We were back to cloudy skies this morning in Florida, and while our sandhill crane was still sitting faithfully on its nest, we decided to capture some images of juvenile and adult ospreys. They build their nests on several perches and trees high above the ground along Lake Weohyakapka. In the mornings, they are active, calling out and flying in and out of their nests.
Image: Nikon D500, Nikon 200-500mm at 370mm, f/6.3, 1/1250 sec, ISO 800, hand-held, converted to black and white
The juveniles have more white on the tips of their feathers, and in the above image, all three were juveniles. Because the sky was a cloudy grey and we wanted to capture the details in the feathers while pointing the camera at the sky, we had to select settings to correctly expose for the bird. This made the sky whiter but allowed us to see details in the dark feathers underneath the wings. Artie’s starting settings were f/6.3, 1/1250 sec with ISO 800. This worked well for the juvenile osprey sitting on the perch as shown below.
Image: Nikon D500, Nikon 200-500mm at 380mm, f/6.3, 1/1250 sec, ISO 800, hand-held
When the ambient light decreased and the bird took off in flight, I needed more light for the image, so I slowed down the shutter speed slightly to capture the detail in the dark feathers on the underside of the wings. While the tips of the wings were slightly blurred, the eyes and head were sharp, exactly as I had hoped.
Image: Nikon D500, Nikon 200-500mm at 250mm, f/6.3, 1/1000 sec, ISO 800, hand-held
We keep hoping that the eggs of the sandhill crane nest will hatch before we leave for Europe on Monday, but it is highly unlikely. The next two days will be filled with packing and last minute planning as we begin a tour around Europe: Finland, Norway, Scotland and England. I hope to post some images of the sandhill crane eggs that I took the past couple days before we leave for our first adventure! Enjoy!