Belted KingfisherWith apologies to Kevin Costner and the creators of the movie, Field of Dreams, I have modified the phrase “Build it and they will come.” to “Place it and they will come” and by “it” I’m referring to a convenient perch for a bird.
In this case, I had often seen and heard Belted Kingfishers at a nearby marsh. But they were usually perched far out in the water (Where there were perches!). Not great for photos. Plus, Kingfishers are one of the most spooky of all birds…Meaning they fly at the first sight of a human. So I found a spot on the edge of the marsh where I could get a clear view of the water. I found a good looking perch in my woods at home, hauled it to the spot and stuck it in the mud. I set up my pop-up blind about 20 yards away and waited….But I didn’t have to wait very long as a Belted Kingfisher found the perch within 15 minutes!

SHOOTING WITH SPARKY: PLACE IT AND THEY WILL COME. Join Sparky in the field as he shoots Belted Kingfishers.
Note the series of photos where the Kingfisher misses the perch and makes an amazing recovery!

Belted Kingfisher Kimmes-Tobin Wetlands Douglas Co WI IMG_5801I froze the second she landed ….I did not want to spook her…so I waited until she was relaxed and fishing. Then I started shooting. My leg fell asleep and my neck got stiff from trying to remain motionless in the blind.

Belted Kingfisher Kimmes-Tobin Wetlands Douglas Co WI IMG_5809

Belted Kingfisher Kimmes-Tobin Wetlands Douglas Co WI IMG_5828I knew it was a female because of her orange breast band…Females are actually more colorful than the males…Rare in the bird world!

Belted Kingfisher Kimmes-Tobin Wetlands Douglas Co WI IMG_5851

Belted Kingfisher Kimmes-Tobin Wetlands Douglas Co WI IMG_5852
[All shot with Canon 7D and Canon 400mm f5.6. Aperture-priority f5.6 and ISO 320 so shutter speed would be 1/1600 or 1/2000 and I could freeze any action]
[Wide angle video shot with Canon 7D and Sigma 10-20mm lens]

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