Blog

Another Blackbird

Sharing another Blackbird with you - literally a member of the Icteridae family - that which encompasses all things blackbird. In this case, the Yellow-hooded Blackbird. Not to be confused with the Yellow-headed Blackbird that's resident in North America. Ours is smaller and the boundaries of the yellow hood of the male are slightly different. As with most icterids, the males are noisy and are constantly seeking attention. For those of us toting cameras, they tend to always make willing subjects.                   Females...

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What is Black?

Now it's not always one gets to investigate multiple species of birds that belong to one colour slice - but I had just the opportunity some weeks ago. One morning there seemed to be nothing showing but black birds. Fortunately the overcast conditions lent to my camera sensor absorbing as much subtle colour as possible from these superficially black birds. I say superficially black as that's the first instinct, you see them from a distance and sure enough, they look like black dots flitting around; in the case of the Blue-black Grassquit it's a black dot that's hopping up and down. But it isn't...

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The Standoff

Many of us resident in T&T are familiar with (at least the sound of) Southern Lapwings. For those of us who like to go and play a little football in the afternoon run the risk of being bombarded by these noisy, seemingly always angry birds. And as with most things ubiquitous, they tend to go under the radar of most. More on this later. Just a couple other common friends to throw in to the mix as well, Greyish Saltators are traditionally referred to as "pitch-0il" for their call - nothing else. Their distinctive voice frustrates many, as these shy birds tend to stay out of the limelight.                   Yellow-bellied...

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Moving Targets from a Moving Vehicle

One can be proud of whatever one desires, and as a photographer I can look back on some of my images and feel that certain sense of pride. Some images though, are more about the story than the final product. Some time ago, while enjoying the rare privilege of being a passenger - even moreso a backseat passenger; my roving eyes caught a medium-sized flock of Scarlet Ibis flying over the mangroves. Well, I figured - why not give it a shot. It's not like my hands and feet were occupied as they usually are. Tons of fun to track these gorgeous birds as they cruised just over the treetops. Naturally,...

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Cutest Wetland Couple Revisited

Many moons ago, I wrote a post on the cutest wetland couple - the seemingly inseparable male and female White-headed Marsh Tyrant. Nothing like a tyrant at all, this tiny bird is a member of the flycatcher family; so perhaps to a bee or wasp it might just be the most terrifying sight imaginable. A visit to any swampy area within Trinidad is bound to yield at least one couple of these adorable little birds. And I say one couple because once you see a male, you will see a female and vice versa. On this occasion we spotted the female first. Her delicate appearance belies the killer's agenda as she scans...

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Fancy Pigeon

Back from a couple weeks away from the pc - returned to find 1,866 comments in need of moderation. 100% of which were spam. I've been on a loose photographic mission, with a couple life-changing experiences thrown in to the mix. I have been active on my recently revamped Instagram account, though - albeit with some older images from the archives. Anyway, re-opening my account here with one of my favourite local pigeon species, and in my mind one of the most beautiful. The Pale-vented Pigeon is affectionately called Ramier (not sure about the spelling, or the correct pronunciation for that...

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What the Jail is a Yellowtail

Recently, while browsing one of the local bookstores here, I came upon a large, hardcover book that was apparently done as a tribute to three special valleys in Trinidad. Eye-catching and rather official-looking, I picked it up and began to leaf through the pages. It's something I do on an on and off basis - peruse local literary products, I like to see how others see what I see. Whether it's a book on birds, cricket or waterfalls, it always leaves me with some special thoughts. This time, though, it was different. I didn't ponder much, in fact I very quickly became angry. And still am to a certain...

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On Eye Contact

Just a loose follow-up from the last article I did - where I spoke about getting eye level with your subject and all that jazz. Now it makes little sense (usually) to lower/raise yourself to the level of your subject, only to miss out on the key ingredient in communicating the message - the eye. Eyes are the window to the soul, as they say - and it's true for all species, humans included. Which is why it's imperative to highlight the link that will allow the viewer to look directly into the life of the subject of your image.                   Working...

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On Being Eye Level

It's one of the cardinal rules of wildlife photography - or any form of photography for that matter - the eye is the most important aspect of a strong image. The eye is the window to the subject's world, where the viewer can somehow by any small stretch of the imagination, put himself/herself in the shoes of the subject. The concept of being "eye level" gets introduced whenever this subject isn't a regular human, at regular human height. Birds, being (usually) much shorter than us, require an adjustment in perspective. For those birds that are not generally found in trees - such as waterbirds...

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Confusion

Life seemed to be so much simpler when I didn't know about Wood-Rails. Specifically, our resident species of Grey-cowled Wood-Rail. I wrote previously on the split that occurred within the Grey-necked Wood-Rail species - into Grey-cowled and Russet-naped Wood-Rail, both species differing in vocalization and plumage to a certain degree. Trouble is, there are multiple official bodies that are involved in the naming of birds - and they still haven't come to a definite agreement it seems. So although some purists (like myself) enjoy using the name "Grey-cowled Wood-Rail"; if you refer to this...

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