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Birds That Don’t Have to Try Hard Ep II: Black-throated Mango

I made a few images of a few Black-throated Mango hummingbirds some time ago, and they all fit the bill of effortlessly magical. The afternoon sun shone its golden light, and all was well. Then there was a slight drizzle, and all was suddenly much better. After that came the mad dash to find a suitable subject. If a backlit subject wasn't enough, a backlit subject in rain was to die for. Well, perhaps not literally. Maybe to be slightly inconvenienced for, dying seems a bit much for this circumstance. Fortunately, here was this Black-throated Mango, perched not too high up on a dry tree...

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Birds That Don’t Have to Try Hard Ep I: Assorted

There is a family of birds that is appealing to everyone just by their plain existence. Well, maybe not everyone. I once heard a story of a woman who was deathly afraid of them. Can't understand why. They are the reason why thousands of people visit the neotropics each year. They are the inspiration behind countless costumes, logos, mottos and scientific experiments. They are a complete marvel of biomechanical engineering, they are Hummingbirds. For the next couple blog posts, I will share with you some of the images I've made over the last couple of months of these tiny bodies full of energy...

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My Loves

I have a real soft spot for underappreciated birds, in case you haven't realized by now. Far too often birders can border on disrespect for many of the species that we've grown accustomed to growing up here in T&T. Sure enough, it's infuriating when that hint of movement that you detected in your peripheral vision that preceded twenty minutes of tracking a silhouette in the treetops only to realize it's just a bloody Bananaquit - but it has its own part to play in the functionality of our unique eco-system. Admittedly I have hurled my fair share of obscenities at an odd-looking Spectacled...

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Responsibility

I photographed this little family of Pied Water-Tyrants some months ago, and have been meaning to write a piece on the supposedly onerous task of raising a family in these trying times. But apart from wondering if I'd been reading too much into my subject's lives (I tend to do that a lot) - I figured I'd present it as it is, and leave any further discussion up to the discretion of the viewer. As any point I'd like to raise enters the realm of politics (politricks) - something I'd much rather avoid at this time. We've seen young birds before, and know that they're constantly on the lookout for the next...

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Tales of St Giles – Part II: A.S.C.P.P.

Yeah so continuing where I left off in my last post (in case you missed it, check it out here), I'm sharing some of the other images I made on our trip to the rich and undisturbed tip of Tobago. As I mentioned before, landings are impossible on the islands, and having made some rocky landings myself in the past - memories of trying to time the swell to jump off a boat onto a slippery rock at the base of Soldado rock all the way on the opposite side of T&T make my palms sweaty as I type this - I wasn't complaining. Just being able to be close to the islands themselves was immense in itself....

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Tales of St Giles – Part I: Noddies and Boobies

Some time ago, I posted about Magnificent Frigatebirds we enjoyed while bobbing around in the waters around St Giles Islands. For those of you unfamiliar with the territory, the islands - better described as rocks - that comprise St Giles are the northernmost land masses of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Located to the north-east of Tobago, they are only accessible by boat. And by accessible I do not mean you can step a foot on any of the rocks. Landings are ill-advised for the obvious safety reasons (large swells will smash any boat on numerous submerged and semi-submerged rocks) as well...

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What Makes the Magic?

I remember reading a photography blog many moons ago (Wild Eye - can't locate the exact post though) and there was a debate as to which element within an image makes the bigger difference. Is it the subject or is it the setting? Far too often we're preoccupied about one and forget the other. The trouble is, we can't have the subject without the setting. In practical terms, if there is no habitat there will be no bird. Which is a big reason why I tend to include lots of habitat in my images. It's just as important, and perhaps more important than the bird itself. Simply speaking, if you plant...

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The Difference a Cloud Makes

We all know them well, we used to look up at them and let our imagination run wild when we were children, we've drawn them, and I'm sure at some point in time we've all opened MS Paint and spraypainted some white fluffy "clouds" on a ridiculously cyan "sky" - after Solitaire became too much of a bore. Windows 98 aside, for those of you who can remember such a thing - this probably means you're knee deep into adulthood at the very least by now. Which, unfortunately for too many of us, means that we've become rather disconnected with our cotton-balls of the sky. Perhaps if someone reports a Pokemon...

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In Shade In Sun or In Sun In Shade?

Today's post title took me a while to understand - I'm still not sure if I've gotten it, but I'll share a couple pictures with you and we'll see if things make any sense. So firstly, In Shade In Sun:                   And In Sun In Shade:             I'd like to specially thank this obliging Barred Antshrike for his time and patience with me under these um, interesting conditions. Which of these tickles your fancy, if any? Or both?

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Oh Frigates

With the recent obliteration of Barbuda (and other nearby islands, but I'm specifically targeting Barbuda here) as a result of Hurricane Irma, there is a major concern (apart from the obvious humanitarian issue) about the fate of the island's bird population. Many migratory birds such as sparrows and shorebirds can sense differences in barometric pressure - and either change their migratory route or delay/expedite their travels to suit. Some others may skirt around the edge of the storms, and a few intrepid individuals decide to brave the storm itself. In fact, there is a well-known record of a GPS-enabled...

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