Ruffled Feathers

We have been watching a lot of birds lately in our house.  We set up a couple of bird feeders, one in the front yard and one in the back off the deck.  With the one in the back, we can sit in our room off the kitchen and watch the birds just a few feet away.  On this particular day, a Mourning Dove sat preening for me just waiting to have a picture taken.  I had time to run downstairs, grab my camera and longest lens I had, and come back upstairs.  All the while, the bird waited for me.

Most of the time, we see these birds with their features neatly folded (as in the picture below on the left), but for some reason, the bird got "ruffled" and the feathers opened up.  I like the shot because this is not how we normally see these birds.  Read the link above to find how the name Mourning came about, it has to do with the call of the bird. And yes, they are also known as Turtle Doves.

I hope to get lots more bird pictures in the next month or so.  The best time I have found is in the morning when they come out to feed.  It should be warm enough to sit outside and light enough for me to spend a bit of time waiting and snapping.  Patience is key in getting good bird pictures, I have found.

I took this shot with my 300mm lens, the aperture was 5.6, the shutter speed was 1/250 seconds, and the ISO was 250. 

Here are a couple more pictures, one as we normally see them, one with its head poking in its feathers.