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While shooting in a particular location at Fraser's Hill I had noted a fern tree and mentally lined it up to get a nice background. Later I noticed a Verditer Flycatcher was perched on a frond....I knew exactly where I had to move to get a nice shot.
On as second occasion in the same location a pair of Grey-chinned Minivets landed on a fern frond. These little birds are hyperactive but again having spotted the possibility I knew where to move to in order to get the shot I wanted.
Various species like sitting on favourite perches and it is paramount to identify some of these perches to get that clear shot. In North Eastern Australia the Victoria's Riflebird males like to display to females on chosen perches. This is illustrated below with a male giving a vocal rendition on the stump of a palm tree near Lake Eachem in the Atherton Tablelands, Northern Queensland
Kingfishers of most species have favoured perches and tend to go back to those at various times, especially when hunting or fishing.
Another African bird, the Yellow-throated Spurfowl likes to perform mating rituals from prominent perches
Another Bowerbird, the Golden Bowerbird has an elaborate bower but has favourite perches around the bower watching out for desirable females.
Again with sunbirds I had identified flowering plants they liked to visit. I picked a flower with nice light and background and waited for the bird to do his rounds.
The following 3 images all have something in common. All are on natural perches where the perch was identified before patiently waiting for a bird to occupy the space.
Raptors also have their favourite perches especially those near their nest. The image below shows a Changeable Hawk-eagle near its nesting tree.
The same scenario occurs on the Maasai Mara with Eagles such as the Tawny Eagle where trees are relatively scarce on the savannah
Some cheeky hummingbirds make use of the long bills of their compatriots to get a feeding advantage
Common Loon chicks are famous for employing their parents as the perch of choice. Well it is Canada and the ice and snow have just retreated.
Below is a collection of behavioural images that would not have been possible without the use of introduced perches
I have a collection of perches in my carport I add to or subtract from on a regular basis. Perches should be medium to dark without any light and distracting elements.
I carry a kit of tools for erecting perches in any suitable location. These essentials are;
(b) A screw to secure the branch and a moveable and lockable joint to angle the perch to suit.
Here it is in action with 5 bee-eaters sitting on the perch
or with the 500mm lens plus 1,4 extender.
Vertical perches...that Kingfishers prefer can be secured by driving a pointed stake into the ground and securing the perch by cable ties.
(a) Chestnut-headed Bee-eaters
The perch does not have to be a stick
(b) Blue-throated Bee-eaters
(c) White-throated Kingfishers
Here is the positioning I use for such shots. I position my SUV in optimum position to use the strong sunlight and I make sure I have a pleasant but blurred background. The Kingfishers when they catch prey will fly to the tall central tree and fly to the nest hole. I found by erecting a perch nearer the hole that 70% of the time they will use this. This makes action photography easier as the flight line is more predicable.
Fairy wrens generally are an interesting and often abundant species in Australia and have been widely studied. The males develop vibrant breeding colour but can be induced onto textural perches with the judicious use of mealworms
Pittas are colourful birds of the forest floor. Especially when they are feeding chicks they will pursue food placed in selected locations. Natural perches are used or branches were placed strategically
Playback is often used but I doubt the use and it generally is a general dinner gong for other perceptive species in the area.
|Banded Pittas (male on right)|
Paddyfield Pipits are always present on wasteland and although mainly ground dwellers they like to look around from a loftier perch.
Hyperactive but diminutive the Himalayan Striped Squirrels are present in many places in Fraser's Hill and can make use of perches of set-up for forest birds.