5DSr Indigo Bunting

Bombay Hook DE, Canon 5DSr, Indigo Buntings

Bombay Hook Delaware is becoming my new favorite place to drive my new Canon 5DSr.  Edwin Forsythe, near Atlantic City, is under repair from hurricane Sandy so I’ve been heading down to my alternate nature reserve where I just love using my new Canon 5DSr.

So one afternoon, I pull in and find Bombay Hook is mostly closed for repairs!  Shoooooo it.   The areas closed off were my favorite salt marshes loaded with shore birds, eagles, and friendly Birder Brains who always give me tips on where to find something cool.  Now I am forced to drive over boring sandy roads through dense brush and trees and…. wow… these areas are loaded with cool birds!  I never gave these areas much thought.  It turned out my bad luck was about to pay big bonuses.

Indigo Buntings

As I would browse my bird identification books, beautifully colored specimens would jump off the pages and taunt me.  Darned if I ever saw these gorgeous things let alone get a camera lens on one.  But here in Bombay Hook, occasionally, I would see a blue streak dart through dense cover.  I was told by a veteran Birder Brain I met there they were Indigo Buntings.  Neat… these are one the colorful birds I never thought I would see.  Well, here in Bombay Hook, they are pretty much everywhere!  Now, how do I get a snap of one?

Actually, it is quite simple.  Drive around until you see one flick by, then park your car near there and simply wait.  Yep…. time and tenacity will pay the big dividends.  I shoot from my car with my window raised a few inches and toss a beanbag neck-pillow over the glass.  Then I plop my big 500mm log out the window and let fly with it.  Ibuprofen also helps as sitting this way for literally 45 minutes will create havoc with my spine and legs but you have to be willing to accept pain for this gain.  Photography ain’t for sissies.

You have to plan your shot as you must shut your car off.  The engine vibrations wreck any chance of a clear picture.  So, you have to first find where the birds are and ensure the sun is to your back or near side.  The birds will be inside the brush so you must position yourself for maximum light penetration.  Getting good penetration is what makes for a satisfying afternoon.  Now just wait……… and wait……. and wait….. YIKES! THEREISONEAIMFIRESHOOTCUSSCRAPAGAINAGAIN….GONE …. now calm down and wait and wait and wait.


I am amazed at how little processing I need to get great results.  I always shoot RAW, and process in LightRoom.  Then I use the Canon “Faithful” profile to get color accuracy.  These birds are so richly colored, they look over-saturated with the camera default of “Standard”.  Yes, I actually dialed out color from the camera defaults to get a good looking bird blue.  Yepper, the birds were really this blue.  Cool eh?

Other Stuff

I threw in a few other pics of birds and butterflies I shot down there in years past.  They were all shot with my Canon 5D MK II.

The Equipment:

  • Canon 5DSr
  • Canon 500mm L f/4.0 IS
  • Beanbag Pillow

Location Types: Nature Reserve. Galleries: Birding, Birds, Field Guide, and Indigo Buntings. Tags: 500mm and 5DSr.

2 Responses to “5DSr Indigo Bunting”

  1. Annette November 14, 2016 4:06 pm #

    Wow! Just Beautiful!

  2. Stan Delles March 24, 2017 1:46 pm #

    I hope to see an Indigo bunting one day. Good work.the closest thing to this bird in my neck of the woods is the Mountain Bluebird.

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