One of the great alures of birding is to see the incredible depth of color and diversity of the thousands of species of birds that dominate our planet. For this birder, the gamut of joy encompasses the full spectrum of combinations, from the muted shades of dusky brown and gray that some species camouflage themselves in through the brilliant explosions of color that adorn other members of the avian tribe. However, within that all-encompassing love, there are a few species that stand apart in my adoration.
The Vermillion Flycatcher ranks high on that list. At just 5 inches in size, it makes up for its diminutive stature with a claret beacon of plumage on its head and belly, offset by a slate gray and black beak, eyeline and back. Apropos of the season, it is natures Christmas ornament decorating whatever limb it perches from.
It is also incredibly swift as it frequently darts off its perch to capture some poor insect that flies by its path. So fast that catching one in flight has been one of this photographers nemesis goals. Of the hundreds of images I have of this bird I have less than five good shots of it in flight. That number includes this image.
My brother is visiting from New York, and I had take him to Whitewater Draw to see for himself the spectacle of the wintering Sandhill Cranes as just another of the countless reasons we view life in the high desert of southern Arizona as paradise. As we stood on the pier looking at the ballet of cranes taking off and landing this flycatcher flew down from its perch in a nearby tree demanding our attention. When it settled on a swamp reed right in front of us, I quickly refocused my camera and shot away. Luckily this image was part of the series.
I am humbled that God allowed me the honor of capturing and sharing it and remain blessed to be His scribe.
Shoot Date: December 18, 2018
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Manual ¹⁄₁₀₀₀ sec at f/6.3 0 EV
Lens: TAMRON SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD A011 @ 600 mm