“Just a bluebird, on my shoulder….”


Well, heck, so it ain’t on my shoulder, but I think I heard that line in a song sometime ago.  Besides, I wanted to have a catchy title to get your attention.  This Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) was actually sitting on tree branch about 40 feet away from the car.  It was taken two days ago during our little trip to Spring Creek Park.

This is one of the few photos that I got that day that I was really able to get in exact focus with that 500mm and 2X tele-converter.  If you remember, I told you that I had to use manual focus.  Now, remember, at my age, I am certainly not new to manual focus.  In my earlier days of photography, I don’t think auto-focus was invented yet.  But nevertheless, when you are dealing with long lenses, in the 1,000mm range, manual focus is very delicate.

In this case, the bird wasn’t too far off and was well lit, except for the shadow over it’s face.  If only it would have moved about six inches to it’s left, it would have been perfect.  But birds have a will of their own, so I was stuck with the pose.  For a stable support, I put my Puffin’ Pad on the window sill, turned off the car engine, and took my time turning the focusing ring.  Fortunately, the bluebird was comfortable, and in no hurry to fly off.  He also was in no hurry to move those six inches.  I took about 12 images, with that shadow in various positions across it’s face.  This photograph was the one that minimizes it the best.

Eastern Bluebird

Photo EXIF data:  Canon 7D, 500mm lens w/2X tele-converter.  1/640 sec. @ f8, plus 0.7 EV,  ISO 400. Aperture priority.

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32 thoughts on ““Just a bluebird, on my shoulder….”

  1. Good shot of that bluebird, Bob. In all of the time I was in San Angelo I never saw one, but after reading your blog regularly it is obvious that I missed a lot of good birding spots in lieu of hanging out in the blind at the park. I’m certainly making my list now for when I return 🙂

    • I’m not going to say I told you so, but…………:-)
      Next time you’re in town, definetly get together with me, and we’ll add a bunch of lifers to your list.

      Thanks for commenting, Jim

  2. The song you’re thinking of is “Somewhere over the rainbow, bluebirds fly” and I think it comes from The Sound of Music?

    It’s a beautiful picture. I don’t think we have bluebirds in Australia, but we have blue wrens and the make is a bright, startling blue – beautiful but I am yet to take a picture.

    Coincidentally I too have a bluebird story half written but I’ll save it for awhile!

  3. Is it snowing on your blog!?! Way cool.
    My blog tomorrow will be of bluebirds… they came to eat the sumac from the branches I stuck in a planter on the deck this snowy morning.

    • Yes. You can make it snow, too. Go to your dashboard > settings > turn on snow. 🙂

      I’ll look forward to your bluebird post.

      (sing along with me) “just a bluebird on my shoulder………..” 🙂

      • I DID start singing it as I read it the first time. My eldest watched a disney tape featuring clips of different songs from disney movies and “zippity doo da” was one of them. Bob she watched that video everyday for a solid year. (:

        Seeing your photos I have made my 2012 resolutions…. 1. sign up for the local photo class and 2. get my tripod out of its case.

        • What a co-incidence about her singing that song. 🙂

          When you start the class, If I can help “just give a little whistle”. Holy cow, I think that is in a another song. 🙂

  4. There are times I think the birds are out to cause us as much frustration as they can, like the bluebird and the shadow. I had a very similar experience this week, a female cardinal up in a tree and very close to me, but of course with a dark shadow of a branch marring what would have been a great photo. She stayed in one place long enough for me to find a spot where the shadow didn’t fall on her, and as I was raising the camera, off she went. It’s a great photo even with the slight shadow.

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