Aerial Delivery #4

An Arctic Tern feeding a small fish to its chick on the fly. The parents generally don’t bother to land. They just hover for a split second, complete the transfer and then they’re off to forage for more. This is #4 in a series that shows the approach, the handoff and the departure. I just pre-focus and frame the scene, then hold the trigger down as the parent flies into the frame. At an average speed of 11 fps I usually get 10 - 12 images to select from. In this case I was lucky enough to catch the hand-off in one of the frames.

Sony a6500, SEL70200G @ 171 mm, ISO-125, f/2.8, 1/4000, hand held.

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Gary: Love the wing position, comp, DOF, BG, etc., etc., etc. Just a fantastic capture. >=))>

I don’t think it could have been captured any better than this, Gary. Perfect timing, great details, nice stop action, everything, perfect. That tiny little fish being transferred over showed up nicely, and to me, is icing on the cake. :+1::+1:

The image could not be more perfect. Thanks for the lesson in how you set up for the shot. The sharpness, detail, and light on the wing of the parent bird are amazing. Great image in every respect. Larry

Gary, this is a great action catch. I’m amazed at the dof for f/2.8 and the fact that you could use 1/4000 s at iso 125. That’s a lot of light! The wing position is outstanding and I’m loving the scattered flying drops. Did those drops come off the parent?

Thank you, Shirley. In the smaller versions you can hardly tell that it’s a fish but if you click on the image twice to get the maximum zoom you can actually see an eyeball on the fish!

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Mark; The Sony 70-200 f2.8 is a sweet lens and I chose it in this case because I knew I could get close and needed the shutter speed. The DOF is aided by the 1.5 crop factor camera on a full frame lens. The water droplets are from the parent bird as it had just come from the bay where it dived to get the tiny fish.