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Inspiring and Supporting Photographers of Australian Birds

Mistletoebird

Mistletoebird (Image ID 46956)
Photographed byJim Schultz on Sat 3rd Jul, 2021 and uploaded on Mon 5th Jul, 2021 .
Resolution1800x1400
Viewed45
ID46956
CommentI was watching a pair of Wedge-tailed Eagles soaring high above me, when suddenly this male Mistletoebird flew in and started checking out a Blackberry Nightshade (environmental weed in WA) for ripe berries in the grass paddock just in front of me. This little corner of Orange Grove is bordering a creek gully with dense vegetation just below the Darling Scarp, and also tall Eucalypts, Marri and Jarrah, are present adjacent to the paddock. Old, dead hardwood trees abound, too. This habitat thus augers for a richness of birdlife, and I have been coming here for many years, but though Mistletoes are present in the Eucalypts, I had never seen a Mistletoebird here before, and here he was, bringing his female with him. The surprised look captured here happened when he heard my shutter; however he did not take flight and I watched him seek out a berry, take it to a perch in a shrub nearby at head hight and then devour it here. Having finished, he deposited a seed I reckon was from a previous meal on the perch, and took off. But during the next hour he visited the nightshade bush again several times. Spotted Scrubwrens also came to this bush, and I could see these birds busily looking for grubs in here, between the foliage; I think we can see evidence of the activities of the sought after caterpillars on the front leaf. Time of capture 10:44.
EquipmentNikon D850 – DX Mode using 1/1250s at F5.6; ISO-400 with Nikkor AF-S 500mm f4G ED VR lens +TC-14E MkIII Teleconverter (focal length 1050mm in 35mm terms) & Camera rig support: Gitzo GT3543XLS Tripod, Dietmar Nill gimbal tripod head.
Technique: Standing with camera rig at the ready for whenever something interesting comes along. As the day had terrific sunlight, I tested my 500mm f4 lens with the 1.4X teleconverter and the D850 in DX Mode.
Post Production: Nikon ViewNX-i for Tif conversion; Adobe Photoshop Camera Raw/CC 2021 for resizing, mild cropping, selective and general post-processing inclusive of removing slight halos; Topaz Pro plug-in DeNoise for mild blanket sharpening and moderate noise control. ‘Australian Bird Guide 2019’ for species’ distribution, data and colour checks.
LocationOrange Grove, Western Australia
Keywordsmale, feeding/with prey, adult
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