Last Sunday, in between taking pictures of Butterbutts, I was walking through some rather tall weeds at Jacob Riis Park when a Yellow-billed Cuckoo flushed, flew over a fence, and disappeared. Though I was pleased to get an identifiable look at a cuckoo in October I was kind of bummed that I didn’t manage an image. Nonetheless, I found the strength to carry on and birded around the park for awhile, not really finding anything terribly interesting. But on my way back past the same spot I found the cuckoo again, this time sitting out in the open sunning itself, completely uncaring that I was busy digiscoping it. I spent twenty minutes with the bird before walking away, leaving the cuckoo where I found it. I really enjoyed the experience and I would say that these looks narrowly beat out the looks I got several years ago in Philadelphia.
The bird was exceptionally calm, allowing me to move my tripod-mounted digiscoping rig through the waist-high brush nearby without flinching. This allowed me to get looks and shots from slightly different angles, which is always fun, especially when your quarry is perched on a stick that from some angles blocked different parts of the bird.
I especially liked when the cuckoo turned towards me for a near head-on view.
I also liked having enough light to zoom the scope up to high magnification and still get decent shots.
Video was nice too! I love that I captured how slowly cuckoos move when they don’t feel threatened. Also, check out that eye!
I couldn’t get the whole bird in the frame without flipping the camera sideways. This was as close as I could get.
With the camera sideways I could get the whole bird. Check out that tail!
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