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In Search of a 5-Star Rated Vermillion Flycatcher Photograph – Reflections of the Pure World


After seeing a number of latest wonderful photographs of the returning Vermillion Flycatcher by Doug Krajnovich at Lake Yosemite County Park In Merced County, CA., I made a decision I must attempt to observe it down and shoot it. Digitally that’s!


Lake Yosemite is a freshwater reservoir inbuilt 1888 for irrigation functions and is at present owned and operated by the Merced Irrigation District. It’s positioned about 5 miles east of Merced, CA.

Lake Yosemite Park Entrance
Lake Yosemite


Doug Krajnovich first found a primary fall male Vermillion Flycatcher on 10/10/2019 on the south finish of the park alongside the Fairfield Canal. Usually, they’re uncommon throughout the Central Valley, however they appear to be occurring extra continuously in Merced County over the previous 20 years. At one level final 12 months within the winter of 2020/2021 as much as 3 had been seen on the similar time at Lake Yosemite County Park.

Vermillion Flycatcher on the Merced NWR 1/17/2021


Once I first began images, capturing pictures usually got here at a steep value and as a newbie I discovered myself in a quandary. Did I take advantage of Ektachrome 100, Kodachrome 64, or Fujichrome Velvia 50 when within the discipline? It was costly to purchase after which develop. And the worst half was not figuring out in case you nailed the shot or not till you bought them again a number of days later. With the appearance of extra fairly priced gear and an nearly limitless variety of pictures that may be captured on one SD Card, I usually take upwards of 500 pictures in a morning’s outing. The problem then turns into certainly one of which picture is one of the best.


As a birder turned photographer, I try to each seize a picture that can serve to doc a chicken sighting and to fulfill my inventive expectations of a top quality replica. This usually includes taking the primary picture at a distance and steadily getting nearer and capturing increasingly more pictures.

eBird Scores

eBird is an internet database of chicken observations offering scientists, group scientists, researchers and novice naturalists with real-time knowledge about chicken distribution and abundance. In the present day, the overwhelming majority of birders document their location sightings utilizing eBird. Together with recording numbers of every species encountered, customers can submit pictures, audio recordings and video snippets to assist doc what they discovered. Every picture {that a} consumer submits might be rated to assist with the better group science wants. In accordance with their web site, “Scores enhance the utility of Macaulay Library media for everybody, enabling one of the best pictures, audio, and video to be found and utilized in tasks reminiscent of Merlin and Birds of the World, in addition to Illustrated Checklists and exterior analysis functions.

From my perspective, getting a superb picture has helped me to both cinch or reject the identification of a difficult or uncommon chicken species.

They use a 5-star ranking system, with 5 stars being the best high quality. They particularly state that the scores must be strictly technical in nature and never to absorb account the uncommon standing of a species. An ideal picture of a typical, drab chicken ought to nonetheless be 5 stars and a poor picture of a really uncommon or hard-to-photograph chicken might nonetheless be just one or 2 stars.

Drab, widespread 5-Star Northern Mockingbird

Key Factors to Contemplate When Ranking a {Photograph} for eBird

From the eBird Assist Web site “ Charge Media

Sharpness: Is the first topic in focus? Is the picture blurred or grainy?
Visibility of chicken: How properly are you able to see the chicken? If the chicken could be very small, partially obstructed from view, or backlit within the picture, the ranking must be decrease than it will be in any other case.
Dimension of picture: Decrease your ranking of any picture that has a noticeably small decision. Importing full decision information is all the time inspired.

Descriptions of star scores for photographs: (Keep in mind the ranking is a technical ranking and does NOT keep in mind the rarity of the chicken.)
1 Star: Very poor high quality. Very low decision or very poor focus; chicken could also be very small or obscured within the body or have extraordinarily unhealthy publicity. Basically ought to solely be uploaded as document pictures, if nonetheless identifiable.
2 Stars: Poor high quality. May very well be a superb picture however at a noticeably low decision, or excessive decision however with important flaws. Lighting could be severely backlit or poorly uncovered. Picture could be good however the chicken is extraordinarily small within the body or largely obscured.
3 Stars: Respectable high quality. Excessive or medium decision with respectable focus. Lighting could be lower than excellent; chicken could be smaller in body or considerably obscured. Might need a number of elements that stop it from being rated increased.
4 Stars: Excellent high quality. Excessive decision and in good focus, a minimum of respectable lighting, and chicken fairly massive in body. One or two of those elements could also be lower than excellent and stop from attaining 5 stars.
5 Stars: Wonderful high quality. Excessive decision and in sharp focus. Lighting must be good and the chicken a minimum of pretty massive within the body and never considerably obscured.


After downing my morning latte, taking the canine out to make use of the entrance garden and double-checking that I really had a charged battery this time… I used to be off to the park. I made a quick circle round to the again of the park after which parked close to the doorway. I quickly recognizing the well-known, aforementioned Doug Krajnovich peering intently right into a tree not removed from the Fairfield Canal. We exchanged salutations and he promptly knowledgeable me that he had not but discovered the goal chicken, however he was filled with optimism that we might discover it will definitely. We cut up up a bit and I went east and he west. I took photographs of a California Scrub-Jay, an Osprey and a Black Phoebe whereas I labored my means again in the direction of Doug.




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