Mother Ruby-throated Hummingbird Feeding a Chick in the Nest

As I mentioned recently, the ultra-high-performance of the Canon RF 100-300mm F2.8 L IS USM Lens means still excellent image quality with extenders mounted, including the Canon RF 2x Extender. The 2x addition results in a 200-600mm f/5.6 IS lens, and ideal choice for wildlife photography.

So, this combination and I headed out for some birding.

A great blue heron was standing on a small, mostly-submerged log — for a long time. I was having the oft-repeated stay-or-go argument with myself when the bird started looking intently into the water, clarifying that staying won the argument. The bird plunged its head and entire body into the water and came up with a speared sunfish.

I know, these birds do this every day — it is how they survive. However, what the bird did was incredible.

Duckweed covers the entire surface of the water (except where the plunge just occurred), making underwater visibility from above water, even for a bird, seemingly impossible, but this heron performed a perfect strike at the extent of its reach under these circumstances. Upon shaking the duckweed from its feathers, the heron turned slightly toward the camera for an "I'm so cool" hero pose.

Significant foreground obstructions mean limited openings for shooting in this location, and I couldn't move any further away from this great blue heron. The Canon RF 600mm F4 L IS USM Lens is my usual choice for the selected location. While that lens has a 1-stop aperture advantage, it lacks the other focal lengths. The RF 100-300 with the 2x in place provides the 600mm angle of view while enabling zooming out to 339mm from this GBH vantage point for a full-body image.

Camera and Lens Settings
600mm  f/5.6  1/400s
ISO 2000
4268 x 2847px
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