Thursday, May 26, 2011

Playing with HDR

HDR is short for High Dynamic Range. It is a post-processing of taking either one image or a series of images, combining them, and adjusting the contrast ratios to do things that are virtually impossible with a single aperture and shutter speed.

HDR Image

I thought I would give it a try, and liked the results, although this particular scene isn't as dramatic as I would like. The best HDR's have deeper shadows, so I will be looking for more dramatic scenes in the future. I used a Photomatix's free version found here which leaves a watermark on the finished image, but I cloned it off my image.

Original Image

Monday, May 23, 2011


Dickcissel, originally uploaded by Hannibals Animals.

In flight Dickcissels make a low, "electric", buzzing fpppt. From an open perch in a field, this bird's song is a sharp dick dick followed by a buzzed cissel, also transcribed as skee-dlees chis chis chis or dick dick ciss ciss ciss.


If you've ever heard one, you would never forget it's song. Not melodic at all, but sort of sharp/loud/buzzy. I love when they make the trip back, but then over it shortly there after.


Scarlet Tanager Female

Scarlet Tanager Female, originally uploaded by Hannibals Animals.

Not as brilliantly colored as the male, but she is a beauty!

Scarlet Tanager

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Black-billed Cuckoo

Black-billed Cuckoo, originally uploaded by Hannibals Animals.

A lifer came into play when I heard the weirdest sound coming from a wooded area. I had never heard a cuckoo, so I expected to see something like a quail or maybe a small furry critter on the ground, if anything. Well, lucky for me, he landed in a tree behind me and began his call again, confirming the source. He used all of his many calls which was such a treat to hear before he flew off.

Cool Facts: Cuckoos eat many spiny caterpillars and the spines stick in the lining of the stomach. The stomach lining is periodically shed to remove the spines.
The apparent tendency to call more frequently before rain explains why both Black-billed and Yellow-billed cuckoos are called "Rain Crows."

bb cuckoo flight

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Scarlet Tanager

Scarlet Tanager, originally uploaded by Hannibals Animals.

Always an exciting migrator to find, the Scarlet Tanager is a striking black-winged red bird, and is a common species of the eastern forest interior. Despite its brilliant coloring it is often overlooked because of its rather secretive behavior and its preference for the forest canopy. Luckily, I found this one pretty low, preening leaves for bugs.

Scarlet Tanager

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Solitary Sandpiper Vs. Serpent

It was a brutal battle that the sandpiper ultimately won, but not without a clever defensive move by the serpent, trying to wiggle it's way back out of the mouth and wrapping itself around the bill to keep it closed. The maneuver almost worked, but the brute strength and hunger this sandpiper displayed could not be overcame by the challenger. It was a worthy match up, pleasing the cheering crowd of just!

Friday, May 6, 2011

North Pond Sora

North Pond Sora, originally uploaded by Hannibals Animals.

Took day off to go to Chicago. Found some great stuff like this Sora swimming!