Bird Forensics / by Seth Amman

While visiting my parents, a smudge on the window in the low morning sun caught my eye. Looking closer I realized it was actually a fairly intricate impression of where a bird had collided with the glass. Luckily the bird was not there, and it hopefully flew away unharmed, but the impression was so clear it looked like a photographic negative, mid flight.

I grabbed my father's Nikon DSLR and tried to capture the remnant of the impact before the sun rose too high, but I was too slow. Not giving up, I was able to coax my father into holding a high-output lamp, while at the same time propping up a make-shift backdrop with a black tee shirt. He obliged, even suggesting we take the storm window pane out and try to shoot in a darker room where we could control the lighting more. Carefully setting the glass up indoors, with a darker background, and the high-powered lamp, we finally managed to capture this image after dozen of shots.

What's most impressive is the detail, or the suspected detail, of the beak, toes, and maybe even an eye! The outstretched wings are clearly identifiable along with the minutiae of the breast feathers. What a bizarre chance encounter. Thank you sunlight and sorry birdie.