Maturing

The chicks look more and more like adults. Yesterday they were together for part of the time we were there. Two of the chicks are maturing to the standard gray brown color of Chimney Swifts. The lowest chick is much darker. The image above was made through one of the knot holes using a short zoom lens with the rubber lens hood around part of the hole.

Here one of the gray chicks is low on a wall in shadow. Even in shadow it is gray with a wide lighter collar.


The dark chick has a narrow collar. Its dark feathers make it look more mature than the other two. Of course their wings are still growing toward the day they fly out the false chimney in the Althea R. Sherman Chimney Swifts’ Tower instead of from wall to wall.

The lower two images are crops. The gray chick was at a very low angle and the view through the little window was very tipped. The angled image was rotated and cropped to be similar to the dark chick. The dark chick was photographed through a knot hole and cropped as evidenced by the lower right corner of the photo.

One of the adults came in and stayed below the chicks for longer than usual. Its head and shoulders were just visible to the camera when it was angled very steeply at a knot hole.

One piece of equipment we have not written about is the tripod we are using in the tower. We generally remove or shorten the center posts of our tripods. One reason is that extending the center post with a heavy camera and lens can sometimes introduce camera shake at low shutter speeds. The other reason is that we need to have our tripods spread their legs low to the ground.

We have one tripod with a center post that we use for table top photography. It is easier to change the camera height by changing the height of the center post than adjusting three legs. It also works well when needing to angle the camera against the knot hole since the tripod legs cannot always be easily moved. Because the rubber lens hood rests against the wall it minimizes camera shake. We have ball heads on our tripods which we think are easier to use, especially in tight quarters.

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