Rich Ditch's Photography Blog

December 10, 2011

Verdin on Desert Broom

Filed under: Birds, comparisons, favorite places, Gilbert Water Ranch — richditch @ 4:10 pm


Nikon D300, Nikkor 300/2.8 plus TC20E (2x), ISO 400, 1/1000th second at f/8, Gitzo tripod with gimbal head

The Verdin is a common bird of the desert southwest, and its loud penetrating call makes them easy to locate. They are easy to find at the Gilbert Water Ranch, where these two images were made on December 4, 2011.

Verdins are very small – about the size of a kinglet – and very active. These features make them difficult subjects for nature photographers who work as I do without baiting or the use tapes to attract subjects. So, I spend a lot of time watching these active feeders, and a lot of time discarding bad photos of them.

This bird was one of those delightful exceptions. It limited its feeding activity to this Desert Broom shrub. In addition, it picked a spot in good light and without a lot of visual clutter. Finally, it was oblivious to me close presence on the path in front of the shrub.

I was able to take many frames of this bird as it moved around this small area. Even with so many favorable factors I ended up with a lot of cluttered shots and “almost” keepers that I had to discard. These two shots are my favorites.





  1. Rich, these images are beautiful, as I have come to expect from you. Lovely setting, light, comps and poses. I agree with you, it is a challenge to photograph small, active birds, especially for photographers like us who do not use bait or calls to bring the subject closer.

    The background color is terrific.

    Comment by Mia McPherson — December 10, 2011 @ 5:38 pm

  2. Fantastic captures Rich!

    Comment by Jeremy Medina — December 10, 2011 @ 9:36 pm

  3. Great Verdin shots! The setting is marvelous. It’s especially fun too because I took some pictures of a yellow warbler on such a bush at the Water Ranch last weekend. Just missed ya.

    Comment by Laurence Butler — December 11, 2011 @ 9:37 pm

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