Jays Crows Ravens Nutcracker Magpies

Important Announcement

From this point forward postings will be made on the main page, but the photos will also be added to the gallery. To see the written information about the photo do a search for the number (the first number, if it is a set).

1017
Lighthouse Park – Santa Cruz, California – November 22, 2011
The crows down here are so much larger than our Northwestern Crows along Puget Sound in Washington State. I took this photo in an area of deep foliage, so I had to bump up the ISO to 1250. I could have never done this on my D80 without getting unacceptable noise. Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300 VC zoom at 300mm, ISO 1250, f/5.6, 1/160 sec

975
Santa Cruz, California – October 28, 2011
Here is a second set of 3 photos taken in the area next to our cottage. Again, I was hand holding the camera.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 410 mm, ISO 200, f/6.0, 1/1250 sec, hand held

974
Santa Cruz, California – October 28, 2011
Here is the first set of 3 photos of this species taken right next to our cottage in Santa Cruz. One of the neighbors had grown some sunflower plants, and no doubt, this attracted a couple of these birds. I was hand holding my 200-500 lens, which I don’t normally do because it is hard for me to keep steady without a tripod. Wish this lens had image stabilization control. So, the photos are not as crisp as they could have been. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 410 mm, ISO 200, f/6.0, 1/250 sec, hand held

913
UC Santa Cruz Arboretum – Santa Cruz, California – March 29, 2011
I always see a Scrub Jay or two when visiting the arboretum. This is not one of my best photos of this species, but since it was my only Scrub Jay opportunity this trip, here it is. Nikon D80, Nikon 70-300 zoom at 300mm, f/5.6, 1/200, ISO 200

848
Olympic Game Farm – Sequim, Washington – October 9, 2010There were several Ravens in the forest as we drove through the Olympic Game Farm. Here is one I got close enough to photograph out the car window.

827
UC Santa Cruz Arboretum – Santa Cruz, California – March 31, 2009
This is the fourth and final set of Western Scrub Jays.

826
UC Santa Cruz Arboretum – Santa Cruz, California – March 31, 2009
This is set 3. These birds were oblivious to my presence. The processing of these photos can be very frustrating. If a photo is too light, I can add darkening to it using Photoshop software. However, I’m finding that, even though the Photoshop file is just right, when I save the photo in jpg format the photo can sometimes lighten to the point of looking a bit washed out. Do you find that problem, Shawn? Anyone else?

825
UC Santa Cruz Arboretum – Santa Cruz, California – March 31, 2009
Here is set two.

824
UC Santa Cruz Arboretum – Santa Cruz, California – March 31, 2009
I think I first saw this species of jay on a trip down to California. I tried so hard to get photos that year, but just couldn’t get close enough. Well, I’ve visited the Arboretum spring 2008 and spring 2009 and have not been disappointed. The birds seem to be a little more people friendly.
I occasionally see this bird up in Washington State, and from my reading it appears this species is widening its usual range of habitation. Now if the Blue Jay would get out this far from the east we’d have 3 different jay species. I had several opportunities this trip, so I will be posting a lot of Scrub Jay photos. Here is the first set.

706
UC Santa Cruz Arboretum – California – April 3, 2008
Here is a second set of Scrub Jay photos. This particular bird had found some human hair and I suspect wanted to use it for a nest.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom

705
UC Santa Cruz Aboretum – California – April 3, 2008
On my trips to California I start seeing these birds in Oregon or Southern Washington. I’ve seen passing glimpses of this species in south Puget Sound, but rarely. I have not had good luck in photographing the bird, but the arboretum at the University of California Santa Cruz proved to be a great location. I was fortunate enough to get some great photos.
Nikon D80 with Tamron 200-500 zoom

675
Theler Wetlands – Belfair, Washington – March 22, 2008
These two photos aren’t very good, but they remind me of the action. This crow had either caught or found a critter and was taking it to a secret hiding place in the grass. I watched him cover it up. After doing so, he noticed me watching and gave me a stern warning not to tell anyone about the hidden booty. Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

619
Carmel, Maine – December 23, 2007
I only got three photos of a Blue Jay today. I’m happy, though. I think I finally got some pretty good shots of
this beautiful bird.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 420mm, 1/100 sec, f/6.0, ISO 400, Manfrotto tripod – photos taken through the dining room window

611
Carmel, Maine – December 22, 2007
These are the Blue Jay photos for the day.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 320mm, 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 400, Manfrotto tripod – photos taken through the dining room window

598
Carmel, Maine – December 20, 2007
This photo has been doctored. I cloned out the railing in Photoshop. The other photo shows the original shot. What do you think?
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 240mm, 1/125 sec, ISO 400, f/5.6, Manfrotto tripod – photos taken through the dining room window

597
Carmel, Maine – December 20, 2007
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 300mm, 1/800 sec, ISO 400, f/5.6, Manfrotto tripod – photos taken through the dining room window

596
Carmel, Maine – December 20, 2007
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 240mm, 1/125 sec, ISO 400, f/5.6, Manfrotto tripod – photos taken through the dining room window

595
Carmel, Maine – December 20, 2007
Here is the second set of Blue Jay photos. I have three more sets. The next two are similar, with the bird on the back porch railing or posts. My son-in-law put sunflower seed on the railing to attract the birds in close so I could get some good photos. It worked.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 290mm, 1/50 sec, ISO 400, f/5.6, Manfrotto tripod – photos taken through the dining room window

594
Carmel, Maine – December 20, 2007
I’ve wanted some good photos of a Blue Jay for a couple years now. When it rains it pours. I have several sets of photos to show you. This first set shows Blue Jays in the snow under the feeders. It was snowing pretty hard most of the day.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 410mm, 1/640 sec, ISO 400, f/6.0, Manfrotto tripod – photos taken through the dining room window

564
Theler Wetlands – Belfair, Washington – October 21, 2007
Crows are always difficult to photograph. It is hard to get good definition with an all-black subject. I did another ISO experiment with this bird. This photo is at ISO 50. The other 3 shots are at ISO 400. Even though I’m digiscoping, this bird was not far away from me.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30 x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod 1/210 sec, f3.1, ISO 50

535
Elkhorn Slough National Wildlife Refuge – California – July 14, 2007
I tried to get a photo of this species last spring, but I never could get very close to the bird. These two photos are better than last spring, but still not the greatest. One of these days! Notice the worm in the bird’s beak.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500 mm, 1/320 sec, Manfrotto tripod

437
Titlow Beach Park – April 29, 2007
There is a small stream entering the north pond at Titlow. It really draws the birds who want a nice cool drink of water. This crow is drinking right at the mouth of the stream. Without a tripod it would be impossible to get this shot in such low light.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, 1/40 sec, Manfrotto tripod

430
Vaughn Bay, Washington – April 22, 2007
A crow is a rather challenging bird to photograph. If the lighting isn’t right you just get a black blob. I photograph crows if they are in a good position and fairly close. Most of the time I throw away the photograph. The light is good enough in this shot to make this one a keeper.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, 1/60 sec, Manfrotto tripod or handheld

355
Natural Bridges State Park – Santa Cruz, California – April 2, 2007
This is a terrible photo, but as you know by now I save certain shots for documentation purposes. We have Steller Jays up in WA, and I saw Blue Jays in Maine, & I really wanted to get a good photo of this bird. Luck isn’t always on your side. The bird was just too far away.
Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 500mm, 1/100 sec, Manfrotto tripod

244
Carmel, Maine – December 28, 2006
This is my last day in Maine. I wanted soooo much to get photos of Blue Jays and Northern Cardinals. It just didn’t happen for me. I never did get a cardinal photo worth keeping and most of my Blue Jay photos were blurry. This isn’t the best shot, with a branch in the way, but at least it has fairly good focus. I’m keeping this one and hope I have more chances next Christmas.
Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, Manfrotto tripod

236
Carmel, Maine – December 26, 2006
What do you do when you take a photo of a Raven and it is too far away, and the light is too low, and the photo is blurry?
Answer – turn it into art using Photoshop.

197
Vaughn Bay, Washington – November 28, 2006
Many of the birds that visit my backyard feeders fly into my neighbor’s bushes to check out the situation in my yard. This Steller’s Jay is about ready to fly down to my feeder stump. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 390mm, Manfrotto tripod

196
Vaughn Bay, Washington – November 28, 2006
This Steller’s Jay is enjoying a morning snack at my feeding stump. Nikon D80, Tamron 200-500 zoom at 400mm, Manfrotto tripod

106
Vaughn Bay, Washington – October 1, 2006

101
Vaughn Bay, Washington – October 22, 2006
The Steller’s Jay can be a bit of a bully in the backyard – scaring off the smaller birds. I welcome them in my backyard, and so far I have been able to prevent problems with the small birds by feeding a variety of foods in several locations.

011
Vaughn Bay, Washington – September 17, 2006
I think there are more crows in my area than anywhere in the state – especially during summer. The Northwestern Crow is supposedly a variation from the American Crow and just a bit smaller. Other than that, I don’t know how to tell the difference. To me, if it’s a crow and it’s in the Northwest, it must be a Northwestern Crow. Right? I guess I’m not much of a scientist.
I’ve watched the Vaughn Bay crows for about 10 years. It is interesting how they have learned from the Gulls. The Gulls pick up a clam at low tide and fly up 20-30 feet and drop the clam on the rocky beach to crack the shell. I often see the crows mimicking this feeding behavior. Crows can be sneaky little devils. They sometimes wait for a gull to drop a clam and then swoop in to grab it before the gull settles back to the beach – like birds on food stamps! Nikon P4, Nikon Fieldscope 82mm ED, 30x WA eyepiece, tripod