Bird photography with Canon 1D Mk II

I borrow my friend’s Canon 1D Mk II for a while and trying out shooting bird with this camera. Gave Scarborough Bluffs a try to see if I can test the camera out. The auto focus is really good but being 1D has a 1.3 crop factor while my 10D has a 1.6 crop factor, I found I lose significant focal length, so much so that I started to use the 1.4x extender on my Sigma 100-300 all the time. But the problem with the 1.4x extender is that is slows down auto focus by a lot and it degrades picture quality. So in the end I think Canon 1D is not really for me. I would rather have a really good APS-C factored DSLR than a 1.3x crop factored camera.

Now here’s the result. First up a few common birds.

To the left Common Grackle and to the right American Robin.

Common grackle American Robin

A House Sparrow join the party.

House sparrow

Gulls are always plentiful. But this one on the left is carrying some of the nesting material so it seems. And the one on the right, dives hard to catch some bread people are throwing into the air.

Gulls Gulls

Common Terns are an usual sighting.

Common tern

Beautiful display of their wings when landing.

Common tern Common Tern

Being this is Canada, Canada Geese are everywhere. Their youngsters still haven’t gotten too big yet so the parent is very protected of them.

Canadian goose Canadian goose

A close-up shot of a single goose-ling.

Canadian goose

Another shot of these young goose-lings.

Canadian goose

Water landing.

Canadian goose

Mallards are always in the ponds around here year around. Male mallard on the left and female on the right.

Mallard Mallard

On caught flying across water.


These are Hooded Merganser. Caught one swimming alone in the harbour and flapping wings.

Hooded Merganser Hooded Merganser

A few swan shot. The first two are black billed Tundra Swan. And the third one with orange bill is the Mute Swan.

Tundra Swan

Tundra Swan Mute Swan

Saw a few Cormorant but didn’t really get any good photo of it.


Now on to the smaller birds. A nice shot of a female Red-winged Blackbird flying to a branch.

Red-winged Blackbird

A few shots of Tree Swallows. Male on the left and female on the right.

Tree Swallow Tree Swallow

The pair performing a little matting dance?

Tree Swallow

This pair of Barn Swallows was busy building their nest. Male barn swallow to the left and female Barn Swallow to the right.

Barn swallow Barn swallow

A close-up of the female Barn Swallow.

Barn swallow

Barn swallow

Try to get a shot of the Barn Swallow in flight. But these birds are just simply too small and my Sigma 100-300 is just too short to do that. Here’s a poor attempt.

Barn swallow

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