FYI: Finding Birds to Photograph.

I have a unique method for finding birds, or any wildlife for that matter, to photograph. I go to where they are.

Hold on, don’t leave me yet.

When I was younger I did a lot of duck hunting. In the beginning, I thought finding a good hunting spot meant driving around, looking for a good looking (to me) marsh and throwing out my decoys. And waiting for the ducks. And waiting. And waiting. And then going home frustrated.

As it turned out, it was a lot more productive to find an area that ducks were already using.

This is called scouting. Scouting means driving mile after mile, walking, riding a bicycle, etc. until you find an area with birds. Where the birds were yesterday, last week, last month, may not be where they are now. Or tomorrow. It can be a lot of work. It usually takes a lot of time. But if you stick with it, the payoff can be big. Scouting is how I found Osprey Heaven.

As I write this it is the end of August. At this time of year, birds start moving around. They may begin to “stage” (gather together) for migration. They may move on to another food source, or an area where the weather is more to their liking. Where you found birds in June, may not be where you find them in August.

Scouting is also about networking. Talk to people and ask them where they’ve seen birds. Conservation Officers/Game Wardens can be an excellent source of this kind of info. Just ask around.

Scouting. It’s where the birds are.

Published by Larry Maras

Nature Photographer in Summerville, SC.

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