Wild Lilac-crowned Parrot

Photographing Wild Parrots of San Diego

By: Brad R Lewis
Date: May 2017
Location: Coronado Island, San Diego, CA USA


Wild Lilac-crowned Parrots (Amazona finschi) of San Diego

On a recent road trip to San Diego - Coronado Island I came out of my hotel and there were 6 Wild Parrots in the tree squawking up a storm. Unfortunately I was on my way to work and did not have time for photos. That evening at dinner I asked our waitress, Cara - a local, about the Parrots, with the help of Cara's friends, facebook, ebird the search was on. I spent the next few days looking, more listening, for the Wild Parrots on Coronado and the Point Loma area. Then on my last day I found at least 20 hanging out in the Eucalyptus trees but they soon were gone. Then I found another 6 living in some Palm Trees near the bay. I spent the next several hours taking photos, what a great experience.


Photographing Birds - Birds in Flight - Camera Gear and Settings

Camera Equipment: Nikon D5, lens 500mm f/4.0 with 1.4x teleconverter giving me 700mm on a lens that I am able to handhold.  Some of the photos are without the converter at 500mm.  The new 500mm f/5.6 PF is even lighter which is getting great reviews and which I have tested with good results.

Camera Settings: Typically for handheld birds photography and especially birds in flight I keep my shutter speed at 1/1600 or higher.  However, you will notice that for the parrots in the palm tree the fog was rolling in so I lowered my shutter speed to 1/800 which is low for 500mm handheld.  To see the specific camera settings for each photo, just click on the photo and then on the left side choose the Photo Details icon (triple dash aka Hamburger).

Wild Parrot Gallery - A Gallery of my favorite Parrot Photos


BradRLewis - Snowy Owl Photoshoot

Brad R Lewis Photography – Nature and Wildlife Photographer Brad’s dual passion for the outdoors and photography have led him to focus his work on wildlife habitats and conservation. His works are used by conservation groups and wildlife refuges to help illustrate their causes.


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