Friday, September 28, 2012

Lapland Longspur

This blog is a cautionary tale about bird photos. Leaving Hawk Ridge last Sunday, Gerry Hoekstra and I discovered a cooperative Lapland Longspur at Park Point, Duluth. We took the first two photographs at the same time and of the same individual bird--the first photo was taken by Gerry, the second is mine. We use different cameras, lenses, and camera settings. We also manipulate our photos differently with different software. I tend to overwork my photos a bit. The casual observer would hardly recognize these two birds as the same species, much less the same individual. This variation is one reason I am not a big fan of identification books containing photos rather than painted portraits.
The second set of photos also show the differences in our work. The third photo is by Gerry, and fourth is by me. I am not sure about the "reality" of these photos--I do not remember which of our photos is a more accurate longpsur representation. I have previously blogged on Lapland Longspurs. This bird was one of a flock of about 20 in the grass at the picnic area near the airport at Park Point.

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