Lucky Encounter with a Prothonotary Warbler!

I was parked on the auto tour road at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge, trying to photograph something in the brush. As I was sitting there waiting patiently, a beautiful Prothonotary Warbler suddenly landed on a limb right in front of me. I was thrilled! This brilliant golden-yellow bird is a real treat to see up close.

Perched Prothonotary Warbler

Perched Prothonotary Warbler

I already had my camera resting on a beanbag on my truck’s open window, so I slowly reached over to grab it, careful not to make any sudden movements to scare the warbler away. Thankfully, it stayed put on its perch giving me just enough time to get a few shots of it through my truck window. The early morning light shining through the trees illuminated its vibrant feathers perfectly.

Having my camera already set up on the beanbag allowed me to quickly take advantage of this sudden photo opportunity. Without having to scramble to get into position, I could quietly take a few frames before the skittish warbler flew off again into the brush.

Getting photos of warblers can be tricky since they are often hiding deep in the brush. I love when moments like this happen where wildlife practically comes to me and I’m able to capture some great images without disturbing their natural behavior. Just sitting quietly in nature yields surprises and magical encounters sometimes.

It’s one of the best parts of wildlife photography – you just never know what you might see when you head out. I feel grateful to have experienced this special sighting of a beautiful Prothonotary Warbler on an ordinary morning at the refuge. These chance encounters with nature are a good reminder to always have my camera ready!

Equipment Used:

  • Camera: Canon EOS R5
  • Lens: Canon RF 100-500 mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM

Technical Details:

  • Location: Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge (Oklahoma)
  • Date and Time Taken: July 16, 2023 (09:33A. M.)
  • Program Mode: Manual
  • Aperture: f10
  • Shutter speed: 1/800
  • ISO: 800 (Auto)
  • Exp. Comp.: +0.3
  • Focal Length: 500 mm

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