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Mid summer is a great time to drive to Nickerson Beach on Long Island, NY to photograph shore birds, including Gulls, Oyster Catchers, Skimmers, etc. They have protected areas along the beach from which you can observe and photograph the birds. It is quite active as the birds nest and raise their chicks.
In the late fall we like to travel to one of our favorite places - Conowingo Dam - located in Maryland near the border of Pennsylvania. There we observe Eagles searching the churned up waters for fish. There are other birds which also frequent this area along the Susquehanna River feeding on the numerous fish by the dam.
Another great spot is Bosque del Apache in New Mexico. Winter brings both Sand Hill Cranes and Snow Geese as well as many other birds to the area. Again, a birder/photographer's paradise !!
We are particularly interested in photographing Birds.
Looking at a bird close-up can teach you a lot about its habits and habitat. For instance cardinals primarily are ground feeders of berries and seeds. As a rule they are permanent residents of their area. As does the cardinal, many birds stay in the same location their whole lives, while others migrate when cold and snowy winters take away their warmth and food supplies.
Over the past several years snow geese have become more and more prevalent in our area during the winter months. They usually spend their nights on bodies of water such as the Merrill Creek Reservoir in Harmony Township, NJ. Early in the morning they fly to neighboring fields to feed and return again in the evenings. When the weather becomes warmer the snow geese fly north to their summer homes.
Little ruby throated humming birds will migrate south in the fall as they rely primarily on insects and nectar which aren’t abundant in freezing climates. As the weather warms, flowers grow and insects appear, the little birds work their way back north to where they were hatched.
Other birds such as wrens, sparrows and chickadees, stay in the same areas all year round. When their food supply dwindles they often rely on humans to set up feeding stations. Remember, once you begin to feed the birds, they become reliant on the seeds you provide so don’t stop feeding them until spring arrives again!
We love to observe, feed and photograph the birds that live in our own back yard. Our property is approximately 3 acres of land with a garden pond, woods, and open spaces which is a perfect environment for these little creatures.
In the winter we set up a feeding station for the birds, which we try to keep as natural a possible. It is so much fun to watch them and photograph them as well.
In the spring and summer the birds feed on the naturally provided seeds, berries and insects found on our property. We also have a few bird houses hanging in the trees. Last year we hung a gorde shaped feeder and within days it became the home to a family of wrens. The diligent parents were always busy providing food for the chicks, along with keeping the nest comfy and clean for their brood &, in turn we enjoyed "the Show" !
Another favorite spot is Blue Cyprus Lake which is located near Vero Beach. Every spring hundreds of pairs of Osprey prepare their nests and have their young. It is always a flurry of activity as the osprey dive into the water and come out with a large fish to take to their young. Ospreys mate for life and if they already have a nest from last year, they spruce it up, even sometimes make it bigger. You either have to go out on the lake with your own boat or rent a small boat or a pontoon boat to get out to where the birds are.
Early spring is a great time to visit Florida and photograph birds and aquatic animals during their mating and nesting seasons. Our travels take us down the east coast, across the Everglades and up the west coast. Along our journey we take images of various water birds, along with alligators and land birds. At this time of the year, the birds are in their mating colors. Their activities included varying stages of building and up-keeping their nests, mating and taking care of their young. One of the places we enjoy visiting is the Alligator Farm in St. Augustine, FL. It is interesting to note that the birds actually feel safe roosting and nesting in the trees above the alligators because the alligators protect the birds from predators. We always look forward to our Florida adventures !
Because of the warm climate and so much water, birds are in abundance throughout Florida. We, of course, have our favorite places to visit but plans are often changed. You are at a place, you meet someone, they tell you about a place they like, and next you are off on a new adventure.
There are many parks and wetlands that offer these birds and aquatic animals safe places to live and raise their young.