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Boat-billed Heron

Image # 1D2_04007

Carara National Park


Canon 100-400L/f4.5-5.6 IS at 400 mm

ISO 1600, f/5.6, 1/200 second

Manual Metering



The end-point for our hike at Carara is typically a small lagoon, and each time I've been there, several Boat-billed Herons are present. There were quite a few of these nocturnal birds, even with one chick in a nest (my wife got one decent shot of this). They are usually found in deep shadow, in heavy vegetation, making shooting them quite difficult both in terms of exposure and composition (just getting a clear shot!). Their large eyes and pupils make them very susceptible to red-eye from flash, and so I took a number of shots relying just on ambient light (accounting for the ISO 1600 in this shot). Typically very harmless looking, almost 'silly' appearing birds, this one, head-on, gives him a somewhat more 'menacing' appearance.