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PIC OF THE WEEK: 03/03/14 • PREVIOUS WEEKNEXT WEEKALL 2014 PICS

Bird Pic Of The Week

Purple Sandpiper

(Calidris maritima)

Where: Outer Banks, NC • Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge

Notes: This image was captured toward the end of an exciting day, a couple of months ago, on an excursion to find a Snowy Owl (SEE: 01/13/14) on Ocracoke Island, North Carolina. On the way back, I knew it would be hard to pass by one of my favorite birding spots on the barrier islands, the northern most end of the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge. Since all that was left of the day, was about an hour of the gentle afternoon light, there was little debate about whether or not to stop for a walk out to the point. The long hike was well worth the effort, when we found this small group of Purple Sandpipers, which get their names for the slight purple shimmer in their feathers. They were napping on the farthest boulders that protect the opening to the Oregon Inlet channel where it meets the Atlantic Ocean. Purple Sandpipers pick and forage for food on rocky coastal outcroppings. They mainly eat arthropods, mollusks, and some plant materials that adhere to the rocks along the water’s edge. With the warm light to my back, these medium sized sandpipers were in ideal lighting. The distant blue waters of the ocean adds bioth softness and temperature contrast to the background. I have images captured from several encounters with this species in the past, but they were always shot from a high steep angle on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel islands. So, it was a real treat to have these birds at a close distance and at eye level. I had to wait a little while for one of these eight inch long sandpipers to get up from its nap and move around a little to get the shot I wanted. Finally, this one hopped up onto an open rock, but posed only for a moment. I managed to click off a couple of frames before it quickly stuck its half orange beak back under its wing and lifted one leg up, as they often do. This species winters along the easters seaboard before it returns to its nesting grounds in the arctic tundra.

Small Bird Photo 1

Small Bird Photo 2

iPhotoBirds Print Purple Sandpiper (PUSA-H-4528)

Archival quality fine art print, standard size for easy framing, hand signed by the artist, with white matte, backing board and clear protective cover. Image cropping may vary slightly depending on print size.
Print Size: 5" x 7" (with 8" x 10" Matte) . . . $20.00
Print Size: 8" x 10" (with 11" x 14" Matte) . . . $40.00
Print Size: 11" x 14" (with 16" x 20" Matte) . . . $75.00

Shipping and Handling is $5.95 TOTAL PER ORDER TOTAL (US Mail), no matter how many items purchased. Virginia State sales tax applies to in state shipping addresses.

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Equipment: Canon EOS 5D Mark III • Canon 600mm f-4 Prime USM L Series Lens • Gitzo 3531LS Tripod • Wimberly Head WH-101

Exposure: Shutter Speed = 1/1250 second • Aperture = f-7.1 • Exposure Mode = Aperture Priority • Focus Mode: One Shot • Lens (Focal) Length = 600 mm • ISO = 400 • Aprox. Camera Distance = ~20 Feet • Date Shot: 01-12-14

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