Sunday, January 10, 2010

Tufted Titmouse

With a home range that covers the eastern half of the United States the Tufted Titmouse is a common guest at winter bird feeders. Although not as confiding as some other species the titmice that visit our feeders are more trusting than the woodpeckers and nuthatches. This titmouse posed just a few feet away this evening as it awaited its turn at the feeder.

A sharp gust of cold wind caught this Tufted Titmouse from behind fluffing it feathers and tilting it forward toward the camera. Capturing the moment with a 1/1600 shutter speed the bird appears absolutely ferocious and ready to attack!

Photographing wildlife is always challenging and working with these small birds may be even more difficult in some respects than photographing larger creatures. Seldom do they sit still for more than a moment making it difficult to get the camera settings correct and focused before they zoom off. I am finding that I am most successful with these small birds when shooting the camera in manual exposure mode and adjusting my exposure for an evenly lighted tree trunk by the feeders. This allows me to shoot birds on the snow, against the sky, or with wood/brush background and not have to worry with adjusting the exposure compensation. By presetting the exposure focusing is the only concern when a bird poses momentarily.

The down side to shooting on manual is that one must adjust the camera settings as the light changes. Today, with the skies a clear blue, this was not a problem but on a partly cloudy day with fast moving clouds it can be enough to drive one nearly insane :)


Willard said...

Stunning images!

I am finding the same thing about using manual under that situation.

Brightcetera said...

I've never been blessed by having one come to my feeders but I get to see this adorable birds at our local Nature Park.
Such cutie patooties! (that's an official ornithology term!) :)

Montanagirl said...

These are such cute little birdies. I have never seen one. Nice shots!

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

I appreciate the photography tips along the way.

Chris said...

Hi Coy,
This is one of my favorite birds of your country! It looks like very funny and nice. you got splendid pictures of it and it was nice enough to take the pose! Well done!

Kahshe Cottager said...

A photography challenge well met! I do like the ferocious bit of fluff! Thanks for sharing your tip for capturing these photos.

Kerri Farley said...

How neat that you caught the TT with the windblown look. I just posted a cardinal with that same look today :) I can handle the cold - but cold and wind...that's a tough combo to handle.

Misty DawnS said...

I think these birds are so dang cute! They always bring a smile to my face.