Sony HC9---HDV camcorder---This is from a visit last Summer to the Fern Ridge Wildlife area, west of Eugene. This is an extensively managed area, with diked ponds and wetlands and is very popular with birds and birders. The black bird perched on a stump, is a Great-tailed Grackle, one of only a few of this species ever reported in this region. The bird list in order of appearance is: Red-winged Blackbird, American Pelican, Black Tern, Great-tailed Grackle, Osprey, Bald Eagle, Canada Goose, Gadwall, Blue-winged Teal, Cinnamon Teal, Wood Duck. Common Bitterns can be heard making their pumping calls in the background, as well as Killdeer.
The large family of Canada Geese has two different ages of its goslings. This is because the parents kidnapped one bunch from another family. Sometimes, you'll see one pair with two dozen or more young ones, possibly from 3 or more kidnappings. There may be some advantage for a young goose to be raised in a larger group, by more aggressive and dominant parents. More often, when their goslings are about 3 weeks old, several families may join together in a creche and all the parents will remain. This provides more protection and better social training in flock membership. My observations are, that this is most likely to occur if the female parents are related to each other. Among geese, females make the decisions and the males follow.
I shot this on my shoulder-mount, with a Sony DH1758 telextender. This is the last time I used this camcorder with its internal mikes or one mounted directly on its shoe. Even with the external, shoe-mounted mike that I had for this occasion, you can hear the operating noises of the recorder when there's no strong ambient sounds. I solved this later by installing a Kevlar/epoxy extension arm that holds a mike a foot away from the camera and the Kevlar dampens vibrations almost completely. Not all the scenes have flawless camera work, but I think that content ruled over photographic excellence in this case. I edited it mainly for local and regional birders to watch and preserving the natural sounds was essential.
My original 5.9 Mbps upload file is available for downloading by Vimeo subscribers, for better picture quality.