A pair of little spiderhunters chose to build their nest in the tree almost outside the door of the bungalow where we were staying in Phuket. Little Spiderhunters are small birds – 16 – 16.5cm overall – and they move fast! Native to SE Asia, they build elongated nests with a side entrance – almost a porch! – that are fixed to the underside of leaves.The male was of course doing all the work, but Mrs LS was always on hand to make sure that he didn’t get sloppy. After taking numerous shots of Mr LS gripping onto the nest while he slowly built it, I decided it would be more fun to try to capture him arriving and leaving. He normally announced his imminent arrival with a cheep, but his departure was more subtle – a quick look around, a wiggle, then off. I normally got one shot per arrival or departure, and a lot of shots with a tail feather sticking up from the bottom of the frame! Leaving the nest was fascinating – he often just let himself fall from it, would immediately rotate his head 180º so his feet were in the air, as in this shot, then his body would rotate and out would come the wings – all this is a fraction of a second! This process is shown in the accompanying work Little Spiderhunter 2; in the present shot, the departure was more of a dive and the wings were opened almost immediately he let go.
Canon 1DMkII with Canon 300mm f2.8L IS lens; ISO800 f5.6 1/3200