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Josh Levinson

Yellow-headed blackbird through the reeds

Here’s another one of my favourite species – the yellow-headed blackbird (this photo is of a male, with its distinctive yellow chest and head). These awesome little critters love to hang out among the reeds and cattails around ponds and other similar bodies of water, and spend most of their day (from what I’ve been able to observe, anyways) bandying songs back and forth between them, and chasing off other birds that encroach on their territory.

This photo was taken at the very end of the day, with just the last bits of usable light sneaking their way over the horizon as the sun was setting behind some thin clouds. This particular bird refused to come close to the edge of the area infested with cattails, so I had to undertake the rather challenging task of focusing THROUGH the cattails to get the bird as sharp as I possibly could, while keeping most of the cattails as softly focused as possible. Despite my reluctance to bother with this at first, I’m glad I persisted – I quite like the sort of painterly effect it produced in the end.

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