5D Mk IV (f/8 AF): Peregrine Falcon Mom Trains her Fledglings

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KT_at_SF Contributing Member • Posts: 539
5D Mk IV (f/8 AF): Peregrine Falcon Mom Trains her Fledglings
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I've shot wildlife with the Canon 7D Mk II and the Nikon D500 crop-sensor DSLRs for years, but since I added a Canon 5D Mk IV (which can autofocus with 61 focus points using f/8 lens combos) to my gear collection, I've also been using the Canon 2X Mk III teleconverter on my Canon 500 f/4L IS prime lens with the 5D Mk IV. The limiting factor with this 1000mm lens combo is typically atmospheric distortion from heat/wind (plus humidity near the Pacific Ocean). The main advantage of the 5D Mk IV over the 7D Mk II is superior Dynamic Range, while the main disadvantage has been slower FPS.

At the local Peregrine Falcon nest (on a windy/foggy cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean; near Pacifica, California), two of the chicks recently fledged (a third eyas was apparently lost during fledge), and the Peregrine mom has been busy training them. I was lucky to catch them flying at a long distance last week, using my 5D Mk IV + 1000mm lens combo.

The mom initially tossed a de-feathered shorebird to the younger fledgling, but the fledgling botched the catch ... so mom went into an inverted dive to quickly catch the bird herself. Then (per 5 images below) she dangled the prey to give the younger fledgling another try ... but the older sibling spotted the commotion and quickly moved to intercept, grabbing the prey from mom's talon's, and leaving the younger sibling to ask mom "where's MY breakfast?"

Just to compare how young these fledgling are, I've attached a 6th image below, taken just 11 days earlier at the nest, when they still had traces of white down on their heads and bodies.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Canon EOS 7D Nikon D500
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