Photographing a Male Scarlet Tanager
Not long ago, I complained that I only was able to find and photograph distant and sky high female Scarlet Tanagers. Now I am thrilled to report that a male Scarlet Tanager came into our yard and perched on an isolated limb at camera level close to our fountain. It was a heavily clouded morning, so the ISO for these images shot right up, but regardless, I was ready. Well, mostly ready.
Not Quite Ready
The Scarlet Tanager’s plumage startled me at first. Lustrous and exotic, the radiant red feathers covering most of his body contrasted strongly with his pitch black wings.
When I’m out in the field with my camera, I’m usually the one who does the startling. However, at that juncture in bird photography time…in that short space between stimulus and response when I am ordinarily able to quickly react, I was instead dumbfounded, mouth hanging open, and experiencing one of those I-can’t-believe-this-bird-is-right-in-front-of-my-camera moments. Luckily something snapped inside me and I was able to rally all my forces to take a couple photos before this astonishing bird flew away.
I’ll have to come up with a new nemesis now, possibly the ever illusive Prothonotary Warbler.