Fwd: [birds-pix] Bird counting exercises

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: Fwd: [birds-pix] Bird counting exercises
From: "Tom Tarrant" <>
Date: Wed, 6 Dec 2006 14:50:02 +1000
Hi All,

Just cross-posting this from the Birds-Pix Mailing-List.......a very
interesting exercise!


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: David Seibel <>
Date: Dec 6, 2006 12:35 PM
Subject: [birds-pix] Bird counting exercises
To: Birds-Pix <>

As Christmas Bird Count season approaches, I've been playing with some
techniques for honing my skills at estimating bird flocks and thought some
of you might enjoy them as well. First, here's a nice Java applet written in
2002 by Stig Christensen that will really test your perception of flock

It's excellent practice, and each time you play it the flock sizes change
randomly. I've personally tested the accuracy of the numbers by freezing the
action in several samples and counting the birds individually.

A Google search for "bird flocks estimate" will yield a couple more practice
exercises (with static images), and I inadvertently made another one of my
own while experimenting with a new camera and lens last weekend. I made a
composite of about 40 shots of Eastern Bluebirds (Sialia sialis), plus a
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) and a Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis), taken
in 5 or 10 minutes at a local park last Sunday, and I think the result is
kind of interesting. I reduced the dimensions by 50% and decreased the JPG
quality, but the image is still too big to post here (773 Kb), so here's a
link for anyone who wants to take a look:

I think I'll call it "A Sky Full of Blue" for obvious reasons.  How many
birds do you see?  Hope you enjoy it!

Image details:  Canon 1D Mark IIN, Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS, multiple
exposures, handheld.

David Seibel
Lenexa, Kansas USA

Tom & Marie Tarrant
Samsonvale, Qld

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