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Montezuma Oropendola in Flight

Image # 1D2_06557

Arenal Observatory Lodge


Canon 600L/f4 IS

ISO 320, f/4, 1/1600 second

Manual Exposure

Gitzo 1329/Arca Swiss B1/Wimberley Sidekick

It has long been a goal of mine to get some decent flight shots of this incredibly beautiful species, with its golden yellow tail (the source of its name).  I like to shoot behind the Smithsonian building on the grounds at the Arenal Observatory Lodge, as there are usually many interesting birds to shoot.  This particular afternoon, I went first to shoot the Common Pauraque elsewhere on the grounds, but returned to the Smithsonian building, as I had previously noted a lot of Oropendola activity, as they were flying back and forth building their nests.  This afternoon and the next, I took quite a few shots trying to get the 'perfect' one.  I was fortunate to have some nice blue skies, and decent light behind me, providing very nice shooting conditions.  You can see the large collection of nesting material in its beaks.  I have other shots where they were carrying bugs or other food for their young.