Female Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)
"No matter what yesterday was like, birds always start the new day with a song."
The backyard can sometimes be the best place to photograph! And while I prefer to photograph birds on more natural perches, I couldn't resist my first decent photo of a female yet. Like almost all birds, the males are the ones who "dress up" in pretty and bright colors in order to attract a mate. The females tend to have more muted colors, such as the common cardinal you may see in your backyard. Habitually the birds land on the top of the feeder poles as seen here, look down towards the food source, and grab onto the side or sit on the rail of the tray to feed.
Perched birds are more forgiving with camera settings, regardless of their size. Zoomed all the way out on my telephoto lens at 600mm, I composed the bird on the left as it was looking right. An apeture of f/6.3 provided the right amount of light while shooting 1/320 was the right amount of shutter without introducing camera blur. These members of the grosbeak family are a mainstay all times of year and a beautiful bird to photograph.
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