Looking at my recent images not yet posted in this blog the White-crowned Sparrow stands out for its abundance. They are an abundant species here in winter in central AZ, and I like their varying shades of brown and tan and how they fit into the environment. And I suppose there is still a bit of eastern birder perspective involved – this common western species only occurs in small numbers back in NJ where I “learned my birds” many years ago.
Having so many of these birds wintering around Phoenix gives me lots of opportunities to take photos. When I do I try to get as much variety in my shots as possible. There’s the obvious differences of immatures (top image) from adults (second image): the immatures have tan stripes on the head while the adults have the bold black-and-white markings that give the species its name.
Another variable is how tight I frame the bird: very tight to show maximum detail (third image), or smalll in frame to play with the setting (Second image).
It is also possible to get variety from a single bird just by sticking with it as it changes position (compare the third and fourth images).
Spend enough time with common birds and you might just get an uncommon image!
All images taken at the Gilbert Water Ranch with a Nikon D300, Nikkor 300/2.8 AF-S lens and TC20E iii (2x) mounted on a Gitzo tripod with ball head and gimbal mount. The first two images were taken on February 2, 2012 using ISO 400; the other three images were taken on December 27, 2011 at ISO 800.