Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

And a bird

with 16 comments

Mockingbird on Dead Branch 1095

Surveying my activities for a while as I wandered the field at the corner of Metric Blvd. and Howard Ln. on the morning of October 9th was a mockingbird, Mimus polyglottos. A telephoto lens mocked reality and made the bird seem closer than it was.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 13, 2013 at 6:02 AM

16 Responses

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  1. Fine BOAS, Steve.

    Steve Gingold

    November 13, 2013 at 6:15 AM

    • Bird on a stalk? Or is someone going to make feather boas from the plumage of these birds?

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 13, 2013 at 6:24 AM

      • A lot of bird photographers refer to this as a “Bird on a Stick” with a smooth out of focus background and a nice perch but with nothing else. A bird portrait you might say.

        Steve Gingold

        November 13, 2013 at 7:12 AM

        • I first wrote “bird on a stick,” then changed the last word to “stalk.” Not being a bird photographer, I hadn’t heard the term, but I know how hard it can be to photograph a bird (or other animal) without getting distracting junk in the picture. I lucked out with this one.

          Steve Schwartzman

          November 13, 2013 at 7:26 AM

  2. All about Birds says this is related to our Grey Catbird. If it sings and improvises tunes, it would be nice to hear.

    Jim in IA

    November 13, 2013 at 7:35 AM

    • The improvising—or perhaps I should say repeating—of various songs is the “mocking” in “mockingbird.” This is the official state bird of Texas.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 13, 2013 at 7:43 AM

  3. It is a great BOAS, especially since the stick is so nicely color-coordinated. And it’s our state bird, no less.

    Years ago there was a mockingbird in our water-bounded neighborhood that had learned to imitate mallards. I thought my mother had gone over the edge when she told me there was a duck in the trees behind her apartment. We finally found the mockingbird, and he did have quacking as part of his song cycle. They’re amazing birds.


    November 13, 2013 at 7:36 AM

    • I noticed the color coordination with the dead branch, too, and therefore the reduced tonality of the portrait as a whole.

      I’ve heard various tunes from mockingbirds, but your duck call takes the cake, so to speak. Too bad you didn’t record it.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 13, 2013 at 7:49 AM

  4. Great bird portrait, I bet it was the perfect place for the bird to perch and survey his surroundings, Annie

    Forest So Green

    November 13, 2013 at 10:32 AM

    • The bird had a better perch than I did, Annie, but I still managed to spot plenty of things to photograph.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 13, 2013 at 1:23 PM

  5. I learn something new on your post every day!
    Beautifully captured and colour co-ordinated portrait. I have never seen a mockingbird before.
    Jude xx


    November 13, 2013 at 1:33 PM

    • Happy learning, Jude, for me as well. The mockingbird is common in Texas—in fact it’s the official state bird—and in plenty of other parts of the United States. Many people elsewhere have heard of it from the title of Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 13, 2013 at 3:57 PM

  6. Love the framing on this!
    (been catching up this morning. 😉 )


    November 23, 2013 at 11:49 AM

    • I’m glad to have you catch up. I cropped this picture to eliminate the extra sky I’d had to include because my telephoto lens couldn’t get in any closer.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 23, 2013 at 11:54 AM

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