Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Lotens Sunbird

Early morning today, I was photographing a Lotens Sunbird, feeding on the nectar of coconut flowers. I kept following the bird, through my camera viewfinder, Continuously photographing it. After a while I noticed a sudden change in it's plumage, as apparent in the third photograph. Two bright yellow tufts appeared on either side of its breast out of nowhere. I kept on clicking and soon managed to shoot the fourth photograph. The Upper bird is the Male Sunbird, the one that I was following and the lower one in an acrobatic position is a Female Sunbird. The Reason for the change in the male's plumage was the presence of a female around and he was obviously trying to attract her. Male Sunbirds frequently bring out these beautiful tufts from the underside of their wings, during breeding season and I consider myself lucky to photograph this sequence.
Sunbirds are very small birds, this one was may be 10 cm in length, they also are swift fliers and rarely perch at one place for long. These factors in addition to the height of the coconut tree made photographing this bird a little difficult. I was shooting on Aperture priority with widest aperture and placed the camera on a short tripod and laying low as inconspicuous as possible.
Since the Underside of a coconut tree is dark, to achieve a faster shutter speed, I clicked the photographs at ISO 200, hence slight noise is visible, when you zoom in the Photograph.

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