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Thread: Hunt for the Florida Scrub Jay

  1. #1
    jprzybyla's Avatar
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    Hunt for the Florida Scrub Jay

    Today my wife and I drove to Merrit Island National Wildlife Refuge to photograph the Florida Scrub Jay. This bird is the most endangered in Florida because of loss of habitat, note the band on each leg used to study it and keep track of the population. It lives in scrub areas of oak that are no higher than ten feet, gnarly, thick, dense. We saw five but were only able to photograph one. When it did move from the thicket to the open side of the bush, its head was covered by a leaf. It moved and faced us, I got off two frames and then it flew away. Below are posted the images. C&C welcomed and appreciated. Thank you for viewing.

    #1

    Hunt for the Florida Scrub Jay

    #2

    Hunt for the Florida Scrub Jay

    #3

    Hunt for the Florida Scrub Jay

  2. #2

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    Re: Hunt for the Florida Scrub Jay

    It's like the Jay is looking right at you in #2.

    Considering the difficulties you encountered trying to photograph it, you pulled it off fantastically. What a beautiful blue color this Jay is.

    Serge

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    Connie Keyes

    Re: Hunt for the Florida Scrub Jay

    Great shot with the berry in his mouth. The first one looks like he is deliberately hiding, if he can't see you, you can't see him. We have quite a few scrub jays in the NW, but I am not sure they are as brightly colored, more gray.

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    jeeperman's Avatar
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    Re: Hunt for the Florida Scrub Jay

    Joe, that is surley a great color blue. Our Stellar Jays are close but not quite as vibrant. I do like the second best. I think the only real issue here was the harsh lighting. Not like you could snap your fingers and get some cloud cover, I wish it were that easy. lol

  5. #5
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    Re: Hunt for the Florida Scrub Jay

    Hope you don't mind Joe, I thought I would give #2 a quick and dirty edit to see if I could reduce the harshness of the light some. Here is what I got useing such a small image. I think I could have done better with the raw. I brought exposure down a half stop, the highlights down slightly and then brought up the shadow detail slightly and added ever so slightly contrast just to bring back any I had lost in the other processes.

    Hunt for the Florida Scrub Jay
    Last edited by jeeperman; 19th October 2012 at 03:49 AM.

  6. #6

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    Re: Hunt for the Florida Scrub Jay

    Great captures. #2 excellent pose, excellent catch.

    Is that a band on his right leg? Have never seen one with one.

  7. #7
    jprzybyla's Avatar
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    Re: Hunt for the Florida Scrub Jay

    Quote Originally Posted by unmerited View Post
    It's like the Jay is looking right at you in #2.

    Considering the difficulties you encountered trying to photograph it, you pulled it off fantastically. What a beautiful blue color this Jay is.

    Serge
    Hello Serge, thank you for viewing and commenting. I wholeheartedly agree that this Jay is beautifully colored.

  8. #8
    jprzybyla's Avatar
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    Re: Hunt for the Florida Scrub Jay

    Quote Originally Posted by CLK View Post
    Great shot with the berry in his mouth. The first one looks like he is deliberately hiding, if he can't see you, you can't see him. We have quite a few scrub jays in the NW, but I am not sure they are as brightly colored, more gray.
    Hello Connie, thank you for viewing and commenting. In the first image the beak is shielded by a leaf as it is picking a small acorn that the scrub oak grows. This species of scrub jay is only found in Florida and very endangered of disappearing.

  9. #9
    jprzybyla's Avatar
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    Re: Hunt for the Florida Scrub Jay

    Quote Originally Posted by jeeperman View Post
    Joe, that is surley a great color blue. Our Stellar Jays are close but not quite as vibrant. I do like the second best. I think the only real issue here was the harsh lighting. Not like you could snap your fingers and get some cloud cover, I wish it were that easy. lol
    Hello Paul, thank you for viewing and commenting. Regarding the lighting, the images were taken close to noontime and in Florida that means very harsh light. I waited for a couple hours watching them in the bushes and in the distance before one appeared in a realatively open space. As you know in nature photography we take what we can get and make the best of it. I like you edit of a closer crop and you have pointed me in the direction needed to improve the images. The images posted were just a quick and dirty processing to be able to post them for others to see such an endangered bird. There are less than 1000 breeding pairs in Florida, the only place this species is found. They require a specific habitat which is disappearing with developement, so they are found in isolated islands of habitat.

  10. #10
    jprzybyla's Avatar
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    Re: Hunt for the Florida Scrub Jay

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobobird View Post
    Great captures. #2 excellent pose, excellent catch.

    Is that a band on his right leg? Have never seen one with one.
    Hello Bobo, thank you for viewing and commenting. Yes it is a leg band, actually both legs are banded. This bird is so endangered that the population is watched very closely. This species is only in Florida and only in isolated islands of suitable scrub habitat, not the acorn in it's beak from the Scrub Oak tree.

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