Little Brown Birds?

As I struggle with identifying species, I’ve learned that some bird photographers occasionally resort a catch-all term  — LBBs or “Little Brown Birds.” To a novice like me, most tiny birds look like LLBs when viewed from a distance and against a bright background like the sky. However, I’ve also learned that there might be surprises revealed in telephoto shots of little brown birds.

Often birds are so small and far away that they can appear to be indistinguishable from one another, even when viewed with the telephoto through the camera’s small viewfinder. Later, at the computer and enlarged, images can look a lot more interesting.

For example, this morning’s photo stroll through a local park proved rewarding

Above is a male Eastern Bluebird. At the distance I was standing, this guy looked totally brown and very ordinary. I’ve never been able to get very close to one but a telephoto/camera combo like the Nikon V3 and 100-300mm lens reveals just how brilliantly colored it really is. (To learn more about my take on the Nikon V3 and 100-300mm lens, click on this link  — “For the Birds”).

Nearby was another LLB with a surprising splash of blue on its wings. It’s probably a juvenile Eastern Bluebird.

Above is the first image I’ve ever captured of a Barn Swallow. Usually they’re darting around the park at lightning speed and difficult to photograph but this one was sitting among several other little birds.

This Chipping Sparrow is perched on a soccer net. Note the orange toupee.