A Magpie's Perch

With over 2ft of new snow within a week, the Bison were struggling to make their way through deep snow. Magpies on the other hand, were catching free rides on their backs, feasting on whatever they could find in their fur.
Thanks for looking. Any feedback is very much appreciated.

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Pertinent technical details or techniques:

Taken with a Nikon 850, Nikkor 500 pf f/5.6
Taken at f/5.6, 1/2500 sec.,ISO 1000 +1.67
(If this is a composite, etc. please be honest with your techniques to help others learn)

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ig cheryl_a_kuhl

Fabulous photo. There is a Native American story in which the buffalo and other four legged creatures race the two legged creatures, including men and magpie, to see who gets to eat whom. A magpie wins the race for the two legged creatures by riding on the back of a buffalo and flying up and over the finish line just before the buffalo crosses it. So men got to eat buffalo. Here is a copy of the cover of the book where I read this story, a great childrens book by Paul Goble, which shows the magpie on the back of the buffalo.

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Really a cool scene with some nice details! At first look I mistook Magpie for the tail of Bison. :smile:
It is amazing to see the eye in such weather conditions. You may extract some more details in the snow.
PS. You don’t really need to upload a 6000 pixel file here, a smaller file would be good enough.

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Thanks Tony. Interesting that the two animals have shared a history for a long, long time and it is discovered by man over and over again! I have have passed on the story to friends that I shared the photo with.

Cheryl, you sure got some nice snowy shots in Yellowstone. I am enjoying them all, and this one is no exception.

Cheryl: I think you’d be hard pressed to an image showing the bison’s environment in winter better than yours and Max Waugh’s recent post. The fanned out wings of the magpie are a wonderful bonus. Congrats! Richard

@Richard_Sandor, @Shirley_Freeman Thanks for your kind words and support. I haven’t seem Max’s photos, but will have to look for them, since I am a big fan of his.

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I like the high key take on this image. Great timing to not only get the magpie sitting on the Bison, but also with the wings spread!

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Cheryl, this is a cool shot. I think the tendency for most of us would be to crop tighter in order to show off the two subjects in more detail. Instead, your choice to keep it wide adds a third important element (the stark landscape), and also adds a bit of… I don’t know, “mystery” to the scene, as it requires a closer look to see the interspecies interaction. I literally did a double-take after first seeing the thumbnail and noticing the odd shape on the bison’s back. :wink:

Compositionally, I’d be tempted to lose a bit off the bottom, and perhaps the right side, just because of the directionality of the bison, but this still works quite well.


Thanks Max. I am experimenting with context, and might have gotten a bit carried away with the snowstorm. In the attached a version, it is cropped in, as you suggested. Not sure if it is enough. Also re-calibrated my monitors for whites.

I very much like the cropped version. Great shot, the magpie does it all. Well done!
Grt, Ingrid.

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