We’re fortunate in our tiny island nation to have such a high level of diversity – biodiversity to be exact. Birds are the creatures that are usually most visible, and generally the most willing subjects. And they are everywhere. For the photographer, this is an open buffet – one can afford to take one’s time and work with a subject, to get the most pleasing composition, to create an image that stands out from the rest.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve compiled some images of some of the more commonplace birds within both Trinidad and Tobago. Sometimes you can be on the hunt for a particular species, and the common birds can seem to beg you to take their picture. I tend to refer to Bananaquits as “birds of false hope”; they can excite the birdwatcher from a distance, until you realize hey, it’s just another Bananaquit. Excited for nothing. But they’re lovely, charismatic little birds, and it’s still a treat to be able to capture some essence of their personality in a still image.
Speaking of capturing personality, this juvenile Purple Gallinule let me do just that. Dainty.
Working with common birds allows one to experiment with different sorts of lighting – lighting that works sometimes tends to be very strong when it does work. Side-light is not something I enjoy, but if it’s one thing it does is serve extra helpings of mood with the final product. One of two extremely ubiquitous tanager species – Palm Tanager.
In any situation, I love a good, strong backlight. When I spotted a bird land atop a distant tree just in front of the sun, I knew just what had to be done. I grabbed my 1.4x extender and made a couple images of this Pale-vented Pigeon before it flew off.
A brief shower of rain means an opportunity to capitalize on the soft light the cloud cover provides. Add in a few choice raindrops, a balanced diagonal branch, slightly wet leaves and a beautiful Blue-grey Tanager (the second ubiquitous tanager) with nest material and it’s perfect.
And what’s a blog post titled “Here, There and Everywhere” without an Orange-winged Parrot? Everyone knows and loves these noisy buggers!