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Steller's Jay - persistence payed off!

Posted by Liron on Thursday, August 15, 2013
When I saw a post by Alfredo Fernandez on photographing Steller's Jays, I was really inspired, but because I didn't have Steller's Jays in my yard, I couldn't do the setup.

That changed when I saw a jay feeding on the hazelnuts from a tree in my yard. I put together a setup, but the jays didn't come to it. I put out a platform with peanuts, and the jays started visiting it once a week or so. But then I realized that the jays were going wherever the most nuts were, so I put just a few peanuts on the platform and clumped about twenty nuts at the bottom of the perch (out of site in the frame), and they began coming. Soon they were coming to my yard more often (two or three times a week). The problem was, they wouldn't come to the perch often, and whenever I was ready to shoot they never seemed to want to come onto the perch. But late this afternoon, I managed to get some nice shots of a jay on the perch, and I am very happy! A few weeks of persistence payed off! The Steller's Jay has been a nemesis of mine when it came to photography, but now I've got some shots I'm happy with!

This doesn't mean I'm going to stop trying! These shots can be improved... I'll try decorating the perch a bit (adding leaves) next time. And this time I was using a slow shutter speed (it was fairly dark) so most of the photos were blurred. But I'll definitely take these shots!

This is not just a cool bird to photograph, but it is a very fun bird to watch as it hops around in the branches and on the ground and as it flies from tree to tree.



Thanks for looking!




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