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Welcome to the Pine River Review. Our sight is dedicated to our little homestead located along the Pine River tucked inside the Chippewa Nature Center's 1400 Acres of wild in Michigan's lower penninsula. We love to share our pictures, video, comment, and our own homespun music. Step inside our world as we celebrate this beautiful nook!


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

World Bird Wednesday LXXIII


The Lesser of Two Equals

One of the most difficult birds for me to photograph are the jet black species such as crows, ravens, and Red-winged blackbirds. In these early days of spring, the American robins and RWblackbirds are about all you see, true harbingers of the season. How do you balance the over saturated  red and yellow shoulder patches with the light killing depths of the black body? One answer is to wait for the perfect cloudy day or...ignore those dramatic dynamics and concentrate on the subtle colors of the gentler members of the harem when they pop out of the reed beds and show themselves. I could pretend to express a  personal preference for these well camouflaged, sparrow colored ladies, but the truth is the guys are generally a little to tough to handle. My virtual waste basket is stuffed with near misses. The perfectly exposed, dramatically posed, male Red-winged black bird photo remains a rare treasure and a worthy quest.





One of these days I will see the Yellow-headed blackbird that lives in small colonies here in the Saginaw Bay area of Michigan. I imagine the difficulties in managing a good picture will be equally frustrating  and therefore just as desirable.



I visited Crow island on a bright Easter Sunday and found an active pond behind a concrete fabricating facility. How come these hot spots seem to be juxtaposed to the most unlikely neighbors? Tree swallows spun through the air in abundance!




Even the Blue herons didn't seem to mind the cement dust. The fishing must have been great.


And so it went this week...




This is the home of World Bird Wednesday. A place for bird photographers from around the world to gather and share their photographs and experiences as they pursue Natures most beautiful treasurers, the birds.


You don't have to be a Bird Watcher or expert photographer to join in, just enjoy sharing what you bring back from your explorations and adventures into nature!



#1Simply copy the above picture onto your W.B.W. blog entry, it contains a link for your readers to share in the fun. Or, you can copy this link on to your blog page to share WBW. http://pineriverreview.blogspot.com/


#2Come to The Pine River Review on Tuesday Noon EST North America through Wednesday midnight and submit your blog entry with InLinkz.


#3Check back in during the course of the next day and explore these excellent photoblogs!


The idea of a meme is that you will visit each others blogs and perhaps leave a comment to encourage your compatriots!



Come on it's your turn!




50 comments:

  1. Those barn-swallows are just exquisite. I got some welcome-swallows a few days ago but ours are in non-mating plumage.

    Those black birds are just having you on, you'll come good when you least expect it. Love the sparrow coloured one doing the splits.

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  2. I'm on a mission to get a photo of the red-winged blackbird - yours is truly awesome!

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  3. I just love those Barn Swallows! Good luck in your search for a Yellow-headed Blackbird.

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  4. Great images and the Grey Heron in flight is amazing!

    Shantana

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  5. your shots are beautiful, as always. the heron soaring over those grasses... wow! and your sweet female blackbird is gorgeous.

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  6. Beautiful photos! I really like the female in your first shot...a balancing act! The swallows have great color and your heron in flight is wonderful!

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  7. Great shots! I stalk the RW Blackbird at our neighbourhood pond, but I have yet to get a good photo!

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  8. Yes, the black coloured birds are indeed a challenge to photograph. Wonderful photos!

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  9. Beautiful photos of all the different birds! Love the first one, great balance there! :)

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  10. What great photos! That red-winged black bird is perfect! As are the swallows...well, all of them. I don't know that nattily dressed striped bird.

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  11. The barn swallows are so pretty!

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  12. I feel your pain. I have a terrible time with black in my pictures ... especially black eyes and black feathers. I guess there must be a certain amount of luck in the picture taking hobby. All of your birds are beautiful this week. And yes, they are common early arrivers, but non-the-less beautiful.

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  13. ah yes the dark depths of the blackbird or the over-exposed whites of the Gull.. I have trouble with both extremes.

    Love the finishing image at sunset, wonderful shot Springman

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  14. nice set of birds again. Love those barn swallows. :)

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  15. Yeah ... I have the same problem with colour balance ... must try and read the instructions again.. but it may not help!

    Cracking set of images this week Springman. Our trophies are often the brightly coloured males but I still believe the intricate camouflage patterns of their partners are worth capturing. Good luck with your quest.

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  16. I love this challenge...it's my first time linking up. It was recommended by a blogging friend and now I can sure see why! Birds, birds, and more birds...yay!

    Your pictures are wonderful! :)

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  17. Wonderful series of shots! The red-winged blackbird is my favourite. What a shot!

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  18. It is refreshing to read that even the best have a difficult time with birds of black. Now let's see, yellows and reds with flowers, black with birds... my list will soon cover all the colors of the spectrum. Very nicely done with your red-winged black bird and the barn swallows simply glow. Wonderful Springman!

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  19. I find it hard to get the eye right in these black birds. Unless I can catch a highlight the black eye gets lost.

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  20. You are almost there, Dave, with the jet black of the RWBB and his colorful epaulettes. (How much easier the female of the species!) I find it almost impossible to arrive at the perfect color balance and saturation without some post-production work on Photoshop. The Barn Swallows seem tell a story, just perfect.

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  21. Hello Springman, great post and I enjoyed your RW blackbird photos. The swallows are gorgeous with shiny feathers. And I love your header shot, just fantastic. Wonderful photos, have a great week!

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  22. Wonderful to see Dave... It looks to me as if you are starting to enjoy your new found leisure time..

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  23. It's very interesting that those dark colored birds are the ones you see first in spring. I like the photos - you have even managed to catch the glint in the eyes!

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  24. Wonderful series of beautiful birds.
    Beautiful photos as always.

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  25. Beautiful shots, love those red wings.

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  26. That red winged black bird shot is breath taking!

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  27. Oh you had a wonderful week! I love red-wings (we see them when we're in Oregon) but have never been able to get even a bad shot. It is funny (and somehow sort-of hopeful) the funny places birds choose sometimes.

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  28. Great Job Springman...I love the swallows, one of my very favorite birds to watch.

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  29. Great detail on the female, and the male is certainly a keeper!

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  30. Great shots, Springman!! That Redwinged Blackbird is quite a sight and you captured it beautifully. I love the first shot of the female... nice splits & a great balancing act there!
    The barn swallows are a sweet bird with their shiny bluish wings. And the last bird shot... what remarkable stripes... what is it??
    LOVE your header this week... but your headers are always brilliant. A wonderful week of birds.
    Thanks for hosting!

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  31. Beautiful, beautiful. I know just what you mean about those black assorted birds...many times once I upload my images, they look navy blue and those red shoulder patches look fake, but there they are;) The females are quite lovely and your capture...splendid! The Barn Swallow images look more like our Tree Swallows. I always have a difficult time with species ID. Swallows are some of my top favorite birds and you got a glorious share there~

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  32. Hi there - great set of pictures - black birds can be really tricky, but that’s more than half their charm I think!

    We had loads of Welcome Swallows around the house we were in last week - then the all headed north to warmer climes - the southern hemisphere tips things on their head!

    Stewart M - Australia

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  33. Love the image of the first guy hanging on like he is; beautiful crisp photograph! The red/yellow shoulders on the blackbird is certainly eye-catching! To capture these barn swallows perched on a branch would have to be a one- in- -a million chance snap surely? How beautiful they are with the light play just in thee right play there. Talk about getting lucky! Is this what retirement does for you Springman?

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  34. The Red-winged Blackbird shots are gorgeous! I have one around here that teases me every day, staying just out of range or hiding behind the leaves. I love the iridescent feathers of the Barn Swallows.

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  35. WoW-zers....i thought i had a favorite but it changed 5 times!! awesome capture of that red winged and those barn swallows sure do shimmer in the sun!!

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  36. I miss Barn swallows so much, but still will have to wait a few weeks more to see them! Lovely post, as usually:)

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  37. I love your capture of the female RW. Those females are very shy so this is very impressive.
    Hey...aren't those Tree Swallows???:)

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  38. Very nice detail on the female RWBB and the killdeer is very cute. Just want to give it a cuddle.

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  39. I'm pleased I followed Jeans advice to come and visit you here. Wonderful!

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  40. Springman, well your lighting in all of these photos is magnificent. You have made the female red-wing look positively fabulous! If she could speak she would thank you! I love the tree swallow photo. I have only seen a couple of tree swallows here so far but look forward to seeing more in the days ahead. Good luck birding! I have been messing with the settings on my camera lately trying to figure out this digital world. I have made some improvements and learned some lessons. You seem like an expert to me!

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  41. Oh my, each week your pictures continue to get better. Awesome header...
    I see your Tigers are doing well. Yeah for them beating up on the BoSox!
    Have a great week.

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  42. There is some interesting bird behaviour I would like to share with you but cannot find an email address.

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  43. Your photos just keep getting better & better,it is so hard to capture the red winged blackbird,your chose of birds,beautiful,thanks for sharing,phyllis

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  44. Greetings!
    Welcome to wbwlxxiii and Thank you for your encouraging remarks!
    Yes, your right...those lovely blue birds are Tree swallows not Barn swallows. So sorry, that's what I get for trusting my memory.
    I cannot believe how many folks have submitted blog posts this week, a new record for sure. With so many blogs to visit I think I better get going.
    Cheers!

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  45. The redwings come to my feeders very regularly but I have yet to get the quintessential shot. Yours is gorgeous! Same goes for all your shots!
    That last shot is striking! A beautiful, beautiful sky shot and silhouette!

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  46. Some great photos there. Absolutely love the female RW Blackbird - superb. A close second is the Tree Sparrows shot capturing the blue sheen of the body feathers.

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  47. Perfectly exposed and dramatically posed-- you certainly nailed it with those shots! Wonderful!

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  48. Great shots, both dramatic and normal!
    Your 2nd photo is close to perfect!
    Happy WBW to you. Looking forward to a new week/Wednesday!

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  49. Hello, great photos. I was wondering whether you could get in touch with me (boa10gkh @ sheffield.ac.uk) regarding a permission to use one of your images of the red winged blackbird. I am working on a project on modern ornithology, the book will be published next year and we would be very happy to use this beautiful photograph. We are a bit pushed for time, so we would be very grateful for a quick response. Thank you for your time! I will be happy to tell you more about the project/authors and answer any questions you might have too of course.

    Best,
    Gabriela

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