By Rex Graham
Several newly uploaded YouTube bird videos caught my attention as examples of how bird photographers overcome difficult situations, plan ahead for a perfect shot, or take advantage of a photographic opportunity to tell a story.
Weaving a bird nest
A new video of a Masked Weaverbird constructing a nest was shot in short snippets while a weaverbird built its hanging home. This video demonstrates good planning and the end result is a video story that demonstrates a complex behavior.
Malard hen’s valiant survival standoff
Another amateur videographer was simply filming a female Mallard crossing a paved street with her ducklings, when an American Crow (Corvus Linnaeus) transformed the tranquil scene into a tense squawking standoff. Mallard chicks have less than a 50:50 chance of surviving to adulthood, and these fortunate ones demonstrate why it’s tough to be a duckling.
Kestrel hiding on cliff
British videographer Paul Dinning was visiting Mutton Cove at Godrevy Point in Cornwall, U.K., on August 16, 2013, hoping to photograph seals. Within seconds of arriving at a cliff edge, Dinning spotted a juvenile Common Kestrel about 20 meters (60 feet) away.
“Amazingly, there were about 20 people looking over the cliffs at the cove below, hoping to see seals and totally oblivious to the little kestrel so close to them,” Dinning said in an email. “I quickly unclicked the camera from the tripod, laid down, leaned slightly over the cliff and pressed ‘record.’ I was very lucky to get a couple of minutes of footage before the kestrel flew off.”
Dinning uses a Panasonic HC V700 camcorder with image stabilization and zoom capabilities as well as Corel Videostudio Pro x5 video-editing software.