Nature,  Photo Stories

The Story Behind the Photo: White-Breasted Nuthatch Balancing Act

The Photo Story

It was a bright, sunny morning in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, something we are not used to in Northeast Ohio in the winter.  I was walking the the trail in CVNP from the IRA trailhead to the trail connector at Indigo Lake.  I always like to stop and spend some time at the Beaver Marsh.

White-Breasted Nuthatch Hanging Out

I was watching a group of 3 white-breasted nuthatches flying around the Beaver Marsh hoping they would land on a tree that was close enough for me to photograph them.  The nuthatches were flying around in a group and it seemed like they were chasing each other.   Just then, the three nuthatches landed on a dead tree fairly close to me. This one nuthatch climbed to the top of the dead tree and gave me a couple of great poses.

Nuthatch Sitting on Top of a Tree


Camera:  Canon 5d Mark iii
Lens:  Canon 500mm f/4 IS with 1.4x teleconverter
Focal Length:  700mm
ISO:  400
Aperture:   f/7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/2000
Exposeure Compensation: +1/3
Lighting: Clear, Sunny winter morning.  Sun was at my back front lighting the Nuthatch.

Post Processing

  • Cropped the image using the Develop Module in Lightroom
  • Used Topaz Denoise and a Layer Mask in Photoshop CC to selectively remove the noise from the sky.
  • Selectively sharpened the bird and tree trunk using the unsharp filter and a layer mask in Photoshop CC.

Related Posts
Walking the Towpath at CVNP – Tips for Wildlife and Bird Photography
Photographing the Great Blue Heron Rookery at Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Photographing the Spring Bird Migration at Magee Marsh


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