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Archive for March 24th, 2017

Brown Booby Silhouette, Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands, BWI
Nikon D500
Nikkor 200-500mm lens @ 200mm (300mm equivalent)                                             ISO 400                                                                                                                                                   f11 @ 1/1000 sec

 

My chosen time to travel to Cayman Brac has always been towards the end of February as this timing will often allow for great imagery of the nesting Brown Booby. It provides the greatest opportunity to create imagery of birds at the nest, birds with newly hatched chicks, and nests with almost fledged young. These large seabirds typically nest high up on the edge of Cayman Brac’s bluff and in recent years they have also begun to nest on the ground close to the shoreline. They are often tolerant of human presence however I do still choose to photograph them with a long lens, especially when they have chicks at the nest so as to avoid causing any undue stress to them. This year I did note that several of the birds I photographed were tagged as scientists begin to study their declining numbers. During daylight hours Brown Booby can be encountered just about anywhere on the island as they fly across the sea in search of food to feed their young. One of the parents watches over the chick as the other goes to fetch a meal. As evening approaches both males and females can be found with the chick at the nest sites as they settle in for the night. Generally Brown Booby only have one chick to raise. An interesting behavior that I noticed while observing the parents at the nests of older chicks is that the adults continuously pick up sticks and pass them to the chicks.

On one occasion I had the opportunity to photograph these large sea birds from the water. While snorkeling at one of the sites I frequented Brown Booby would often perch on the rocks to rest in between flights out over the ocean for food. I snorkeled in reasonably close to these rocks and using my Nikon D500 with the Nikkor 18-35mm lens in an Ewa Marine underwater housing created a sea level perspective of the birds. I do wish that there was a larger congregation of birds on the rocks to give the image more impact, but nonetheless I think it provides a different view at these fascinating birds.

Here is a collection of Brown Booby imagery from my recent trip.

 

Brown Booby, Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands
Nikon D800
Nikkor 200-500mm lens @ 330mm
ISO 400
f8 @ 1/1000 sec

 

Brown Booby Chick, Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands, BWI
Nikon D500
Nikkor 200-500mm lens @ 500mm (750mm equivalent)
ISO 800
f11 @ 1/50 sec

 

Brown Booby Details, Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands, BWI
Nikon D500
Nikkor 200-500mm lens @ 500mm (750mm equivalent)
ISO 400
f8 @ 1/1000 sec

 

Brown Booby with Chick, Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands, BWI
Nikon D500
Nikkor 200-500mm lens @ 290mm (435mm equivalent)
ISO 400
f11 @ 1/400 sec

 

Brown Booby Silhouette, Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands, BWI
Nikon D500
Nikkor 200-500mm lens @ 200mm (300mm equivalent)
ISO 400
f11 @ 1/1000 sec

 

Brown Booby in Flight, Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands, BWI
Nikon D500
Nikkor 200-500mm lens @ 240mm (360mm equivalent)
ISO 400
f8 @ 1/640 sec

 

Brown Booby with Chick, BWI
Nikon D800
Nikkor 200-500mm lens @ 210mm
ISO 400
f11 @ 1/500 sec

 

A Brown Booby-scape, Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands, BWI
Nikon D500
Nikkor 18-35mm lens @ 18mm (27mm equivalent)
ISO 500
f13 @ 1/640 sec
Ewa Marine Underwater Housing
Handheld while snorkeling

 

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