The White-tipped Dove is a speciality bird of the Rio-Grande Valley in Texas. It can only be found in this part of the US.
I have always set myself a goal to get ground feeding birds like Quail, Dove etc up on a stump or rock when I photograph them.
This is a low percentage shot, but if it can be pulled off, the results are worth it.
Getting the bird on a stump or rock will put your background much futher away, rendering a nice smooth out-of-focus backdrop.
An out-of-focus background will be less distracting and allow the bird to really stand out.
After many years of experimanting with this challenge, I figured out that the best way to get the birds up on your elevated set-up is to build a ramp on the back.
You would think that the birds would just hop up on the rock or stump to get to your bait/food, but if you offer them a ramp, they will rather walk up. I guess it takes less energy to walk up than it does to hop. It also allows the bird to go slow and check out what is on top of the rock, rather than just jumping up and taking a chance.
Below is an image of me teaching participants at a workshop. You can see the piece of wood that I used as a ramp. You can also see the rock and the wildflowers that I placed of the front of the rock.
Below is the final result, shot in sweet morning light. All workshop participants got this same image.
For my April 12-15, 2010 workshop, we plan to do many set-ups like this one, especially with the Quail.
I only take four participants on my workshops and I have just one opening for this one.
If you are interested in joining me, you can get more details here.