Laura Macky Photography

Journey of a body on this earth

Birds of a Feather


I normally don’t take too many bird shots.  Mainly because until recently, there weren’t so many to take.   But right outside our (currently being constructed) back deck, there are so many birds!  It’s incredible.  Bluebirds, bluejays, red-tailed hawks, white peregrine falcons, finches, sand pipers (yes sand pipers!), hummingbirds…the list goes on.

The other night I saw a Great Blue Heron.  He (or she) seems to be in the pond frequently, and the other night I decided to go down there and see what I could get.  This isn’t my forte as I’m very inexperienced with birds, but it was fun trying to capture him.  I had my 300mm lens on and I’m realizing how NOT long it is!  I was fairly close when I shot this picture…hmm…maybe 20′ or so?  I can’t exactly remember.

I tried to capture him in flight but the two images I got were not good angles, unfortunately.


Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron


Author: lauramacky

Journey of a Body on this Earth

97 thoughts on “Birds of a Feather

  1. You did good – but you do need that focal length to get decent nature shots – especially of birds. Time to go vote at the weather channel 🙂

  2. I love bird pics! More bird pics:)

  3. The photo is great. The bird is looking straight at you, wonder what it was thinking.

  4. Your awesome talent is a never ending source of inspiration

  5. Dreaming by the Pond is exquisite. I just voted. This Blue Heron has authority.

  6. You got a great shop Laura wow 😀

  7. Lovely image Laura, great focus and composition

  8. Great capture, and it sounds like you’ll have the chance for many more, right outside your own house! Very neat! I’ve spent a lot of time stalking great blue herons with my camera, but to my horror I discovered one had come to pay my tiny backyard a visit to go fishing (we have a pond with fish).

    • Wow! Did you get a picture of it? That’s amazing. By the way, a huge thank you for reblogging. :))

      • You’re welcome! No, I didn’t have a chance to grab my camera. I saw a huge bird shadow, looked out the window, and saw it standing on my fence, dwarfing my tiny backyard with its size (my pond is quite small). My first inclination would have been to scare it off to protect my fish (sadly lost one of my koi this spring), but it flew off before I could react one way or another.

        • Wow that’s really incredible. What a story. Sorry about your Koi. 😦

          • Thank you Laura. She was like an aquatic puppy…begged for food and would jump into my hand to eat. We hadn’t had problems with critters for a while before we lost her (usually it’s raccoons), and this was the first time I’d seen a heron. We currently have the pond netted to protect the other fish.

          • I’ve never heard of such a thing. That’s incredible! Sounds like a great theme for a children’s story 🙂

  9. This is perfect, Laura!!!

  10. Great shot! I use teleconverters with my 300….

    • I have posted and posted about teleconverters for my 28-300mm lens and most people have discouraged me because my 300 is not a 2.8 and the highest my aperture would open is f/8 or f/11. I’m already struggling with 5.6! What 300mm lens do you have?

      • Teles would not work on 28-300 very well. On a 300f4 Nikon many se the 1.4 Tele. I have the 2.8 (my biggest splurge) and on the a 2x at f8 and only at f8 is just spectacular (see my egrets and cormorants). My stuff is all Nikon.

        • Ahh ok…so at least I was getting accurate info. I’m now needing to get better lenses. My next is either the 17-55mm or the 105mm macro. Mine is all Nikon as well. Thank you for confirming the teleconverter.

          • The latest Nikon 105 is a very difficult lens to use. The old d model is better by a long shot. Focus limiting on the old model was restricted to the closest focus area, and on the new mid focus to infinity. It focuses fast and refocuses, forcing you to manual focus, I also find I get more spotty highlights. The d should be cheaper too.

          • oh really! Thank you so much for letting me know. I’m making a note of this.

  11. That is a fantastic shot and better yet that the Heron gave you the time to shoot it. Our herons are so skittish that if I even think of taking a shot, they’re up and way, leaving me with very unsatisfactory butt shots….. 😦

  12. PS… I tried using a teleconverter for my bald eagle shots, but found that I had a better image by cropping than using the converter.

  13. When I first escaped California and moved to Winnsboro Texas, I still had a BFF in Fremont. I shot a blue-jay (yes yes I know!–I don’t shoot birds anymore), but I shot a blue jay and sent him the feathers. Just to show him I was now a country – boy.
    Funny. The things one remembers…

  14. Heron is one of my favourite birds. Great shot Laura!! and I’ll go vote again too!

  15. The first time I tried to capture a bird with my 300 mm, it’s there that I realised that 300 mm is not so long after all. Birds are easily scared and they are difficult to approach

  16. Great capture Laura, I need to get myself a decent zoom lens to get more wildlife’s.

  17. Great shot Laura … he looks splendid. 🙂

  18. Lovely, Laura! I found Blue Herons to be a challenge…I think they know we want to photograph them!

  19. Great shot – I think he loves beeing captured 😉

  20. Nice capture. I like taking photos of animals and children although neither cooperate when you want them to. Yesterday we visited friends and I took a bucketload of photos and they are all crap. I don’t know what was going on there. The two Tween’s borrowed my camera and had a great time with it. They got better shots than I did (although they were shooting on auto). lol

    • thank you 🙂 It’s funny, I really cannot stand taking pics of people….of course I would if I had grandchildren but it just doesn’t float my boat. Now animals are a different story but you’re right…they keep moving around. Can’t they just sit still while I fix my shutter, my iso, my f/stop, my focus point, my metering…oh shoot… lol

  21. The photo came out well… now all you have to do is improve your leopard crawl abilities or your spy clandestine approach to get closer, maybe easier is to get a longer lens… I use a zoom of 28 to 720 mm saves a lot of creeping…

  22. Try a x1.4 or x2.0 teleconverter with that 300mm. That’s what I used to use when doing bird photos and didn’t have access or $$$$ for a 500+mm lens. Nice photo of the GBH. Or…find a spot close, sit in a lawn chair and wait for something to come by 🙂

    • I’ve been told by many people that the Nikon lens I have (28-300mm) doesn’t work well with a teleconverter. And yes, I’m going to have to stake out a position and wait. 🙂 There are worse things in life! 😀

  23. Beautiful bird Laura, we don’t get those here. I saw some photos of one eating a huge fish, incredible. 😀

  24. Nothing wrong with that shot Laura, he/she stands out beautifully.

  25. This is such a good bird photo, Laura. You captured the bird in focus so well, it almost looks like a statue. Love how you can see the yellow-black teeny circle of an eye too, well done. It’s never easy taking photos of birds as you never know when they’ll fly away…sadly that’s what they do when tiny me approaches with a point-and-shoot in hand 🙂 More bird photos, please.

  26. Great shot as it is. The photo is magical.
    I know blue herons. They are common in the SF Baylands where I walked regularly.
    There was one that stood guard at a ground squirrel nest-city slowly moving his head around and then suddenly sticking his long beak into the tunnels to catch baby squirrels as they tried to come out, he had found a ready made restaurant … he (she?) looked vicious. After about one half hour of this spectacle I shooed him away so he would go fish in the water, working for dinner like everyone else …

    • Thank you so much. I always try to have something unique about my photos but this one seemed sort of nondescript to me, but it’s a new thing for me so perhaps later I’ll get more creative. Funny how we all have business we need to take care of….even a GBH!

  27. You have a very nice view from your back deck. 🙂 Love the blue heron. Wonderful photo.

    • I love our new back deck Jamie. Thank you. Right now we are under a major relandscaping with a brand new deck, olive tree, etc. The whole works! I haven’t been able to sit out there for over a week now. Hopefully this project will come to an end tomorrow and we get to enjoy the fruits of our (I mean their) labor, lol.

  28. You captured the Great Blue Heron so beautifully. Amazing to be able to watch birds like that from your deck.

  29. Nice shot Laura. Out by my in-laws I always see photographers with their 600mm lenses trying to capture shots of birds. Some of them just sit in their vehicles with a huge lens hanging out the window.

    • Ohhh how I wish I had a better lens. This one is a 28-300 but the f-stop only gets to about 5.6 most of the time. I’d LOVE a longer lens and a teleconverter just doesn’t work on this lens. Too many other lenses I’d like anyway. I don’t see myself doing a huge amount of this but who knows!

      • The lens I’m looking at is the Tamron 150-600mm.

        It would be 225-900 on a DX camera. It’s got decent reviews as well. A little pricey at around $1,800 so I don’t know when I’ll get it. A bit heavy for carrying around as well. I haven’t completely decided if I really want to get it or not though since the majority of my photos involve me walking around and I don’t do a lot of photos that involve needing a zoom lens too much. But this is much more affordable than the Nikon $10k 600mm lens which I would never be able to justify with myself for the price and use I’d get out of it.

        • Yeah heaviness is an issue for me because I have this nerve damage. It’s why I went with the Nikon D7100 DX when I got a new camera. I have heard good things about that lens though…the Tamron.

  30. Your Heron is better then mine is, Laura. And I finally voted. Yay. Love, Amy

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