Mountain Bluebird Couple at the Nest
National Parks,  Nature,  Photo Stories

The Story Behind the Photo: Yellowstone – Mountain Bluebird Couple at the Nest

It was a windy day at Yellowstone, but we decided brave the wind and hike the Self Guided Trail in Yellowstone National Park.  It turns out that we were glad we did.

Mountain Bluebird Couple at the Nest

The large mammals get most of the attention in Yellowstone.  But, there are also a large variety of birds located in Yellowstone.  On this windy hike, we located a pair of Mountain Bluebirds that were nesting along the trail.

We watched and photographed the birds from a safe distance for several minutes as the pair took turns delivering seeds to the nest located inside a hole in a tree trunk.  We didn’t spot the babies in the nest and didn’t want to get too close to disturb the birds.

Yellowstone provides an environment to observe birds and wildlife of all types and sizes.

Mountain Bluebird Couple Photo Details

Camera:  Canon 7d
Lens:   Canon 70-200 mm f/2.8 IS II + 1.4x Teleconverter
Focal Length:  280mm
ISO:  400
Aperture:   f/5.6
Shutter Speed: 1/800 of a second
Exposure Compensation: +2/3
Lighting: Partly Cloudy, Windy Afternoon

Mountain Bluebird Photo Processing

  • Cropped the photo and removed luminance noise in Lightroom 5.
  • Used the Fur and Feathers II Filter in Topaz Clarity to give the photo some pop.
  • Highlighted and added details to the bluebirds by using the Lighten/Darken Center and Detail Extractor filters in in Color Efex Pro 4.
  • Used Google Viveza 2 to selectively lighten, darken, and add saturation to the photo.
  • Selectively sharpened the image using the Unsharp filter and a layer mask in Photoshop CC.

Written by Martin Belan

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