10.10.21: Robin and berries

An American Robin is surrounded by berries in Prairie Oaks Metro Park, West Jefferson, Ohio.

An American Robin is surrounded by berries in Prairie Oaks Metro Park, West Jefferson, Ohio.

Grabbing a photo of a bird I usually ignore

As I grabbed a couple of shots the robin stopped foraging and assumed a more alert posture. So I grabbed a few more shots.

I seldom photograph American Robins because they are too easy to photograph. That statement may sound like a contradiction, but it’s fact.

Robins are very common most of the year in my area so finding one isn’t difficult. They also aren’t as skittish as many other birds so they don’t fly off when I approach with my camera. It isn’t a challenge to get a photo of a robin, so I often ignore them. If I didn’t, I’d have thousands of robin photos.

But I will photograph a robin in an attractive setting. That’s why I got this shot.

I was on a photo hike in a park west of Columbus, Ohio, on a November morning when, in my peripheral vision, I saw motion in a nearby bush filled with berries. I turned and saw a robin examining berries to determine which ones to eat.

As I grabbed a couple of shots the robin stopped foraging and assumed a more alert posture. So I grabbed a few more shots.

I liked how the red berries — both focused and defocused — formed a frame around the bird and how it stood out from the background. 

According to my favorite site for bird information, All About Birds, the population of American Robins is stable or increasing but life of a robin is filled with risk: “An American Robin can produce three successful broods in one year. On average, though, only 40 percent of nests successfully produce young. Only 25 percent of those fledged young survive to November. From that point on, about half of the robins alive in any year will make it to the next. Despite the fact that a lucky robin can live to be 14 years old, the entire population turns over on average every six years.”

Tech specs

  • Date/time: Nov 15, 2009 10:44 AM   
  • Camera: Canon EOS 7D
  • Lens: EF600mm f/4L IS USM +1.4x 
  • Focal length: 840mm
  • Aperture: f/5.6
  • Shutter: 1/400 second
  • ISO: 800

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