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It's A Bird...

In early January 2020, I bought a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens to attach to my existing Canon EOS 90D body in anticipation of traveling with family to a planned South African safari later in the year. The Covid-19 pandemic had other ideas for mankind.  After my annual April scuba diving trip was canceled and the realization and implications of the pandemic set in, I was stuck at home like everyone else.

 

With mandated restrictions and the world at a standstill, the great outdoors offered a respite from all too familiar interiors of the restricted spaces of home. I am fortunate to be a few steps from Rock Creek Park, a large urban expanse near my home in Washington, DC.  Unable to make images of fish as I am customed to do when I scuba dive, with camera in tow, I decided to take a familiar walk into Rock Creek Park. With the absence of vehicular traffic on the roads that run through the park and very little human foot traffic, I had the park to myself. I really was not alone because there was visual and auditory evidence of wildlife, especially birds. I began training my lens on any avian species that happened to flutter at eye level or soared above.

 

Starting out, I was only familiar with a handful of species of birds including the ubiquitous robins, cardinals, crows, starlings, and sparrows. Prior to these beginning ventures, I would see other species in passing and make a mental note. When I began making images of just about every bird I saw, I was curious enough to seek to identify the unfamiliar images that would appear when I took closer looks. With available ID tools, I was generally successful. When I discovered an unfamiliar bird, and my ID tools were ambiguous, I tapped the knowledge of a friend who is an avid and accomplished birder. His input and insights remain invaluable even as the ID tools have expanded and have become more sophisticated.

 

My world of photographing birds has expanded in the three years since I made my first images. The expansion includes IDing by sight, sound, and behavior. I would not consider my self a “birder.” I love birds, observing and photographing them. The images below and contained in the galleries at the left exemplify my love of our fine feathered friends. 

Birds Of Prey In Action 

 

Osprey with Catfish in Talons ↑↓