1.4x TC). Natural light.

What a year: Swamped again! Not to worry, we’ll be back on the ball soon with more prose and images of our wild friends. Cheers, Chris and Elisa

©2017 Christopher R. Cunningham. All rights reserved. No text or images may be duplicated or distributed without permission.

Birding the High Desert Southwest in Fall (Part 3): Cave Creek Canyon, Arizona

Even your silence holds a sort of prayer.– Apache saying

Female Williamson's Sapsucker, Cave Creek Ranch, Portal, Arizona
Female Williamson’s Sapsucker, Cave Creek Ranch, Portal, Arizona. Williamson’s Sapsucker is a bird of the high elevation pine forests of the West. Canon EOS 7DII/600mm f/4L IS (+1.4x TC). Natural light.

Cave Creek Canyon is perhaps our favorite birding get-away spot. On the southeast flanks of the Madrean highlands of the Chiricahua Mountains of southeast Arizona, it has one the highest biodiversities in the United States. The adjective Madrean refers to the flora, a type of pine-oak woodland community. In Arizona, the Arizona madrone, Arbutus arizonica, is a characteristic member of that flora.

Madrone in Fruit, Vista Point Trail, Cave Creek Canyon, Arizona
Madrone in Fruit, Vista Point Trail, Cave Creek Canyon, Arizona. Canon EOS 7DII/600mm f/4L IS (+1.4x TC). Natural light.

We have seen the madrones in other mountainous regions of the Southwest, Big Bend National Park, Texas, for example. But on this trip, we saw trees in fruit for the first time. We got wind of madrones in fruit along the Vista Point Trail in Cave Creek Canyon. Madrone fruits are reportedly a favorite for many animals and provide needed sustenance in fall. On this trip, Rufous-backed Robins were eating the berries (reportedly) so we monitored a patch of trees one morning. After watching for about an hour, all we saw were some avian stirrings within the foliage of the trees, but no identifiable birds . . . .

Northern Cardinal, Cave Creek Ranch, Portal, Arizona
Male Northern Cardinal, Cave Creek Ranch, Portal, Arizona. Canon EOS 7DII/600mm f/4L IS (+1.4x TC). Natural light.

The quest for madrone fruit-eating birds, brings up the classic problem of travel birding: You have such limited time in the field that you are only likely to see very common species–unless you stake out a special situation like a madrone tree with fruit, but . . . wait a minute . . . .

Female Northern Flicker (Red-shafted), Cave Creek Ranch, Portal, Arizona
Female Northern Flicker (Red-shafted), Cave Creek Ranch, Portal, Arizona. Canon EOS 7DII/600mm f/4L IS (+1.4x TC). Natural light.

©2017 Christopher R. Cunningham. All rights reserved. No text or images may be duplicated or distributed without permission.

Birding the High Desert Southwest in Fall (Part 2): Franklin Mountains, West Texas

As a remedy to life in society I would suggest the big city. Nowadays, it is the only desert within our means.–Albert Camus

Thrasher, Franklin Mountains State Park, West Texas
Curve-billed Thrasher, Franklin Mountains State Park, West Texas. Canon EOS 7DII/600mm f/4L IS (+1.4x TC). Natural light.

The Tom Mays Unit of Franklin Mountains State Park is literally minutes outside the margins of El Paso. Here, a fiberglass blind sits in the Chihuahuan Desert. A water feature and feeders attract a variety of desert and migratory birds–admittedly mostly common species. The place is thick with Black-chinned, Rufous, and Calliope Hummingbirds during migrations.

Ergonomically, the blind has a few issues, but is really quite usable for a blind in a state park. Being isolated and lacking ferris wheels, noisy yokel tourists rarely find it. Rather than the guy wanting to know how much your camera cost, most of your miseries associated with this blind will stem from attempts to use a tripod inside. Tripods can not coexist with this blind. Accept it. You must rest the foot plate of your super-telephoto on the window ledge . . . .

Lesser Goldfinch, Franklin Mountains State Park, West Texas
Lesser Goldfinch, Franklin Mountains State Park, West Texas. Canon EOS 7DII/600mm f/4L IS (+1.4x TC). Natural light.

But as I hope these images show, it is possible to capture fine images here with nice bokeh and uncluttered, natural-looking context. The next time you are on your way to a major birding mecca like Bosque del Apache or the Chiricahuas, I recommend making a pit stop in the Franklins. It may ultimately make your short-list of favorite photo-birding spots as it has ours.

Cactus Wren, Franklin Mountains State Park, West Texas
Cha-cha-cha: Cactus Wren on Log at Dusk, Franklin Mountains State Park, West Texas. Canon EOS 7DII/600mm f/4L IS (+1.4x TC). Natural light.

©2017 Christopher R. Cunningham. All rights reserved. No text or images may be duplicated or distributed without permission.

Birding the High Desert Southwest in Fall (Part 1): Davis Mountains, West Texas

If the Texans had kept out of my country there might have been peace . . . . –Ten Bears

Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Davis Mountains State Park, Texas
Portrait: Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Davis Mountains State Park, Texas. The blinds at Davis Mountains State Park are a bit gloomy, but occasionally birds will emerge from the shade and offer up a portrait. Canon EOS 7DII/600mm f/4L IS (+1.4x TC). Natural light.

Over Thanksgiving week we took an epic road trip across the desert Southwest from West Texas to southeast Arizona. During that time we photo-birded at three main spots: Davis Mountains State Park (Texas), Franklin Mountains State Park (Texas), and Cave Creek Canyon (Arizona). Although the weather was perfect along the way, we shot under a variety of conditions. This is due to shooting mainly at blinds–a typical strategy for us on road trips with limited time.

Red-naped Sapsucker, Davis Mountains State Park, Texas
Red-naped Sapsucker, Davis Mountains State Park, Texas. This bird was drinking from a quasi-natural looking dripper. Canon EOS 7DII/600mm f/4L IS (+1.4x TC). Natural light.

On this trip I was less concerned with the philosophical problems associated with shooting from blinds than the practical ones. The two blinds at Davis Mountains SP are ergonomic nightmares with lots of dark, shady areas, obstructions, unnatural-looking masonry, and terrible angles.

The blind near the Montezuma Quail Trail is the better of he two given that birds sometimes emerge from the gloom. In general, I would say that the Davis Mountain blinds are better for birders than photo-birders and are loaded with birds this time of year–but they are also loaded with many unbelievably noisy tourists. Pine Siskins, Dark-eyed Juncos, Lesser Goldfinches, a variety of woodpeckers, and White-crowned and Lincoln Sparrows were abundant. A lone Pyrrhuloxia made an appearance while we were there, too.

Hermit Thrush, Davis Mountains State Park, Texas
Hermit Thrush, Davis Mountains State Park, Texas. Hermit Thrushes are a common sight in shady areas across the desert Southwest at this time of year. Canon EOS 7DII/600mm f/4L IS (+1.4x TC). Natural light.

Our next stop, the blind at Tom Mays Unit of Franklin Mountains State Park, is not without its problems, but is light-years better than the one at Davis Mountains SP. Stay tuned!

Western Scrub Jay, Franklin Mountains State Park, Texas
Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay (Formerly Western Scrub-Jay) at Dusk, Franklin Mountains State Park, Texas. Technically speaking, the blind at Franklin Mountains SP is one of the better blinds in Texas Parks (that I know of). Canon EOS 7DII/600mm f/4L IS (+1.4x TC). Natural light.

©2017 Christopher R. Cunningham. All rights reserved. No text or images may be duplicated or distributed without permission.

Two Shutterbirds Takes a Break (Again)!

I dislike feeling at home when I am abroad. –George Bernard Shaw

Black Skimmer Flock, East Beach, Galveston Island, Texas
Black Skimmer Flock, East Beach, Galveston Island, Texas. Canon EOS 7DII/600mm f/4L IS (+1.4x TC). Natural light.

Shaw’s words have a special significance for those of us who live in Houston . . . . In any case, we’re taking a few days off to enjoy the holidays but will be back on the ball soon to share more images and prose about our delightful feathered friends! Cheers, Chris and Elisa

©2017 Christopher R. Cunningham and Elisa D. Lewis. All rights reserved. No text or images may be duplicated or distributed without permission.