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Submitted on
September 26, 2012
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99.5 KB
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900×600
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1,213
Favourites
115 (who?)
Comments
46

Camera Data

Make
Canon
Model
Canon EOS 7D
Shutter Speed
1/1024 second
Aperture
F/8.0
Focal Length
400 mm
ISO Speed
250
Date Taken
Sep 24, 2012, 5:09:51 PM
Software
Adobe Photoshop CS5.1 Windows
Sensor Size
3mm
×
Crab Dinner by mydigitalmind Crab Dinner by mydigitalmind
One of my favorite photo "sessions" from a recent trip to Cape May, New Jersey. We started the day with an epic moment, watching thousands of warblers, flickers, raptors and other birds fly through Higbee Beach to fuel up before crossing the bay. We ended at the Meadows right before sunset where this Kestrel (and others) kept making attempts at the scads of Palm Warblers hiding in the dunes. This Kestrel eventually settled on catching crabs for easy eating. We watched her until the crab disappeared and she flew away.

American Kestrel
Cape May Meadows
Canon 7D / EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

Melissa Mancuso Penta // All Rights Reserved
Do not duplicate or distribute this photo without permission
Add a Comment:
 
:iconterribleter:
TerribleTer Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2013
Great shot, and I know from experience how difficult it can be to get close to kestrels. You must have the magic touch!
Reply
:iconmydigitalmind:
mydigitalmind Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
She was pretty busy eating. This is the first time I ever got this close - or close at all for that matter. She filled my frame at 400mm!
Reply
:iconeyesofsnowleopard:
eyesofsnowleopard Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
cool shot
Reply
:iconmydigitalmind:
mydigitalmind Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you!
Reply
:iconeyesofsnowleopard:
eyesofsnowleopard Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Your Welcome :)
Reply
:iconisaacgomides:
ISAACGOMIDES Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013
Belo
Reply
:iconclippercarrillo:
clippercarrillo Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012  Professional Photographer
Beautiful.
Reply
:iconjamie-macarthur:
Jamie-MacArthur Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2012
great shot !!!
Reply
:iconmydigitalmind:
mydigitalmind Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you! :)
Reply
:icontomkilbane:
TomKilbane Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
i see you had a 400mm lens, but do you recall about how far away you were for this shot? and did you use a tripod?
Reply
:iconmydigitalmind:
mydigitalmind Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
This is cropped a bit. With a 400mm lens I have to crop my photos 95% of the time. For this particular photo, I was pretty far from the bird and cropped a lot, but I was able to slowly walk pretty close to her (fit at about this frame). I'm such a bad judge of distance, but I'd say it was about 10-15 feet away for the photos that I have to crop less of... if that makes sense.
Reply
:icontomkilbane:
TomKilbane Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
yes it does.....tripod? i appreciate your time to respond to!!! thanks!!!!
Reply
:iconmydigitalmind:
mydigitalmind Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Oh! Sorry, no tripod. My scope was on my tripod at the time.
Reply
:icontomkilbane:
TomKilbane Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
you've a very steady hand!!!!
Reply
:iconfurstripe:
furstripe Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
thousands of warblers, flickerss and others? :jawdrop: :faint:
Reply
:iconmydigitalmind:
mydigitalmind Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
The total count was over 4,000 birds passing through! 700+ of them were Flickers. It was insane!!! I didn't count, but there were official "counters" there :)
Reply
:iconfurstripe:
furstripe Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
man 4000, i have not even heard of so many! how many people fainted there? 4000 is hell lot of number :faint: you must have been in heaven, wow! :D
Reply
:iconmydigitalmind:
mydigitalmind Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
That was the best day they had so far this year. Check out this video from a couple of years ago [link] - this was 10000+ birds, but many thrushes rather than warblers. I would love to experience it like THAT one day. The location is perfect on a good migration day. The birds funnel to the cape of New Jersey, see water ahead and land to refuel. It's a "magical" spot and extremely famous among Cape May birders. We planned our trip based on weather and wind conditions and landed a good day.
Reply
:iconfurstripe:
furstripe Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
whoaaaa mannnnn, 10000birds! I am ultra dead! which place is it? if i ever come to US i'd definitely get lost in this place... so many birds! i havent even dreamed about them. In our country there are hardly 800 species total :faint:. i am not much into water birds but when it comes to passerines they are my weakness. and warblers and thrushes! Did you visit there to see so many of them?
Reply
:iconmydigitalmind:
mydigitalmind Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
This is in Cape May, New Jersey - Higbee Beach. It is very well known for this type of migration during the fall - but you have to get there right at sunrise to really experience it. On a day that has the proper winds you can get loads of birds - but it can be a bit slow if the weather is not right. Thankfully, my friend is a meteorologist so he knew when we should plan our trip (it was planned a week ahead of time). Migrating birds actually show up on the weather radar, so we watched on his phone as the flocks of birds came closer, then they disappeared on the radar since they started to land - that is when we started to see them. It was great! We had a mix of all kinds of birds - Warblers, Hawks, Swallows and Flickers (not many other woodpeckers) were in huge numbers. We were a bit late for sandpipers, but still saw a good variety in other parts of the area. There were also tons of Gulls, Terns and Skimmers - birds who I never cared for much until I got really close to them. They are quite spectacular. Also, from Higbee, we could see water birds in the distance - Gannets and Pelicans being the best.
Reply
:iconfurstripe:
furstripe Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
we are only visited by siberian birds from end of december to february in Kallar Kahaar Lake in Salt Range, its too much crowded but not that much, i have to treasure hunt the birds for photographing, so few :faint:. well you are making me get to fly to that new jersey place :woohoo:
and how many birds you got photographed? You are lucky! :)
Reply
:iconmydigitalmind:
mydigitalmind Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Hehe, if you made the trip, just be sure to do it during the right season! It can also be nice in the Spring, but I believe that the real numbers come in the Fall since birds funnel on their way down the coast. Late September to October are the times to go for warblers, thrushes and hawks!
Reply
(1 Reply)
:icongarion:
garion Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Beautiful raptor and beautiful shot! Love the late evening golden light, it adds to the overall mood of the picture. This is one of my all time favorite North American birds ever.

By the way was this shot handheld or tripod mounted? Thanks in advance!
Reply
:iconmydigitalmind:
mydigitalmind Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you so much! I, too, love this bird - they are fun to watch and beautiful! This was hand held - actually, I was juggling my camera and something I picked up off the beach at the same time, so I was using my entire arm as a way to hold the camera up!
Reply
:icongarion:
garion Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Wow thats really cool, this is the great advantage of the 100-400mm IS, you can use it handheld in the field and still get great shots, provided you can get close to the birds. A tripod (theoretically) might help get sharper shots but they are a pain in the ass to lug around, and take time to set up (and you might miss the shot in the progress, happens to me quite a few times)
Reply
:iconmydigitalmind:
mydigitalmind Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
It was bad enough that I was lugging around my camera, binoculars and scope attached to a tripod for most of the trip!!! That got tiresome!
Reply
:iconopiumtraum:
opiumtraum Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2012
I was there last week. The weather was actually too nice. The wind finally turned & the hawks finally started flying. Great pic!
Reply
:iconmydigitalmind:
mydigitalmind Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
We planned our trip one week ahead of time on a weekend that the winds were looking good (it helps that one of us is a meteorologist) - turned out to be perfect! For us, it's more worth it to plan last minute since it's a 5 hour drive.
Reply
:icon1passionatefool:
1passionatefool Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2012
Awesome Capture!!! :winner:
Reply
:iconmydigitalmind:
mydigitalmind Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you!
Reply
:icon1passionatefool:
1passionatefool Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2012
:hug:
Reply
:iconsilvervulpine:
SilverVulpine Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Kestrel gets himself a seafood supper. Good for him! :D

Brilliant work, my friend. :)
Reply
:iconmydigitalmind:
mydigitalmind Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you! Might as well get seafood when you are on the coast :D
Reply
:iconsilvervulpine:
SilverVulpine Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
You're welcome. :)
And you might as well! :D
Reply
:iconseldavia:
Seldavia Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2012
I didn't know American Kestrels ate crabs. I guess the Palm Warblers were just too darn crafty.
Reply
:iconmydigitalmind:
mydigitalmind Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Me neither until I saw this!
Reply
:iconjrd1st:
JRd1st Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Awesome!

How do you like that lens? I have the same camera and lens but I haven't used them on birding yet.
Reply
:iconmydigitalmind:
mydigitalmind Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Love the lens! I can carry it around without breaking my back and do not have to use a tripod. I do have to crop most of my shots (this one is cropped, but I have others from the same bird that are this close and not cropped). It could be faster, but I suppose if it was, it would be much more expensive too...
Reply
:iconjrd1st:
JRd1st Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Cool! Glad to know you're liking the setup! :woohoo:
Reply
:icondragonflymooncloud:
DragonflyMooncloud Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I love these birds :) They're so pretty.
Reply
:iconmydigitalmind:
mydigitalmind Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
I agree! They are such a colorful bird of prey!
Reply
:icondragonflymooncloud:
DragonflyMooncloud Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Yeah. We have kestrels where we live; they're so cool. One landed in our yard once!
Reply
:iconmydigitalmind:
mydigitalmind Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
I don't exactly have them in my neighborhood - they stick around the nearby crop fields though. Maybe one day I'll be lucky and have one pass by :)
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:icondragonflymooncloud:
DragonflyMooncloud Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Yeah.
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