ImageSpotlight: Painted Bunting

Painted Bunting (Male). Canon 7D | 500/4.5

Painted Bunting (Male). Canon 7D | 500/4.5

Last week, I had the opportunity to guide two photographers from Scandinavia on a private ranch in South Texas. Recent rains in the brush country left lots of standing water on the roads and due to showers earlier in the month, the brush was bursting with berries and other natural vegetation. These two factors combined to make the blinds at the ponds very slow. Quite simply, the wildlife just didn’t have the need to drink at the ponds or eat the seed in the feeders. However, even on a slow day, one never knows what photographic opportunities may arise.

On this particular afternoon, I could hear the familiar call of a painted bunting but visually, I could not locate it.  After about 15 minutes of hearing the calls and not seeing the bird, I played the song of the painted bunting on my iphone. Within minutes, this beautiful male appeared to challenge its rival and exert its dominance of the territory. Immediately, each of the photographers (myself included) laid down a barrage of rapid fire shutter activations and the result is the image you see here.

The app I used to call the bunting in is iBird Pro. To project the sound, I connected an external speaker to the iphone. I do not do a lot of this type of calling but used sparingly, it is an effective technique to call birds into your area and hopefully, onto your perch.

Until next time, good light and keep shooting. –KEVIN