Selection of Philippine avian wildlife all captured in habitat, plus nature and miscellaneous images.

Posts tagged “400 5.6l

Yellow-vented Bulbul in flight

Next to the Eurasian Tree Sparrow, the Yellow-vented Bulbul is the most common bird in the Philippines. It is found almost everywhere, even in highly urbanized areas. Its varied diet of fruits, insects and small invertebrates helps it to thrive well in most places. At 7.5 inches total length, it is a medium small bird.

I have been trying for quite a long time to get this bird in flight with a non-sky background, but its unpredictable and erratic flight pattern make this a very tough task. Lady Luck smiled at me a few days ago when I finally caught it in low flight, courtesy of the fastest handheld BIF combo on the planet – the 1D MIV + 400 5.6 L. 🙂 

Shooting Info - Paranaque City, Philippines, May 2, 2011, Canon 1D MIV + EF 400 5.6L, 1/1600 sec, f/7.1, ISO 400, manual exposure in available light, hand held.

Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier, resident)
Habitat: Common in gardens, urban areas and grasslands but not in mature forests.

Some video footage of this common bird.


Philippine Serpent-Eagle


I’ve spent a small fortune on birding gear, but the most published image I ever snapped was taken with a cheapo rig. Shot in jpeg.  Using AI servo at f/8 when the camera was designed to autofocus down to f/5.6 only. Worse, the image was underexposed because I was in Av priority and I didn’t have time to dial in some exposure compensation.

I was standing on a ridge at Subic rainforest when I espied this raptor soaring nearly level with my position. Most of the shots were out of focus, as the ancient AF system of the 20D saddled with a non-reporting 1.4x TC could barely focus on a static subject, much less at a bird in flight. But in one critical frame, when the eagle banked with the distant Zambales mountains as background, the sluggish  AF locked on magically and I got a decent shot.

This is one good example of a modest rig at the right place and time being better than a state-of-the-art gear with no photogenic shooting opportunity.

Shooting Info - Subic rainforest, Bataan, Philippines, June 2, 2005, Canon 20D + EF 400 5.6L + Tamron 1.4x TC, 560 mm, f/10, ISO 400, 1/1000 sec, hand held.

Philippine Serpent-Eagle (Spilornis holospilus, a Philippine endemic)

Habitat – Forest from lowlands to over 2000 m.