Red-bellied Woodpecker -----------

Winter is back here in eastern Iowa since a couple days. Time to put the best reflector nature provides for us to work. Yep, I’m talking about the fresh snow on the ground. The quality of light becomes very good for bird photography as soon a little sun hits the snow. The reflection from underneath the bird, even if they sit a little higher in a tree, makes the big difference to any other time of the year. In addition I’m testing a new flash extender that made it into my bag of tools. I’m not ready to talk about it today but might be soon. My flash extender of choice was the Better Beamer for many years (click HERE to see how it looks like). So why throwing more light at the subject if the overall conditions are sufficient? “Tree hugging” birds like this young male Red-bellied Woodpecker like to stay quite often on the shady side of the tree. I still can expose halfway correctly but a little hint of flash (and I mean a little hint) will reveal the beauty of all the colors in its feathers.

This is the tree I call “Woodpecker-Tree #1” in our front yard. A suet feeder is nearby and this tree is quite often the starting point for the birds approaching this feeder. The Red-bellied Woodpecker seemed to be in some competition today about the best spot with another woodpecker, a Northern Flicker. As you can see, it was all about display. Catching the colors and gesture was important to me to tell the story with my photo.