This series was photographed using ‘spot’ metering rather than the usual settings. By using ‘spot’ most of the light readings are taken directly on the focus subject.
This can be especially effective when the bird is a light color, the background being dark. However, when the method is not the best choice (probably half the time I use it) the images are completely blown out and useless.
At this point I have the sequence of buttons and dial memorized so I don’t look away from the view finder when switching to ‘spot’. This doesn’t mean I always know exactly when to use it but I can usually flip meter methods quick enough to try a few at a time.