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White on White

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Challenge: Free Study 2016-09 (Standard Editing)
Collection: Portfolio
Camera: Nikon D500
Lens: Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/4G ED VR
Date: Sep 18, 2016
Aperture: 8.0
ISO: 110
Shutter: 1/1600
Date Uploaded: Sep 30, 2016

This is Ghost. He first paid us a in late July. He's a banded racing pigeon. He walked onto our deck and up to us one afternoon, then started drinking from the bird bath. We grabbed the tag information via binoculars and attempted to contact the owner, but after two unsuccessful attempts and more research we found that many owners will kill wayward pigeons on return to remove them from the gene pool, so we just let him/her stick around.

After two weeks of daily visits, some lasting a couple hours, we spotted a pile of white feathers in the tree next to the deck, many of which had fallen to the ground, so we mourned the loss of our friend figuring that one of the local hawks. We posted a Facebook Obit since many of our friends had grown fond of our daily Ghost Posts, so imagine our surprise when Ghost appeared at 4 o'clock!! Shaken, and missing all but 4 tail feathers, he looked otherwise fine. We literally saw a ghost.

He still comes every day about the same time, but now the visits are short, and he's very wary of the surroundings. He flies in from one direction, sits on the peak of a neighbor's house for 10-30 minutes, moves to another neighbor's peak that allows him to scout our back yard, and then onto our deck. He stays 2 to 15 minutes and then he's off, always in the same direction. We'd been worried about his wintering our way, but just learned that someone up on the hill - the direction he flies off to - keeps racing pigeons, so we're figuring that either we read the tag wrong or Ghost has found a new place to roost and he flies in when they're let out for exercise every day. He eats enough over here that I suspect he'll either be the fastest or the slowest next time they race, but we're glad for our "pet" pigeon.

Here he is, 6 weeks after his hawk encounter, tail feathers regrown.

Place: 19 out of 97
Avg (all users): 6.2833
Avg (commenters): 7.7500
Avg (participants): 6.2609
Avg (non-participants): 6.3571
Views since voting: 290
Views during voting: 95
Votes: 60
Comments: 6
Favorites: 0

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10/08/2016 11:05:25 AM
Great story Jake to go with a great capture.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/08/2016 01:51:22 AM
oddly sweet. the story too.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
10/06/2016 11:56:19 PM
Is it real? The level of photogenic concentration in the eyes is remarquable
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/06/2016 01:32:16 AM
Very well captured
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/04/2016 01:21:42 PM
Very well exposed, showing all the details in that bird despite the white background.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/02/2016 09:04:38 PM
I really like this kind of shot and can appreciate the difficulty in getting it. Great capture!
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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