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Papa Can You Feed Me?!
Papa Can You Feed Me?!

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Free Study 2020-06 (Standard Editing)
Collection: Portfolio
Camera: Nikon D500
Date: Jun 20, 2020
Aperture: 7.1
ISO: 1100
Shutter: 1/500
Date Uploaded: Jun 29, 2020

We've been watching a pair of Northern Flickers at this hole since late April. It's in a tree just off the back of our property (the top of it fell onto our shed 5 years ago). It's been a joy watching them tend to the nesting cavity and for the nestlings to finally climb to the opening of the hole. We had 6 nestlings who fledged over the course of 2 days, and for as much time as we spent staring at that hole we managed to miss capturing any of their first flights (though I did see one just as I looked back after talking to a neighbor).

I've taken no fewer than 20,000 images of this hole in the tree from April 29 thru June 21, and it was no small task to get through them to pick keepers, let alone pick a single one for Free Study. And then to decide if this is better than a shot of a pair of Bluebirds I got earlier in the month. So here it is. I hope you like them.


Wow, I can't recall the last time I posted something that didn't get a 4 or below. Glad the voters liked it.

Yes, over 20K images. In order to get these and not disturb the routine I set up the camera on a tripod with a remote trigger which I fired from the deck while looking through binoculars or a spotting scope. I had the camera set to fire 7 fps, and occasionally an accidental triggering would fire off 200 shots of an empty hole before the D500 reset. Itís amazing how much can change in the 0.2 sec between frames.

I chose this one mainly for the visual impact and the bit of color, and because it wasn't a vertical crop (the voting presentation here does such a disservice to those). From other angles the background was another tree and while I liked the capture more I found it easier to just glance over. I seriously overthought the selection process this month. Iím still trying to find the time to put together a blog post about the entire process. One of these days.

Here are the ones I didnít submitÖ

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And here are the bluebirds I decided not to submit...

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Place: 4 out of 73
Avg (all users): 6.8723
Avg (participants): 6.9189
Avg (non-participants): 6.7000
Views since voting: 437
Views during voting: 94
Votes: 47
Comments: 10
Favorites: 1 (view)

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02/17/2021 08:29:04 AM
So much patience to get these images. Can't imagine how much time it must have taken. Kudos.
02/16/2021 11:16:24 PM
I can't believe it finished 4th! It's amazing!
12/23/2020 03:57:19 PM
another stunning bird photo ..
and congratulations on the great place in the challenge ..
once again i'm loving your dof ..
and the 20,000 .. i thought i took a heap .. but 20,000 is up there ..
also on my mirrorless camera it has an excellent option called pro/capture .. which means you focus on a spot pressing the shutter half way down .. and when a moment happens that you want to capture and click the shutter it records 30 frames BEFORE you hit the shutter button .. you can select how many frames you want to record as well .. its amazing ..
what isnt amazing is going thru the photos after .. so many .. and with the tiniest differences .. so you have to look at each one carefully because in one an eye might be in focus and in another one taken 15 frames after it might be out of focus .. the things we do . eh . !! .. ;)
07/14/2020 02:29:07 PM
I love all the outtakes, too. What a wonderful process to watch and capture.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/08/2020 03:12:49 PM
It was definitely worth taking so many photos even if this had been the only keeper as this is something special. What a treat to have something like this on your doorstep - all I have is loads of flies and bees:)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/08/2020 09:19:20 AM
These are all wonderful Jake! I especially like the one with the three with heads out the hole and the one with the fly, that one cracked me up.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/08/2020 02:19:24 AM
I loved their coats, amazing! And I can't believe you've taken 20,000 images of this hole, in a few months - that's dedication and not to mention nice wear on your shutter count ;/
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
07/07/2020 09:15:27 AM
Looks as if you caught a domestic dispute.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/06/2020 12:04:01 PM
Just perfect. Great scene, timing, sharpness, colors, composition.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/01/2020 12:47:46 PM
Great capture!
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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