The Elusive Bird Photo

Cactus Wren Photo by: Alan Vernon


Isn’t this a great photo of a cactus wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) perched on top of a saguaro cactus?

The problem is, is that I didn’t take this photo.

Although, the cactus wren is the state bird of my state (Arizona) and the fact that I have had plenty of opportunities to view them up close – I have not been able to get a good picture of one, despite numerous attempts.

I have been able to take photos of their nests…

Their nests are pretty easy to spot since they like to build their homes in cholla cacti.

But to be perfectly honest, I’d rather have a decent photo of the bird itself.

Cactus wrens are very curious and rarely stand still for more then a couple of seconds.  As a result, my attempts at taking their picture ends up with blurry images or a photo of their backside.

This was my most recent attempt…

I took the picture from quite a distance and had to crop the photo so you could see my subject perched in a buckhorn cholla.

The cactus wren makes its home in the Southwest and I must confess that it is my favorite bird.  Oh, I know that other birds may have more colorful foliage and nice song.  But, what makes this little bird my favorite is its mischievous personality.  I have seen them take advantage of an open moon roof on a car, leaving a mess for the car owner to clean up afterward.  I’ve also witnessed their observing my pruning trees and shrubs before taking the opportunity to get an up close look at my pruning equipment when my back was turned.

I don’t pretend to be a great bird photographer and rarely use my tripod.  But, I continue to hope that I will have a camera in my hands when my next encounter with my favorite bird occurs.

How about you?  Is there a bird whose photo eludes you?  Or, have you been able to capture that ‘elusive bird photo’?

Please share them with us.

For great tips on taking bird photos, check out the article “Photography Patience”.


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