Friday, July 10, 2015

Patience Improves Bird Photography

Lunch has arrived.

This year I have concentrated on getting interesting, whimsical photos of Florida birds at nesting and birthing times.  To get these shots requires patience, waiting for the right moment when my instincts tell me to release the shutter...many times in bursts to get just the perfect expression from the birds.

 Fish mouth

I was always on the road before sunrise to a few of our researched beach locations.  These were spots where I had previously been and had seen bird activity (mating, nests, eggs, chicks) or where I had received information from other photographers or lovers of wildlife. On one occasion a friend and I traveled by small boat to a barrier island that was known for nesting birds.  Many of the places where I shoot are marked and roped off by the Florida Wildlife Commission and the Audubon Society.  Fortunately, many volunteers spend time at these sites as well to protect the nesting birds.  I always photograph from behind these barriers.

 Black Skimmer Chick with a needle-fish.

Needle-fish seem to be a popular catch for the Skimmers.  On several occasions I have been able to get photos of birds wolfing down these fish.

Lunch with Royal Terns.

Whimsical behavior between the birds makes for some really fun photos that have a lot of impact. Patience is important, but the window for opportunity is important too.  This is a two to three hour opportunity at best.  As the morning temperatures increase and the skies change from blue and clouds to white this usually signals the end of my photography day.  The birds end their fishing and hunker down in their nests with eggs and young. 

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