Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Osprey grabs a fish at Sto. Tomas

This migratory raptor, whose wingspan exceeds four feet, feeds exclusively on fish. Its diving routine to catch its regular meal is one of nature's awesome spectacles.
 
I was privileged to witness this fishing raptor get its prey at the vast fishponds of Sto. Tomas recently. The bird closes its nictitating membrane (a semi-transparent secondary eyelid) at the point of impact to protect its eyes from damage. When this image was taken a split second after the grab, the nictitating membrane was still unretracted.
 
Again, I'm impressed by the amazingly quick AF of  my new BIF rig (7D MII + 400 f/4 DO IS II + 1.4x TC II). My reaction time to acquiring and tracking the diving hunter was delayed, but the combo was quick enough to compensate for the shooter's slowness. It managed to lock in almost instantly to capture this first frame of a short burst.
 
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Osprey (Pandion haliaetus, migrant)

Habitat - Associated with water both along coast and inland. 
 
Shooting Info - Sto. Tomas, La Union, Philippines, December 9, 2015, EOS 7D MII + EF 400 DO IS II + EF 1.4x TC III,
560 mm, f/7.1, 1/2000 sec, ISO 320, manual exposure in available light, hand held, major crop resized to 800 x 533.
 
 

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