Male Northern Cardinal ------------

There is one bird I really wanted to make of some new photos this winter but had no opportunity until now. This changed today when we got some fresh snow fall and a conclave of Northern Cardinals occupied the elm tree in our backyard. Usually they show up not much before sunset and this is of course not a good time for aiming a lens at them. I just read that cardinals can live up to 15 years in the wild and now I wonder if there is any of them still alive who was already here when we moved in our house…

Female Northern Cardinal

Because the birds never sat in the same spot for more than 1-2 seconds I decided to shoot not in “sniper mode”, one shot at a time with the flash light and flash extender for better color rendition. I usually do that if we have an overcast but the snow reflected enough light to get some color and keep exposure between 1/100 s and 1/400 s. It is more difficult to shoot the long exposure but it renders a nicer background and the snow flakes look like trails as you can see in the photo of the female cardinal.