Ring-necked pheasant. Lanny McDowell

Thursday, October 27, 2022

October is the peak migration season, as birds fly south on clear, cool, and calm nights.

Report bird sightings to birds@mvgazette.com, and follow all the avian activity through our Bird News column.

Comments (2)

Peter Jones, Edgartown
The red feathers and beaks in the photos above seem really much much brighter than the red on the birds I am seeing on the Vineyard. Are these migrating subspecies that have brighter red due to diet, or is the photographer turning up saturation for effect?
October 7, 2022 - 7:48am
Lanny McDowell, Vineyard Haven
Hi, Peter. I am the photographer of the pictures that got your attention. I rarely see comments here. Yours is a good one. No saturation or color enhancement has been added to the two photos that have bright red features. Not that I would never do that, but I rarely ever feel the need. Sunlight seems to do the trick most of the time. Consider the lighting for these two images. The surf scoter's nostril hole is open all the way across the bill. The backlight in this shot is emerging through a section of the bill that is naturally brighter than you probably would expect. The epaulets of the red-winged blackbird are naturally a very bright scarlet, and they are prominently displayed by this bird in very strong direct sunlight. An easy way to check to see if aspects of bird photos like these deviate from the norm is to Google the species, as in "surf scoter images", and you will have your answer.
October 10, 2022 - 4:04pm


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