Posts Tagged ‘Leica Birding Team’

Background Check

Sharp-shinned Hawk digiscoped by Bill Schmoker

A lot of digiscoping tips and discussions center around gear and technique. These are certainly important but once your rig is dialed in it is important to also remember to spare some thought for composition.

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Leica Boosts the Highest Peregrine Count

Group BINs semicircle FKH n falcons

With yet another world record for the highest count of “Falco peregrinus” during a single count season, the Florida Keys Hawkwatch continues securing its place as the Peregrine Falcon Migration Capital of the World. Every fall season, hawkwatchers flock to the southernmost chain of islands along the Atlantic Flyway to participate in the Florida Keys Hawkwatch (FKH), a [...]

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Wordless Wednesday

Scaled Quail, Eddy County, NM, 23 July 2014.  Photo © Bill Schmoker, Leica Birding Team.

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My Favorite Binocular- Bill Schmoker

Bill Schmoker sharing the pleasure of viewing Mountain Plovers on Colorado's Pawnee Grasslands, trusty Ultravid HD 8x32 at the ready.

An amazing part of being on the Leica Birding Team is choosing a binocular to use. Conversely, a really tough part about being on the Team is choosing a binocular, given the mouth-watering range of choices in the Leica stable! With well-used and loved Ultravid 8x42s already in my quiver, I thought I’d evaluate something in a different niche to support my birding style. When I’m afield, I’m usually toting a DSLR rig and spotting scope in addition to my bins. I also travel a bit and know that every cubic centimeter of camera bag space is precious, especially when flying. To top it off there’s more gray in my beard than when I started this game, and when I’m already strapped up with a DSLR on one shoulder and a scope on the other my neck appreciates whatever break I can give it. So I decided to give the 8×32 Ultravid HD a go to gain weight and size savings. My only regret is waiting so long to get into Leica 32s!

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Wordless Wednesday

Common Loon, Burnett County, Wisconsin, June 2014.  Photo © Bill Schmoker, Leica Birding Team.

© Bill Schmoker 2014

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Dueling Video Techniques

Both digiscoping and DSLR rigs can be used to obtain high-quality video of birds.  Below we'll compare results from a Nikon DSLR rig (right) and a Leica APO-Televid + iPhone rig (left.)

More and more I find myself looking for opportunities to shoot video of birds along with stills. With HD video recording capability now widely featured in DSLRs and high-quality cell phones it has become easier than ever for birders to grab really neat movies of their avian subjects doing cool things. On my annual sojourn to northwest Wisconsin this past June I had a cooperative Yellow-bellied Sapsucker whose favorite drumming post was right outside my cabin. I took advantage of the opportunity to film the bird both with my DSLR rig and through my Leica APO-Televid 65mm spotting scope. Below I’ll summarize a few considerations for both rigs and present short movies taken with each setup for your perusal and comparison.

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