If you want to see male and female red-winged blackbirds, go to a wetland where Typha angustifolia grow.

I often hear male and female red-winged blackbirds’ voice before I see them. You will understand what I mean by watching this 46-second video. I labeled in this video.


I couldn’t tell if this bird below is a female red-winged blackbird or not. This image was shot at Echo Lake Park, Shoreline WA.

Red-Winged Blackbird ♀

(Manual, ISO 320, f/11, Shutter Speed 1/400, FL 300 mm)

But there is Typha angustifolia at the lake (see the image below). And I saw male red-winged blackbirds nearby! They have a red and yellow patch on their wings. So I assume these two are female red-winged blackbirds!

EchoLakePark15_ 04

(Manual, ISO 320,  f/11, Shutter Speed 1/160, FL 270 mm)

My first concern is shutter speed when I shoot birds with telephoto lens. Even if the birds are resting, they can take off suddenly. So I make sure shutter speed is above 1/160 sec. If shutter speed is below that, you may need to raise ISO.

My next concern for these kind of images is f-stop. I usually shoot in the range of 5.6 – 8, but when there are leaves, flowers and brunches in the way, the subject (bird in this case), I prefer to choose a higher number of f-stop. This will increase the range of the image that is in focus.

You had best not shoot with the lens on auto focus. When your lens in set to auto focus, the lens and camera decide what to focus on and it may take time or focus will keep moving back and forth, so you can’t press the shutter button. This is so with the image at the bottom of this page of the female red winged blackbird among the Typha angustifolia. The lens will have a hard time focusing on the blackbird if you set the lens to auto.

Camera setting info of the male red-winged blackbird header image:
Manual, ISO 200,  f/5.6, Shutter Speed 1/400, FL 400 mm


This is “Male and Female Red-Winged Blackbirds” from Hitomi’s blog. I added Camera setting info for this blog.