Gray-cowled Wood-Rail

Ground dwelling birds (or “to be young again”)

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This is a Gray-necked Wood Rail (now known as a Gray-cowled Wood Rail), a fairly common bird of the subtropics. While it can fly, it prefers to spend its time on the ground in the heavy undergrowth of second-growth forests. IMO the key to getting good shots of this bird is to shoot from a very low perspective. In other words, laying on the ground with the camera no more that a foot or two above the ground. While tilting screens, etc, of modern cameras have made that easier, none the less, I often wish I was younger so I could get down (and more importantly back up) easier. This shot was taken in Peru in an area where a large tree had toppled over creating a clearing that allowed second growth to take place. There were a number of ground birds that visited this area early each morning to look for worms that were on the surface with the morning dew. Shot with a Canon R5, 600 mm +1.4 extender, at a range of about 30-40′, ISO 5000, SS 1/250 and f/5.6.

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Mike Warner
Admin

I agree – the perspective from the ground does really contribute to the excellence of the picture. I also agree it’s hard to get back up!

I appreciate all the info about the habitat of the bird, tool

I’ve been thinking about a mirrorless – how do you like your R5? in particular, does it help avoid noise in low-light situations. I have a D7 and am constantly fighting noise at ISO 400 and higher.

Mike Warner
Admin

Thanks for the recommendation. I may come back and ask more questions about the R5 vs R6.

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