It was so cold yesterday morning at Huntley Meadows Park that the breath of a Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) was visible as he sang out from atop a cattail.
Spring is definitely in the air and potentially record high temperatures are forecast for later in the week. However, it was right about at the freezing level when I arrived at the local marshland park where I spent so much of my free time wandering with my camera in hand.
I’ve photographed Red-winged Blackbirds lots of times, but I rarely pass up an opportunity to shoot them again—I just never know when I may capture an unusual moment. The sun had risen and light was starting to reach the cattails. I turned toward the light when I heard a blackbird call out.
As I zoomed in on the bird, I was amazed to see that the blackbird’s breath was visible as he forcibly exhaled when singing. In the still morning air the visible breath swirled about and the bird looked like a smoker getting his early morning nicotine fix.
I was fascinated by the differing patterns of the condensation as the blackbird moved his head or body position and was thrilled to be able to capture several different views of the blackbird’s visible song.
As I went to bed last night, I noticed that the counter for my blog was right at a hundred thousand views. Thanks to so many of you for helping me to reach this milestone and for encouraging me and supporting me as I journey on into photography.
© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.