Western Kingbirds Offer Me Flight Shots

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The Scissor-tailed Flycatcher field from my last post is actually a roost for Western Kingbirds, too. In the early 1900s, Western Kingbirds started to winter in Florida, and I’m told that this roost used to be very active. On this particular morning, I watched three Western Kingbirds hang out on the power lines and hawk insects from the field. I had some great opportunities for flight shots!

Here one of the Western Kingbirds posed for the camera, choosing for once to face me instead of the field full of yummy insects. I felt honored.

Western Kingbird
Western Kingbird on Powerline

Every once in a while, a kingbird would dart off the line and fly out into the field. They’d swoop down, grab an insect, then fly back to eat it. So I put on my intermediate telephoto lens and tried to catch them in flight…

Western Kingbird
Western Kingbird Flight Shot

He looks like he’s waving in this next shot!

Western Kingbird
Western Kingbird — “the wave”

I adjusted the Autofocus settings on my Canon 7D Mark II to maximum “Autofocus Point Switching” and improved my rate of keepers. Getting the bird in the frame and keeping it there while he’s flying over a field with a noisy background is a challenge!

Western Kingbird
Western Kingbird Flight Shot

The bird’s efforts paid off – he caught a nice bug and devoured it as I looked on.

Western Kingbird
Western Kingbird with Breakfast

Between the kingbirds and the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, it was a really good morning! I hope they are in a flying mood the next time I visit!

Want to learn more about nature photography at Lake Apopka?

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